His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al Jaber Al-Sabah, Prime Minister
25 September 2008
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SHEIKH NASSAR AL-MOHAMMAD AL AHMAD AL JABER AL-SABAH, Prime Minister of Kuwait, said the rising cost of food, basic commodities and energy, along with the effects of climate, had become serious challenges to the developing world, particularly the least developed countries. Those challenges transcended national borders. Africa, he continued, had not achieved any significant progress in the eradication of poverty and hunger or combating diseases like AIDS and malaria.
Terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the violation of human rights posed a serious international threat, and required a swift and coordinated response from the United Nations. There was also need for consistent commitment to the agreements and conventions ratified by Member States, along with a transparent implementation of resolutions issued in international meetings and conferences, he said.
Further, the reform of many of the United Nations bodies needed to reflect the dynamic nature of the challenges facing the international community. He called for the introduction of reforms to the working methods of the Security Council to make it more transparent and reflective of the broader interests of the international community, including those of Arab, Islamic and small States.
Kuwait continued efforts to achieve economic and social development for its citizens, and had made good progress in implementing the commitments of the Assembly’s 2005 World Summit. Kuwait had realized all the Millennium Development Goals including on education, health and advancing the role of women in society. It was also working to transform itself into a financial and business centre for its region, he continued. It had also adopted new policies, and devised new strategies, with a view to restructure the national economy and consolidate trade and investment activities.
He noted that Kuwait had provided development assistance to developing countries -- particularly the least developed countries -- through its official and non-official institutions. This was a part of Kuwait’s foreign policy. Since the establishment of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development in 1961, it had provided more than $12 billion in grants and “easy-to-pay loans” to finance infrastructure projects in more than 100 developing countries. It also remained committed to fulfilling its financial obligations towards international financial institutions and specialized international agencies.
He said that Kuwait tried to follow a balanced oil policy, taking into consideration the interests of its consumers and maintaining stable prices on the world market. Increasing oil prices were unjustified, and were a cause for concern because they contributed to the world economic crisis. He expressed deep concern about the world financial crisis, and welcomed bold steps being considered by the United States Government to deal with the problem.
He went on to say that a truly serious desire to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East must be in accordance with the international resolutions on the principle of land for peace, the Road Map, as well as the Arab Peace Initiative. He also reaffirmed Kuwait’s support for Syria to regain occupied land, and for the continued dialogue between all Lebanese parties in the implementation of the Doha Accord. He also welcomed the progress made in fighting terrorism in Iraq, and stressed the right of all States to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.