|The address of His Highness the Prime Minister before the Sixty â€“ Third Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly|
|25 September 2008|
In the Name of Allah – The Compassionate – The Merciful
At the outset, it is my pleasure to congratulate you on your election as President of the 63rd regular session of the United Nations General Assembly and to wish you total success. We also wish to thank your predecessor, Mr. Syrgin Kerim on his successful presidency of the previous session.
We also express our appreciation for the important and outstanding role of the Secretary General of the United Nations Mr. BAN Ki-Moon for the realization of the aims and purposes of the Charter of this organization.
More than a year ago, the world has witnessed the emergence of new international challenges and perils that hinder, as well as disrupt, the efforts to achieve sustainable development in numerous developing countries, particularly the least developed countries. Most significant among those perils were the rise in food prices, basic commodities, as well as energy prices, add to that, the climate change phenomenon. The danger of these challenges lies in their global impact, their effects transcend national borders. There are no barriers or artificial restraints than can withstand them. These will stall the International Community from achieving the Millennium Development Goals. We have indeed started to witness the negative effects of these perils in the African Continent, which did not achieve any significant progress in the eradication of poverty, hunger or in the combat against dangerous infectious diseases, such as AIDS malaria, etc. but rather, these changes came to exacerbate the suffering of the majority of its states.
These challenges, in addition to security challenges, such as terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the violation of human rights, pose a serious threat to international peace and security, meeting them requires prompt, collective, united and firm action under the umbrella of the United Nations. We also need to have a consistent commitment to the agreements and conventions that we have signed and ratified, also a transparent honest implementation of the resolutions we issue in international meetings and conferences.
While the State of Kuwait supports the reforms introduced to international mechanisms; the constant changes and transformation in the world order, the emergence of new problems and challenges call for steady reforms as well as the restructuring of many of the United Nations bodies to accompany these changes and improve their performance. In this regard, we renew our call to introduce the necessary improvements in the work methods of the Security Council, cast more transparency on its work, increase the number of its members, in accordance with standards and controls which will achieve parity in representation and efficiency in the performance of its duties and responsibilities in the maintenance of international peace and security, provided that it takes into consideration the legitimate demands of Arab and Islamic countries, also the aspirations and interests of small states.
The State of Kuwait continues its efforts to achieve economic and social development, improve the living conditions of Kuwaiti citizens as well as those who live in Kuwait. Kuwait also made good progress in implementing the commitments and resolutions of the 2005 World Summit, realized all the Millennium Development Goals, including education and health, as well as advancing the role of women in society and their empowerment. Furthermore, in carrying out the high wishes of His Highness Sheikh Sabal Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, the Amir of the State of Kuwait, to transform Kuwait into a financial and business hub in the region; the Kuwaiti Government has taken numerous important decisions, adopted new policies, and devised new strategies with a view to restructure the national economy and consolidate trade and investment activities, in order to provide an adequate investment atmosphere to attract national and foreign capitals for their investment in the vital economic sectors, such as energy and infrastructure.
The State of Kuwait did not spare any effort to continue providing development assistance for the developing countries, particularly the least developed countries through its official as well as non-official institutions.
This is a steady course in Kuwaiti foreign policy, emanating from its conviction that advancing the economies of the developing countries as well as their realization of their development shall be beneficial for everyone. It amplifies the horizons of partnership, cooperation and solidarity, which will further consolidate the global economic trade systems.
Since its establishment in 1961, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development has been providing grants and loans to finance infrastructure projects in the developing countries. The gross total amount provided by the Fund since its establishment in 1961 in grants as well as easy to pay loans have exceeded 12 billion dollars, in the benefit of more than a hundred countries. The State of Kuwait continues to fulfill its financial obligations towards international financial institutions and specialized international agencies in a full and timely fashion. It also continues to provide voluntary contributions to many international and regional organizations active in the fields of providing humanitarian and relief assistance. In appreciation of the role of international agencies and organizations working in the field of humanitarian assistance, the government of the State of Kuwait has decided in December of last year to allocate 10% of any amount of contribution or donation it grants to any country afflicted by disaster, to the specialized organizations working in the field.
In response to the suffering of many developing countries from difficult economic conditions as a result of the increase in food as well as energy prices, the State of Kuwait established the Decent Life Fund with a capital of 100 million dollars to develop and improve agricultural production in the developing countries. Kuwait also announced the donation of 150 million dollars to the fund, that was established during the last Summit Conference of the OPEC countries, held in the sisterly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, dedicated to conducting research studies in the fields of energy, environment as well as climate change. The State of Kuwait continues to follow a balanced oil policy, which takes into consideration the interests of the consuming countries as well as the producing ones, and maintain the stability of prices in the world market. However, the unjustified rise in prices, which is a source of concern, is caused by factors that are out of the control of the producing countries. These include speculations, additional taxes on fuel, the lack of construction of new refineries as well as upgrading existing ones. The continued presence of all of these factors leads to the exacerbation of the economic crises and to the rise in the rates of inflation in the developing countries. In this context, we express our deep concern over the financial crisis in the world markets. We welcome, in this regard the bold steps and actions taken by the U.S. Government, to address the mortgage crisis aimed at putting an end to its negative effects, not only on the U.S. economy, but also on the various economies of other states in the world.
Achieving sustainable development in the Middle East region depends, to a large extent, on the ability of the countries of the region, also that of the International Community to address the security issues and challenges which are a constant source of tension as well as instability.
We still demand, and shall demand the international community to assist in putting an end to the focal points of tension and instability in our desire to achieve peace. A true serious desire to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace must be in accordance with the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy, the principle of land for peace, the Road Map adopted by Security Council Resolution 1515, as well as the Arab Peace Initiative, which will lead to the obtainment of the Palestinian people of all their legitimate political rights as well as the establishment of their own state on their own land. We renew our total support to the sisterly Syrian Arab Republic to regain its occupied land. We also express our support to the sisterly Republic of Lebanon, for the continuation of the dialogue between all the Lebanese parties in implementation of the Doha Accord, the capital of the sisterly State of Qatar.
From its side, Kuwait will not spare any effort in supporting regional and international efforts to assist Iraq in facing the security, political economic challenges, as well as the maintenance of its security, stability, political independence, respect of the sovereign integrity of its territories, and non-interference in its political affairs.
In this context, the State of Kuwait also hopes that contacts between the sisterly United Arab Emirates and the friendly Islamic Republic of Iran, will continue at all levels, in order to find a solution to the conflict over the occupied islands of the Emirates, in accordance with the principles of International Law, as well as the policy of good neighbourly relations.
While the State of Kuwait, stresses the right of all states to produce, develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it calls upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to continue its cooperation, with transparency, with the International Atomic Energy Agency in order to dispel the doubts about the nature of its nuclear program, also to address all outstanding issues. It calls upon the international community to continue its efforts to seek a peaceful solution which would spare our region any crisis or wars which could lead to undermining its security and stability, also to deal seriously and without favoritism with Israel, the only country in the region not party to the NPT, to subject all of its nuclear facilities under the Safeguard Regime of the IAEA. This would pave the way for declaring the Middle East a region free from all kinds of weapons of mass destruction.
All the peoples of the world yearn to live a free decent life in a safe stable world, where justice, equality, a clean environment free of conflict, diseases and catastrophes prevail. It is our collective responsibility to lay the foundations of a new partnership, based on justice and equality, where each party would bear its responsibilities as well as its obligations to realize the aspirations hopes of our peoples.
Thank you Mr. President.
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