On the jubilant occasion, we take a look at the important role that diplomacy has played over the years in shaping and consolidating Kuwait’s relations with the rest of the world.
In particular, we look at His Highness the Amir’s savoir-faire in statecraft that has enabled the country to peacefully pursue its aspirations and win the esteem and confidence of the international community for its adherence to the noble principles of compassion and generosity, as well as its genuine desire to ensure peace and prosperity for people around the world.
Commenting on this global view of Kuwait and its leadership, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, recently observed, His Highness the Amir’s leadership is a shining example of human solidarity and constructive engagement for the collective future of this region and our world.”
Kuwait has benefited from the wise guidance and leadership of the Amir ever since he entered public service more than five decades ago. On 19 June, 1961, Kuwait gained its full independence from Great Britain, following abrogation of the treaty that had made Kuwait a British Protectorate in 1899.
A new constitution was then drafted and ratified in 1962 and elections were held to a directly elected parliament on 23 January 1963. Five days later, on 28 January, 1963, at the age of 33, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was inducted into Kuwait’s first post-independence cabinet as the country’s Foreign Minister.
In addition to his role as Foreign Minister, His Highness has held on various occasions the posts of Acting Minister for Finance and Oil, Acting Minister for Information and Acting Minister of Interior. In 1978, he was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and in 1992, made first Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
With the formal separation of the posts of Crown Prince and Prime Minister, His Highness was appointed as Prime Minister on 13 July, 2003. And, on the sad demise of the late Amir, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber AI-Ahmad AI-Sabah, and subsequent abdication on health grounds by the Father Amir, Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah, on 29 January, 2006, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was unanimously proclaimed by the country’s parliament as the fifteenth Amir of the State of Kuwait.
In 1963, delivering his maiden address to the UN General Assembly, following the acceptance of Kuwait as the 111th member of the world body, Sheikh Sabah outlined Kuwait’s aspirations to be a responsible member of the world comunity, and stated: “Kuwait’s participation in international activities clearly indicates that the independence of Kuwait and its membership in the UN are not an end in themselves, rather, they are a means by which Kuwait would share the responsibility of improving the lives of people in our country and around the world.”
Since then, for over fifty years. Kuwait has been contributing greatly to the service of humanity by directly aiding countries in need, and actively participating and generously fulfilling its obligations to various UN bodies that provide assistance in times of emergency and for development work around the world.