Speeches
  The Amiri address delivered by His Highness the Prime Minister on the opening of the first session of the thirteenth legislative term of the National Assembly  
  31 May 2009  
     
 

In the Holy name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

Thanks be to Almighty Allah, we seek His aid, ask His forgiveness and pray for His guidance. Peace and blessings be upon the prophet Mohammad.

Speaker of the venerable National Assembly,
 Esteemed members of the National Assembly,

Assalamu Alikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

I am pleased, on this auspicious occasion to sincerely congratulate the Kuwaiti people for their choice of representatives at the National Assembly, having practiced this national responsibility in a distinguished atmosphere of freedom and integrity. The overall preparations and efforts had an immense effect on the organization of the electoral process with reliability and transparency. All this, in good brotherly spirit and honest competition between candidates and electorates which practically demonstrated the elaborate democratic performance and the original civilized attributes of the State of Kuwait.

On this occasion, I wish to extend my felicitations to sister and brother members of the National Assembly on their victory in the parliamentary elections and winning the confidence of electorates, as they consciously and responsibly exemplified the meaning of national unity, recording a historical victory for the Kuwaiti woman since she has long stood shoulder to shoulder with her male counterpart in serving her society and country efficiently and competently.

 Speaker of the venerable National Assembly,
 Esteemed members of the National Assembly,

We are on the verge of a qualitative leap in parliamentary practices and government action crossing over to a new phase of cooperation between branches, achieving aspirations and driving the comprehensive development process in different fields and on all levels. The climate of political tension that prevailed during the past year prevented any accomplishments, though it is only fair to point to some efforts made by the government in cooperation with the assembly in issuing law no.28 for the year 2008 to establish a fund that would tackle the problems of citizens unable to repay their consumer loans to banks and investment companies, it is aimed at facilitating the repayment of debts and handles citizens’ financial situation whereby the fund settles the payments to banks and investment companies.

Moreover, associated parties are about to examine some amendments to this law in order to widen the scope of eligible citizens, increase its capital and extend the period of debt repayment. This comes in the framework of efforts exerted by the government to relieve citizens’ burdens and face the high cost of consumer goods as a result of the global increase in prices. The government has initiated the issuance of decree law no. (2) For the year 2009 to boost financial stability in the State, following the ramifications of the global financial crisis on most global stock exchanges, in order to confront the impact of this crisis on the national economy and protect our financial system from its repercussions.

The application of this law has proved successful in dispelling the fears that accompanied its issuance and endorsed State intervention with minimum cost to public funds and maximum sufficient guarantees. With the knowledge that any delay or procrastination could have resulted in the agitation of the foundation of the economic body, including the Kuwait Stock Exchange, the banking sector and the condition of listed and non-listed companies, as well as inflicting further loses on small and large depositors and unemployment sustained by the national work force in the private sector.

It is noteworthy to point to the first Arab Economic, Social and Development Summit hosted in the State of Kuwait which gave unprecedented impetus to Arab development and economic integration and its fundamentals and requisites on all levels. The summit also reached a host of other results, most significantly; the reconciliation between Arab leaders distanced by differences that could have threatened Arab national security and dragged the region into conflicts, destabilizing the region and entire countries. Furthermore, the summit itself displayed a show of support for the brotherly Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, since the State of Kuwait is chairing the summit; it is therefore required to follow up the implementation of results and positive resolutions concluded by the summit, ensuring the achievement of its objectives. The State of Kuwait also assumes the responsibility of chairing the Gulf Summit which requires intensifying efforts to enhance Gulf solidarity and propel cooperative action in various fields.

Speaker of the venerable National Assembly,
Esteemed members of the National Assembly,

We pin high hopes on establishing a new formula enhancing the mechanism of joint action between assembly and government so that this legislative term may be distinguished by productive performance and fruitful accomplishments. The government is resolved to formulate its programme for the next period in light of the immediate security concerns and the local and global economic and financial changes in a coherent context with the guidelines and objectives of the comprehensive plan for sustainable development that is prepared by the Higher Council for Planning and Development for the years 2009/2010-2013/2014. Imminently, the government shall submit its agenda and its development project plan to your venerable assembly, paving the way for its implementation.

The development plan reflects the State’s vision up to the year 2035 (transforming Kuwait into a financial and commercial hub, attracting investment, giving the private sector the lead in the economic activity, enhancing the spirit of competition, raising production efficiency in light of a supportive institutionalized State apparatus, preserving values and social identity and achieving human development and stabilized development, providing essential structures, advanced legislations and an encouraging business environment). The government, in light of this vision, is observant of the practicality of its programme, specifying deadlines and defining follow up, evaluation and accountability mechanisms, thus contributing to epitomizing its content of issues, projects and reform, reflecting the government’s keenness and seriousness to deal with them in a manner that fulfills the required objectives.

Undoubtedly, the development plan and the government’s agenda form the integral grounding for the comprehensive and sustainable development process; high on its priorities is attaching importance on the Kuwaiti citizen, improving his life style, raising his scientific and practical abilities and capabilities to become a respectable citizen that moves with the times, this requires overcoming minor issues that predominated the previous phase which made it impossible for the government as well as the assembly to accord this priority the effort and attention it deserved.

On this occasion, we must be totally and completely aware of the different security challenges we face in the region, and exercise vigilance and caution as well as serious cooperation as a means of confronting the dangers of these challenges which threaten basic security in the country. We sense this through the political transformations and their effects and repercussions on both security and economic levels on countries of the region.

Speaker of the venerable National Assembly,
Esteemed members of the National Assembly,

The political strain on the local scene recently resulted in a decline in efforts to build the modern State we seek, and lead to a culmination of worries, burdens and demands laden with risks to an extent, which requires us all to act decisively with a spirit of national altruism that we have been lacking of late.
It is unproductive to dwindle upon accusations, however, we must hasten to overcome differences and contain obstacles through proper utilization of rights, and reconditioning political rhetoric, which reflected negatively on our democratic experience, resolve, national unity and the future security and stability of the country. It was the cause of the lapse in our development efforts and the regression of our country's leading status in more than one field.

Having said that, the government must reach an accord with the national assembly to achieve the true desire for joint action, welcoming any constructive criticism in any field of action for the purpose of reform and development. The assembly is also required to practice its regulatory and legislative role and assume its responsibility within its constitutional and legal jurisdiction.

Speaker of the venerable National Assembly,
 Esteemed members of the National Assembly,

The approaching phase holds many responsibilities and undertakings; therefore it is imperative for both the assembly and the government to agree on a clear formula and mutual understanding over the mechanisms of fruitful cooperation in their performance, so that we may regain the confidence of our people in our abilities and respond to their aspirations in realizing the accomplishments, gains and development objectives.

Consequently, came the call for a new vision for national action; practicing positive rhetoric based on a genuine will for change and the commitment to pursue it in an evident and tangible way, to confront the outcome of the past phases and their accumulated effects. A reformative development project was also announced reflecting a vivid rendition of the transformation process and an objective approach in organizing the merits of national action through a system of key issues; these are issues of priority, particularly since they are unanimously considered pivotal in driving national development towards the objectives:

First: The issue of protecting national unity, which examines aspects and phenomena of tribalism, sectarianism and the offensive factions. This has been prevalent in the country in many instances, becoming a source of worry and suffering in all facets of life and a cause of anxiety from the effect they have on the strong ties between components of the Kuwaiti society, threatening the resolve and composition of this society by   becoming dissociated and absorbed in raising issues of factions and districts at the expense of national unity.

Second:  The issue of application of the laws includes; firm and binding procedures in the application of the law without discrimination. This approach must extend beyond mere slogans to actual application in a way that enhances confidence in the institutional performance, boosting the standing of the State, preserving social safety, spreading an air of security and stability and working towards establishing rights, justice and equality, as well as providing equal opportunities for all. There is nothing more powerful than the law, which requires a review and rectification of the legal structure in accordance with various security, social and economic changes, achieving a host of development needs, and bolstering subjective commitments and field control necessary to insure their implementation and calling into account transgressors, in order to remain the predominant measure and strong foundation in protecting the national acquisitions and consolidating the civilized features of Kuwait.

Third:  The issue of the relationship between both the Legislative and Executive branches; this deals with means of tackling the causes behind the monotonous stifling that impedes cooperation between these two branches, which has transformed into painful  and annoying episodes affecting  the State in its most prominent aspects; causing  us discomfort and concern, since there is no option but to overcome, by words or actions, all matters that we have long suffered to boost the resolve  illustrated in the soul of the constitution and all laws in context of each branches’ jurisdiction, particularly in using the instruments of parliamentary  control, reaching a practical formula for constructive dialogue and positive cooperation without undermining this right or permitting its abuse, so that the outcome is not conflicting  with our objectives. Let it be known that our adherence to the constitution and its regulations leaves no room for exploitation, we are proud of our constitution.

Fourth: The media issue. Tackling official and non-official local media rhetoric; in all its forms; the visual, the audible and the read so as those that stray off course may be rectified and develop their informative role. We ascertained that with mass media and its instruments on the increase, and in light of free flowing media via satellite channels and cyber space, some of these have breached laws, decorum and professional integrity, exceeding responsible freedom by challenging national resolve in both its internal and external dimensions; libeling and slandering people thus, damaging the reputation and standing of the State of Kuwait which is a pioneer in freedom of expression. This cannot be tolerated; we hoped that the local media would assume a responsible role in broadcasting conscientiously and honestly enlightening public opinion and serving the country and its people.
On the executive level, the government has instigated the necessary procedures through forming specialized work groups that participate in their efforts at events from government and non-government sectors, including seeking advanced global expertise to cooperate with relevant government authorities in the frame work of a clear executive agenda ,which comprises of the requirements and procedures of action in an integrated and comprehensive form through studying the previously mentioned issues and proposing practical and realistic solutions for each one.

Speaker of the venerable National Assembly,
Esteemed members of the National Assembly,

National action is not confined to these issues alone, there are other issues of significant importance that are related to development issues, specially those that concern citizens needs and concerns, primarily the economic issue, which handles matters of national economy, including development projects and reforming the economy towards opening up and diversifying in order to raise the creative capabilities of youths and endorse efficiency and growth in all fields and activities to enhance diversification of the sources of national income and overcome possible obstacles, particularly with oil price fluctuation, as well as the empowerment of the private sector to lead the economy and direct it practically towards purposeful privatization, to provide more job opportunities for the national work force and attract capital and modern technology. These reinforce efforts towards epitomizing the development plan and the long term vision of the State to make Kuwait a prominent financial and commercial hub regionally and globally.

Besides the previously mentioned issues, there are issues of the vital services sector especially health care, education, housing and others that deal with raising the quality of these services and encouraging the private sector to play a greater and more effective role, so as to realize peoples' needs, eliminate their fears and concerns in matters of importance, and attain their aspirations in all scopes of life transporting them from success to success.  

Speaker of the venerable National Assembly,
Esteemed members of the National Assembly,

Our people have lived in this bountiful land for generations; in spite of the hardships of life, they were able to establish a respectable life through their belief and cooperation until they built it into a timeless country with their collective will and made it into a safe haven for them, us and future generations. It was through their patience, perseverance and perceptiveness that they chose Al-Shura as a means of organizing their affairs, where honest intentions were the secret to Allah’s satisfaction with them and their actions, and productive dialogue was a means for defeating obstacles and achieving objectives.

Those were our fathers and forefathers, and we are their descendents, they gave us plenty to place us on par with developed countries, and we thank the Almighty for the opulence He bestowed upon us. Hence, our duty is to serve our country faithfully as did our ancestors by embracing unity, resolve, identity, values, the concepts of good citizenship i.e. loyalty and belonging and our democratic principles; the most precious product of Shura that was set by our predecessors in words and deeds, becoming the much prized civilized value in public life. 
It is the great responsibility we swore to undertake before Allah, the people and history so that Kuwait may remain a safe and secure place, a land of progress, providing a respectable life for all those who live in it. Long may it remain free and proud through the loyalty of its people in a world where there is standing only for the strong through their unity and by the guidance of Allah" And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited” Allah has spoken the truth.

Speaker of the venerable National Assembly,
Esteemed members of the National Assembly,

Previous experiences have proved that political stability is a fundamental and necessary prerequisite to achieve economic stability and a fruitful performance for any society, since we are keen to develop our economy, as we are equally keen to protect public funds and fight corruption, we must be aware that tackling the problems and challenges we confront can only be achieved by positive handling, proposing realistic solutions and practical measures, which present  well thought out solutions for all the issues and problems we face.

This delicate phase with its political, security and economic dimensions along with the political deterioration that the country has witnessed of late, requires us all to be responsible in confronting the various challenges, which reinforces the confidence and hope in our ability to preserve our accomplishments and rise to the aspirations of our people for a respectable life in a secure, stable and prosperous country, present and future.

We pray to Almighty Allah to guide us and unite our actions, and protect our people from all evil. May Kuwait remain by the will of Allah and its loyal people a secure and prosperous fortress.

Waaslamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh.

 
 
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