Mr. President, Excellency Secretary-General of the United Nations
Your Majesties and Highnesses,
Your Excellencies, Permanent Representatives and
Ambassadors, Ladies & Gentlemen,
It pleases me at the outset to congratulate you on your election as President of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. We are certain that your wisdom and your practical experience, coupled with the prestigious standing your friendly country, the Swiss Confederation - which has the closest of relations with my country – enjoys, shall have a most significant effect on the success of our session, which we all look forward to.
Also, I cannot but commend the sincere efforts of your predecessor Dr. Ali Abdulsalam Al-Treki, as well as to express my utmost thanks and appreciation for his successful and distinguished conduct of the workings of the previous session.
I also wish to express our great pride in the efforts exerted by H.E. the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, to achieve the international objectives and aims we all pursue, in order to consolidate the concepts of international cooperation, the respect for international legitimacy as well as fostering the principles of the United Nations Charter.
Soon we shall be celebrating the 65th anniversary marking the founding of the United Nations. It is our hope that the success story of the United Nations will continue for many years to come; not only because it is considered the best multilateral international mechanism there is, but also for being the most legitimate, neutral and credible institution. Over the span of six decades it demonstrated its ability to ward off destructive wars and maintain international peace and security. However, since the challenges and threats facing the international community are increasing instead of decreasing, as well as becoming more entangled and complex. Therefore, the role of the organizations started to branch out, as well as to gain importance and vitality, in order to confront social crises and problems, such as the elimination of poverty and hunger, combat the spread of diseases and epidemics, the scourge of drug trafficking and organized crime, as well as the violations of human rights, also to confront other economic problems such as the increase in food prices, the global economic and financial crisis, in addition to security challenges, represented by terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ongoing armed conflicts in a number of regions in the world.
All these different challenges in their totality, have contributed in the past two years to wiping out many of the gains that numerous developing countries have achieved towards reaching the MDG’s.
Also natural disasters have had a destructive effect on the econmies of many developing countries, causing enormous losses in life and property. The most striking examples are the earthquake that hit Haiti last January, where the number of victims exceeded 200,000 people, as well as the floods that swept Pakistan last month.
There is no doubt that plenty of work remains to be done to limit the dangers of the climate change phenomenon. The upcoming conference in Cancun, Mexico in the coming month of December, provides us with an opportunity to hopefully reach a binding agreement which will determine the required goals, the time frame for their fulfillment, as well as the responsibilities of the member states and the mechanisms of joint work to guarantee the commitment of financing and technology transfer by the developed countries to the developing ones, to help them adapt to the climatic changes and confront their impact.
Undoubtedly, the aforementioned challenges require continued reforms and improvements to the bodies, agencies and programs of the United Nations, so as to keep pace with the changes in international relations as well as to advance their performance.
In this regard, we welcome the adoption of the General Assembly to the resolution, entitled: “System-Wide coherence,” by which a new composite entity-UN Women – was established to foster the international efforts to accelerate gender equality, women’s empowerment and the creation of a Deputy Secretary-General post for this purpose.
From another perspective, we view that after seventeen years of negotiations to reform the Security Council have elapsed, it is high time to take the necessary steps to improve and develop the work of the Security Council, as well as make its work more transparent, increase the number of its members according to standards and controls that would achieve a fair balance in representation and efficiency in its discharge of its duties, and would also guarantee the right of the Arab and Moslem states of their representation that would correspond to their size, their contributions and their role in defending the objectives and principles of the Charter.
In affirming the constant course of the State of Kuwait in supporting the efforts and activities of the United Nations in the various fields, Kuwait continued to extend a helping hand to the needy in different parts of the world. In consolidating the principles of Kuwait’s foreign policy, The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, continued, as it has done for the past five decades, to provide assistance and grants that have benefited up till now, more than 100 countries all over the world , with easy to pay loans totaling 14.5 billion dollars, which is equivalent to 1.31% of Kuwait’s GNP, which is double the percentage of the Official Development Assistance agreed upon internationally.
Departing from Kuwait’s firm belief in the important and vital role of the United Nations in easing the human suffering resulting from natural disasters or conflicts, Kuwait has decided to increase by almost five folds its voluntary contributions to a number of the United Nations agencies and programs, over its past contributions, out of its desire to support these human activities and to deepen its joint cooperation with the United Nations.
As the State of Kuwait celebrates its golden jubilee, and in implementation of the eminent desire of His Highness, the Amir of the State of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, to transform Kuwait into a financial and trade center in the region, a development plan for the period 2010-2014 have been approved, to which a budget of almost 115 billion dollars have been allocated to develop the infrastructure, build ports and railways, construct new cities, as well as continue to work on improving the level of basic services provided to the citizens and residents alike. In this context, the State of Kuwait is proud in always being in the top positions, on the Arab and international levels with regards to the quality of education, the quality of life, the health care services it provides, as well as in the fields of gender equality, economic position and political freedoms, according to rankings issued by international organizations, specialized agencies and other non-governmental organizations.
Twenty years have elapsed since the incursion and the invasion of the State of Kuwait by the former Iraqi regime. This is a painful anniversary, that we, and our brothers in Iraq are determined to get over by laying the foundations for stable relations based of the principles of mutual respect of sovereignty, independence, good neighbourliness, non-intervention in the internal affairs, resolve all differences by peaceful means, respect all the resolutions of international legitimacy and the implementation of the remaining commitments stipulated by the relevant Security Council resolutions. The State of Kuwait is optimistic concerning the future relations between the two countries, and is totally ready to provide all sorts of support to assist the Iraqi Government in its efforts to enforce security and stability and to preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq, as well as to rebuild the various sectors of the State that suffered as a result of the adventures of the former regime, and its hostile and expansionist policies.
In this regard, we hope that the ongoing negotiations between the different parties and political powers in Iraq will lead to the formation of a national unity government representing the whole spectrum of the Iraqi people with all of its political components, capable of confronting the security, political and economic challenges, as well as fulfilling the needs and aspirations of the Iraqi people in building a free, democratic, unified Iraq, living in peace with itself and its neighbours, and contributing to the consolidation of the pillars of peace and stability in the region.
The State of Kuwait, in its capacity as Chair of the current session of the Gulf Cooperation Council hopes that communications at all levels will continue between the sisterly United Arab Emirates state and the friendly Islamic Republic of Iran, to work on finding a resolution for the conflict over the occupied Emarati Islands, according to the principles and bases of international law, and good neighbourly relations in compliance with what was mentioned in the resolutions issued by the Gulf Summits and Ministerial meetings.
While the State of Kuwait affirms the rights of States to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, it calls upon all states with similar programs to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and take whatever steps necessary of confidence building to reassure the international community about the nature of its nuclear program, according to the resolutions of international legitimacy. We also emphasize the need to resolve this issue peacefully by diplomatic means through direct negotiations between the concerned parties, which will pave the way to the creation of zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, in implementation of the resolution adopted by the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference held at the United Nations headquarters during the past month of May.
The Arab-Israel conflict, is considered one of the gravest threats to peace and security in the Middle East region. The failure of the United Nations during the past six decades in finding a solution to this pivotal question, have contributed to the complication of the Palestine Question, and have pushed Israel, the occupying authority to persist in its disrespect of international legitimacy. It persisted in its settlement policy, imposed a seige on Gaza, destroyed the landmarks of Jerusalem in order to judaize the city. Moreover, instead of welcoming the Arab peace initiative as a strategic choice and a nucleus for the peace process in the Middle East, it continued the confiscation of lands, as well as employing the policies of torture and confinement against unarmed Palestinian civilians. It used as pretext the rockets that were launched against it to launch savage wars, and use excessive force. This in addition to its arrogant attack on the Turkish freedom flotilla in international waters. However, since Israel is confident of its impunity, it commits crimes continuously and systematically, without receiving any adequate response from the international community to such arrogance. Therefore, we reaffirm the responsibility of the international community and of the Security Council for the maintenance of security and peace, as well as to deal seriously and sternly with Israel and force it to comply with the international will.
We hope that the direct negotiations which commenced at the beginning of this month between the Palestinian Authority and Israel will lead to the restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, as well as the establishment of a Palestinian State, with Jerusalem as its capital, according to the relevant Security Council resolutions, the principle of land for peace, the Road Map, and the Arab Peace Initiative.
We also renew our total support to the Syrian Arab Republic to regain its occupied lands in the Golan and the return to the line of 4 June 1967. We stress the importance of implementing resolution 1701, and putting an end to the repeated Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace the separating blue line, as well as the withdrawal of Israel from all of the occupied Lebanese territories.
Living in a clean, safe and stable environment is what the peoples of the world desire. During the past decades, we were able to enact numerous international agreements and conventions under the umbrella of the United Nations to secure a dignified living for our peoples in a world where justice and equality prevail. We must therefore bear our responsibilities and adhere to our commitments to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of all the peoples of the world.