KUWAIT: His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received at Bayan Palace yesterday Kuwait’s Permanent Representative at the UN headquarters in New York Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi. Meanwhile, Ambassador Otaibi said that Kuwait had scored some vital diplomatic achievements through its 2018 non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council (UNSC). Speaking on the most significant efforts by the State of Kuwait during the first period of its second membership, Ambassador Otaibi said that after four decades from its first run, Kuwait had proved to the world that it is a nation involved in important global issues.
On June 2, 2017, Kuwait gained 188 of 192 votes necessary to join the UNSC as a non-permanent member, said Ambassador Al-Otaibi, affirming that Kuwaiti diplomacy had always stood on a moderate and balanced platform, which championed world peace as well as welfare and justice for all. “Chairing the UNSC in the second month of membership was not an easy task,” he said, lauding the Kuwaiti leadership and Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their supportive stance during Kuwait’s tenure.
In its February Presidency of the UNSC, five resolutions were passed, four press statements issued, and 33 meetings were held, indicated Otaibi, noting that the main focus of Kuwait was to put forward Arab causes, specifically the plight of the Palestinian people suffering from the unethical and inhumane Israeli occupation of their land. He added that the Kuwait efforts in the Palestinian regard was crowned with Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas participation in a Kuwait-chaired UN Security Council meeting.
On Syria, Ambassador Otaibi said that alongside Sweden, Kuwait managed to push for the approval of resolution 2401, unanimously adopted on February 24, 2018. It called for a nationwide ceasefire in Syria for 30 days. The senior diplomat also touched on Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah’s participation in several UNSC meetings, namely the one organized by Kuwait on maintaining global peace and security with the participation of current UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and former General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon. Back on Syria, the Kuwaiti senior diplomat said that Kuwait and Sweden pushed on December 13, 2018 for a renewed mechanism of humanitarian aid deliveries in Syria, which was resolution 2449.
In regards to Yemen, Kuwait had played an important role to put an end to the conflict in the fellow Arab country through its UNSC membership, said Otaibi. Kuwait was part of the efforts to approve resolution 2451 regarding the humanitarian situation in Yemen, said Ambassador Otaibi who called on all involved parties of the conflict to abide by the results of the national dialogue, UNSC resolutions concerning Yemen, and the outcome of the recent Sweden Yemen talks.
Kuwait, recently, transported Yemeni delegations to the Stockholm talks, as well as providing $250 million to various humanitarian entities and organization to ease the pain of those caught in the conflict of Yemen, affirmed the Ambassador.
Returning to the issue of Palestine, Ambassador Otaibi said that Kuwait tried to push for UNSC resolutions for the sake of Palestinians; however, the veto – regularly used by a number of UNSC permanent members – usually stood in the way. Kuwait had always been keen on supporting the humanitarian cause in Palestine, donating this year a sum of $50 million to UNRWA, revealed Otaibi.
Beyond promoting Arab causes whether in Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Lebanon, the State of Kuwait also managed to stand with humanitarian causes such as the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, noted Ambassador Otaibi. He indicated that via Kuwait-State-owned planes, Kuwait transported UNSC members from the UK and Peru and other countries to the region of conflict to have a better understanding of the horrific situation.
On other Kuwaiti achievements during the membership, Otaibi said that Kuwait launched the idea of preventative diplomacy, a stance in which diplomats and diplomatic measures play an important part in halting aggression and maintaining security and peace. In coordination with the Netherland, Sweden, and Ivory Coast, the State of Kuwait forwarded approved resolution 2417, a document strongly condemning the starving of civilians, unlawfully denying humanitarian access as warfare tactics.
In connection with the liberation of Kuwait in 1991 from the Iraqi aggression and occupation of 1990, Ambassador Otaibi highlighted the environmental impact of the horrific past event on the environment during several UNSC proceedings. On his predictions for the second year of Kuwait’s membership, Al-Otaibi said that the State of Kuwait would chair the UNSC in June of 2019, affirming that his country will continue to promote just causes as well as security and peace in the deliberations. – KUNA