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His Highness the Amir - Leading Kuwait on a path of peace and prosperity
February 23, 2015, 11:20 am
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His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, has shown an extraordinary flair for charting Kuwait’s domestic and foreign affairs in a manner that has assured the country continued progress on a path of peace and prosperity. Since his ascension as Amir of Kuwait in 2006, and even before that as the country’s foreign minister for over forty years, His Highness the Amir, has taken thoughtful and judicious decisions that have resulted in the best outcome for the nation and its people.

Although His Highness the Amir was a member of every government formed after Kuwait’s independence in 1961 and held various official posts before and after that, it is as the country’s long-standing foreign minister that he gained prominence on the world arena. Known fondly among the global diplomatic community as a ‘doyen of diplomacy’, for his considerable experience in foreign policies and international negotiations, His Highness has successfully mediated solutions to seemingly intractable political problems in the region and beyond.

It was His Highness’ strong personal rapport with diplomats worldwide and his strong standing with the diplomatic community that helped Kuwait garner overwhelming international support against the vicious Iraqi invasion of 1990. This support was reflected in the unanimous UN Security Council (UNSC) decision 670 on 2 August, 1990 that condemned the Iraqi invasion and called for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Iraqi troops from Kuwait.

In his role as foreign minister during the period of Iraqi occupation, His Highness was instrumental in successfully piloting every subsequent UNSC resolutions against the invasion, including UNSC decision 678 on 29 November, 1990 that authorized member states to use all necessary means to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait and restore international peace and security in the region.

Despite the repeated challenges he has faced on the foreign and domestic scenes, His Highness has proved time and time again his immense ability to overcome obstacles hindering the path of peace, stability and progress for Kuwait, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and for nations around the world.

His Highness's strategy is centered on supporting people and countries to cooperate with each other so as to progress economically, socially and culturally in a peaceful manner. At the Arab Summit for Economic and Social Development, which was held in Kuwait in early 2009, is Highness announced an initiative for supporting and encouraging small and medium enterprises based on exploiting available local resources of goods and services with an estimated capital of $2 billion and pledged $500 million as Kuwait’s contribution to this initiative.

On the Palestinian scene, Kuwait has always stressed backing the just cause of the Palestinian people. The state, under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir, has over the years delivered hundreds of millions in aid to the Palestinian Authority to support its functioning, reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.

A firm advocate of the power and importance of Arab unity and the importance of discussion and dialogue in overcoming conflict and disagreement, His Highness has taken on numerous conciliatory and mediatory roles. The distinguished role and tireless efforts exerted by His Highness the Amir in tackling challenges and issues faced by regional and Arab nations has realized historical reconciliations, bridged differences and created a positive environment for interaction between the brotherly states.

His Highness the Amir has always been keen to put Kuwait at the heart of humanitarian work. Since his ascension to power in 2006, he has raised the volume of aid provided to countries affected by catastrophes and crisis and Kuwait’s humanitarian assistance has soared to reach the farthest corners of the world.

On a personal level His Highness most recently donated one million dinars to the ‘Tour of Hope’ project, where a boat set off from Kuwait to the UN Headquarters in New York and back, stopping at various ports on the way, to highlight the plight of the intellectually disabled and the humanitarian and civilized role the state of Kuwait plays in field of special-need care and in looking after marginalized sections of society.

Following the enormous efforts exerted by Kuwait to host the two Syrian Donor Conferences in 2013 and 2014, and His Highness’s generous contribution of a total of US$800 million, to relieve the humanitarian situation of displaced Syrian people, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that Kuwait is "an international humanitarian center" and its Amir is the "humanitarian leader".

Delivering his statement on the occasion of being felicitated by the United Nations, in September 2014, as ‘Humanitarian Leader’, His Highness the Amir expressed, “appreciation for the gracious and unprecedented gesture towards the people and government of my country Kuwait, and towards me personally.”

He went on to say that the honor bestowed upon him was a tribute to all the people of Kuwait, in appreciation of their longstanding and ongoing benevolence. He pointed out that since gaining its independence and consequent membership in the UN, the State of Kuwait has followed a steady approach in its foreign policy, based essentially on providing humanitarian assistance to all needy countries, regardless of their geographic location, religious beliefs or ethnic origins.

Moreover, Kuwaiti charitable associations and peoples’ fundraising committees have set an example in their continued support of many humanitarian projects in Asia and Africa, by individual initiatives that have become a shining example of benevolence characterizing the Kuwaiti people.

In conclusion, His Highness said, “I also would like to renew the commitment of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations and its noble message of the preservation of international peace and security, the dissemination of the principals of justice and equality, and ensuring a life of dignity and welfare to the peoples of the world.”

"…We cannot afford to stagnate, we must move forward. We have a duty to transform Kuwait into a center of hard work and innovation, a testament to progress and modernity.”

“…A consensus is the only way we will be able to encourage the development of our country. We must put aside tribal and sectarian loyalties and work for the good of our country as a whole, for the national will, so that Kuwait will be the winner not an individual.”

"…I call upon you to adopt a new approach in political work and a new vision in national work based on anticipating the future without denying the past, looking for internationalism without abandonment of locality, being keen to modernization with a grip of originality to position our nation among nations applying the reasons of civil advancement within a frame of fixed values and principles to which the Kuwaitis were brought up, one generation after the other.”

"…While I reassure today that our obligation of democracy and responsible freedom is stable, and deep rooted as our irrevocable choice, I also assure that the constitution represents the contract that we agreed upon for organizing the relation, for everyone to work under its umbrella, as a civilizational achievement we are all proud of, and I will always personally work for its preservation and protection."

“…Acts of benevolence and philanthropy are inherent values in the hearts of the Kuwaiti people, as inherited generation after generation from their forefathers, renowned for rushing to help the downtrodden and extending a helping hand to all those in need; even when the Kuwaiti people faced hardships in the past.”

 

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