Kuwait-hosted conference ‘key’ for UN 2019 plan
NEW YORK: Kuwait has reiterated its support to all procedures and efforts by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to improve performance of UN peacekeeping operations. “We appreciate the General Secretariat’s high sense of responsibility and current thorough examination of the performance level, as well as the action plan in order to limit the increasing number of casualties among peacekeepers, who we greatly value their sacrifices to protect civilians,” said Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi, Representative of Kuwait Permanent Mission to the UN late Wednesday.
His remarks came before a UN Security Council debate on improving UN peacekeeping operations. “Out of our responsibility towards peacekeeping, and due to our previous and successful experience in hosting a peacekeeping mission; UNICOM, Kuwait have committed to paying two-thirds of the mission’s budget throughout its stay of 12 years,” Al-Otaibi noted, pointing out that the mission ended operations in Kuwait in 2003.
“When we talk about the three principles of peacekeeping; consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force except in self-defense and defense of the mandate… Here we are addressing the cornerstone, represented by the host country, which must be consulted during the entire mandate periods with all details.”
However, he said that factors aside from poor coordination, miscommunication and armed conflicts could negatively affect the course, fluency and pace of a peacekeeping mission. “Factors such as Climate Change, immigration and displacement among others, require efforts to be exerted in order for the mission to serve its purpose. This would be achieved through addressing the root cause of the conflict,” Al-Otaibi explained.
Such challenges call for having “resilient and clear” mandate so as to provide UN peacekeepers the ability to acclimate to changes, as well as be geared up to deal with variables on ground; which would limit its deployment for undisclosed periods attached with hard-to-achieve goals, he noted. The high-level open debate was convened by the Netherlands in its capacity as the President of the Security Council for the month of March. The country’s Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, chaired the meeting.
Meanwhile, representative of the UN High Commissioner of Refugees in Iraq Bruno Geddo stated on Wednesday that the outcome of the Kuwait-hosted international conference for Iraq reconstruction would be the key point for next year’s plan of action. In a joint press conference with Kuwait’s Consul-General in Irbil Omar Al-Kandari, Geddo said that the international conference helped achieve stability and attracted investments to the Iraqi cities that were under the so-called Islamic State (IS) group’s control. International donors have pledged USD 30 billion in funds to rebuild Iraq post-IS at the conference hosted by Kuwait last month.
The pledges have come from 76 countries, numerous international funds and global organizations. Kuwait has pledged USD two billion for Iraq rebuilding, one in loans and the other in direct investments. Geddo expressed deep appreciation of Kuwait’s support to displaced people and refugees, citing as example a grant provided by Kuwait to improve the services offered to Syrian refugees in the Domiz refugee camp in Dahuk province in Kurdistan. He noted that Kuwait offers humanitarian, relief, medical, and educational aid to displaced people in several refugee camps. – Agencies