UN SUMMIT: Remarks by Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait
Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah

Remarks by Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, at at the United Nations 2005 World Summit in New York on 20 September 2005

A few days ago,this hall was the venue of an unprecedented landmark gathering of a very large number of heads of state and government who converged to review and assess the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); to renew commitment to the United Nations and to the principles of its Charter; to underline faith and conviction in the valuable contribution of the international organization towards building a better world by promoting the principles of peace, security and prosperity; a world free of the problems and challenges currently afflicting the international community which, combined, menace world peace and security. These include: terrorism, poverty, hunger, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, spread of contagious diseases, environmental degradation and persistent abuses of human rights.

That international rally signified an acknowledgement that multilateralism is the only viable option to address the aforementioned set of issues and challenges that transcend geographical borders in their implications and risks. Therefore, by their nature, no single country can confront them by itself.

While Kuwait welcomes the adoption of the Final Document of the High-Level Plenary Meeting,we hope that the pledges and commitments agreed upon will be duly implemented.For its part, Kuwait undertakes to carry out its obligations and to respect international conventions and treaties and United Nations resolutions. Furthermore, we trust that the next few years will see a significant advance in the march to realize the MDGs by the year 2015,and that there would be more concerted and intensified efforts towards streamlining global mechanisms of cooperation and coordination.

In this regard, Kuwait wishes to commend the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr.Kofi Annan,for the steps and initiatives he has taken in order to reform the Secretariat with a view to enhance transparency and accountability and to improve the performance of the United Nations personnel in order to meet the demands of the constantly changing international life. Kuwait is actively participating in the ongoing consultations on reform of the United Nations organs,like the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Security Council. We hope that a consensus would eventually be reached on the Security Council reform so that our vision of common goals will be realized, namely: an enhancement of the functions and effectiveness of the Council to fulfill its mandate under the Charter, i.e. maintenance of international peace and security. The Council reform should also ensure a larger representation of the regional groups, including, in particular, Arab and Islamic representation which will lend more transparency, and effectiveness to the council`s resolutions.

The terrorism phenomenon has become a direct threat to international peace and security. Its dangers have spread to affect numerous countries in different regions of the world.

Since the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States of America through the events currently unfolding in Iraq, in addition to the recent explosions in London and Sharm-el-Sheikh, we now have an indisputable proof that terrorism is neither associated with nor does it specifically target a particular race, faith or culture. Therefore, responsibility to combat terrorism is a collective one that must be assumed by all member states without exception. While the State of Kuwait reaffirms its position of principle that rejects terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, we wish to underline the necessity to combat terrorism under a framework of international legitimacy that realize the legitimate rights of people. We also underline the importance of commitment by member states to the twelve international agreements on terrorism,in addition to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism,which Kuwait had signed last Friday. We believe that this would be the most advisable path to eliminate this phenomenon, to curb its effects and to tackle its root causes.

In this regard, the State of Kuwait reiterates its backing and support for the proposal put forward by The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdallah Bin Abdel-Aziz of the sister Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,to establish an International Centre for the Combat of Terrorism. In our view, the Centre would put in place an effective mechanism for the collection and exchange of data on this phenomenon.

Iraq continues to endure a critically difficult situation of instability and insecurity due to the almost daily terrorist attacks mounted by terrorist groups, including the vanquished fleeing remnants loyal to the former regime.These terrorist attacks largely impede the efforts of the Iraqi government to reconstruct the destruction left by the former regime as a result of its hostile policies towards its own people and the neighbouring countries.

The State of Kuwait continues to lend support to our brothers in Iraq with a view to rehabilitate and rebuild the country. Our approach emanates from our belief that stability in Iraq is, in the final analysis, in the interest of stability in this vital region of the world and would have positive implications on its security and progress.

We are confident that the brotherly people of Iraq will eventually overcome this difficult period in its history and that it will persist in building its democratic institutions,the adoption of the text of its new constitution and laying the ground for the forthcoming legislative elections. In the same vein,we wish to stress Kuwait`s commitment to the unity, sovereignty and political independence of Iraq. The State of Kuwait looks forward for establishing solid fraternal relations with the new Iraq on the basis of mutual respect,good neighborliness,adherence to bilateral agreements and United Nations resolutions as all these elements constitute the fundamental pillars of the new and future relationship between the two brotherly countries.

Furthermore,we welcome the determination by the Iraqi Government to try the leaders of the former Iraqi regime for all the crimes against humanity they had perpetrated against the people of Iraq. The trials should also include the crimes committed against the Kuwaiti people as embodied in the invasion of the State of Kuwait and the killing of Kuwaiti prisoners and third-country nationals.

Kuwait reiterates its full support for the struggle of the Palestinian people towards attaining all its legitimate political rights. Kuwait demands that Israel should move forward with fulfilling all its commitments and undertakings under relevant United Nations resolutions,primarily Security Council resolutions 242,338 and 1515, the land-for-peace principle and with accordance with what the Arab peace initiative reaffirmed, as well as the bilateral accords it signed with the Palestinian Authority within the peace process framework, in addition to the Road Map with all its provisions and obligations. Israel should also cease its policy of oppression of the Palestinian people,dismantle the separation wall and release all Palestinian detainees.

The State of Kuwait views the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as a first step to be followed by supplementary measures by Israel towards ending the occupation, in compliance with relevant United Nations resolutions,in preparation for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian national soil,with Al-Quds Al-Shareef its capital.

Also, Kuwait hopes that this Israeli pull out will lead to the revival of peace efforts in the region with a view to ensure full Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Arab Golan to the border line of 4 June 1967 as well as withdrawal from the rest of Arab territory in south Lebanon. Thereafter, a settlement should be reached through negotiations among all parties concerned in order to establish a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region, a peace that shall be enhanced by making the Middle East region, including the Gulf region, free from weapons of mass destruction.

In view of Kuwait`s keen interest in the maintenance of security and stability in the Gulf region,and given our close ties with a sister state, the United Arab Emirates,and a friendly country, the Islamic Republic of Iran, we support the position of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council regarding the three U.A.E.islands. It is our hope that the two countries would agree on a negotiation mechanism in order to resolve the dispute between them over those three islands in accordance with the principles and norms of international law and good neighbourly relations.

It is our hope that the resolutions on promotion of sustainable development, adopted at numerous United Nations and other international meetings, as well as those contained in the Final Document issued by the High-Level Plenary Meeting will lay the ground for a new partnership between the developed and the developing nations, and that this in turn will contribute to the stability and growth of economic relations among those states. We also hope that this will help develop a balanced and fair international trade system under which each party would bear its responsibilities.

In order to build this kind of partnership, the economic structures of the countries of the South need to be bolstered. The countries of the North should,in the meantime, fulfill their pledges in terms of providing financial and technical assistance, debt relief and writing off debts of the poorest countries. Also, they should lift custom restrictions on products coming from these poor countries and facilitate access by them to technology that enables them to integrate into the new economic system. All this would help put their peoples onto the right track of growth and progress.

In this context, the State of Kuwait is proud to have honoured all its international obligations. It will continue its contributions in support of the programmes of economic development of the developing countries through The Kuwait Fund for Economic Development. For the record, this Fund has so far given development loans totaling some 12 billion US dollars. Over 100 countries in different regions of the world benefited from this facility. Kuwait will also strive to ensure stability of the world oil market with a view to maintain the pace of development and economic growth for all.

As we observe the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of this world body, Kuwait remains hopeful, confident and optimistic regarding the role of the United Nations and its capability to deal with international issues that endanger world peace and security. To fulfill this noble mandate, the international community must rally behind it and forge ahead at an even faster pace. We look forward for sincere and meaningful cooperation and partnership in order to face the current challenges. In parallel, we must pursue our endeavours to shape a future defined by the values of freedom, justice and equality which all together constitute the underpinnings of security and stability across the globe.