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MP supports proposals from Kuwaiti Freedom Society backing freedom of expression
May 28, 2018, 9:08 am
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Panel nod to MoU on UN initiative for youth

MP Khaled Al-Otaibi has confirmed support for the proposal of Kuwaiti Freedom Society to amend six laws in a bid to grant more freedoms and cancel prison sentences imposed on those arrested for expressing their views such as bloggers and social media users. He disclosed the six laws include protecting national unity, combating cyber crimes, audiovisual media, print and publication, penal code, and criminal trials. He then cited one of the good proposals – replacing imprisonment with other penalties like rendering social service in the relevant institutions.

He confirmed that the proposed amendments, once approved, will ensure justice for everyone and strengthen Kuwait’s status as a country with more freedoms, including freedom of expression.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee on Sunday endorsed a draft law approving the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Kuwait and the United Nations (UN) on supporting the work plan of the Office of the Envoy for Youths.

Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim referred decree number 44 of 2018 on the draft law to the committee on 1 February, 2018 for further study.

The committee discussed the draft law on March 19, 2018; during which it was discovered that the MoU was signed in Kuwait on Dec 5, 2015 and the amendment was signed on June 28, 2017.

The committee disclosed the amendment includes stipulations on helping and advising youths, national policy on youths, and support for the Arab League’s declaration of Kuwait as the capital of Arab youths.

Article One of the draft law stipulates that the Kuwaiti government shall contribute $1.5 million to the Office of the Envoy for Youths.

Articles two and three states that the office will use this contribution to implement its action plan in supporting youth outreach programs and related activities which will be financed as per the rules, regulations, policies and procedures of the UN.

Article Four confirms the intellectual property rights of the UN, including materials derived from activities financed by this contribution.

Article Five stipulates internal audit and control procedures applied on the contribution in accordance with the financial regulations of the UN.

Article Six requires office to submit a report on its work to the government.

Article Seven states that disputes between the UN and the government concerning the application or interpretation of the MoU should be settled through negotiations.

Article Eight stipulates procedures for the implementation of the MoU starting from the date the office delivered a notice to the government that it completed the constitutional procedures in this regard.

The committee stressed in its report that the MoU aims to develop relations between the government of Kuwait and the UN and serve the interests of both parties. The committee also affirmed that the MoU does not contradict Kuwait’s obligations in the Arab and international arenas.

Source: Arab Times

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