– As delivered –
Statement by H.E. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
13 October 2020
On behalf of the General Assembly, I extend my deepest condolences to the Al-Sabah family and to the Government and people of Kuwait on the passing of His Highness, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Amir of the State of Kuwait.
The Amir was known as “the dean of Arab diplomacy” for his commitment to peace and dialogue. It is a privilege to call this great man one of us, a diplomat. His Highness spent 40 years as Kuwait’s Foreign Minister and played a key role in creating the Gulf Cooperation Council which was, and still is, crucial to strengthening cooperation in the region.
I would also like to take a moment to remember the times the Amir addressed this General Assembly. Two instances come to my mind, first is most recently, at the Summit for adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 where he made Kuwait’s commitment to Agenda 2030 abundantly clear.
The Amir was known as “the dean of Arab diplomacy” for his commitment to peace and dialogue. It is a privilege to call this great man one of us, a diplomat.
Second, back in 1963, when Kuwait became the 111th member of the UN, the Amir – then a young Foreign Minister – said, and I quote:
“Kuwait’s participation in these international activities clearly indicates that it does not look on independence and membership of the United Nations as ends in themselves. It considers them rather as a means of sharing in the responsibility of securing a better life for its people and for the people of other nations.”
The United Nations has recognized the work of this eminent leader, in particular, His Highness’ humanitarian leadership in 2014. Kuwait’s leadership and funding saved tens of thousands of lives, and galvanized others to participate in coordinated international action. And this generosity extended beyond the Middle East, as Kuwait also supported humanitarian actions in other countries and regions.
I wish the people of Kuwait and the family of the Amir well as they mourn this great leader.
Now I will ask you to join me in a minute of silence.