United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, due to lead the UN ceremonial gathering in honor of His Highness the Amir (of Kuwait), later on Tuesday, says he depends on Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for future support for the international organization's relief operations.
In an exclusive interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), conducted hours ahead of the UN-organized ceremony, the UN chief said he is very grateful for Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad's very professional leadership, signaling out the Amir's hosting of the two International Humanitarian Pledging Conferences for Syria in 2013 and 2014, during which huge sums were pledged in support for the Syrian refugees.
The Kuwait-hosted international conventions have given the UN "much tools and means to deliver much needed humanitarian assistance to many people, refugees and displaced persons," Ban said in the interview with the Kuwaiti news agency, marking the UN honoring of His Highness as "Humanitarian Leader," and designating Kuwait as "Humanitarian Center." "He is a great humanitarian leader, and life keeper of Kuwait," Ban said, expressing deep gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad for his personal efforts to get nations of capacity to donate aid together at the two forums in Kuwait. "I hope many countries will emulate such Kuwaiti leadership," the UN chief added, underscoring Kuwait's generous contributions to global and regional efforts to aid people afflicted with crises and catastrophes.
While emphasizing his deep appreciation for the Amir's generosity, Ban referred to the planned ceremony, due at the UN headquarters shortly later today, saying, "This ceremony maybe just small compared with what he has done. I'm going to invite many ambassadors in the United Nations, there will be a luncheon for more than 100 people, will gather and I'll try to present a small plaque of appreciation, this may be very small, you know, very modest way of expressing my deepest appreciation for his leadership."
Ban affirmed that he was also counting on contributions from other Arab countries. "In fact we have been receiving other assistance from countries like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and all. They have been quite generous," he said.
The UN has been securing various forms of support for more than three million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq. He also revealed that some of the aid was being delivered to Syrians who fled their country to northern Africa, namely Egypt.