New York

09 September 2014

Secretary-General's remarks at ceremony recognizing the humanitarian leadership of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, Amir of Kuwait

It gives me great pleasure and honour to be here today to recognize the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber al Sabah, Amir of Kuwait.

This is a great humanitarian day. We are sitting together with a great humanitarian leader of our world.

For more than three years, we have witnessed an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in the Middle East.

First in Syria, now in Iraq, we have seen the terrible consequences of conflict.

Communities in ruins; economies in freefall.

Women and children struck down by bombs, guns and chemical weapons.

Terrorized families running for their lives.

But in response to this death and chaos, we have seen remarkable acts of human kindness and generosity.

Syria’s neighbours have opened their borders to millions of refugees.

Humanitarian aid workers continue to support millions of people inside Syria with food, clean water and medical care every month.

Kuwait has shown exemplary humanitarian leadership in supporting these operations under the compassionate and passionate leadership of His Highness, the Amir.

Kuwait may be a small country in size but she has a big and broad and compassionate heart!

Your Highness
Ladies and gentlemen,

We are here today to pay our deepest tribute to the humanitarian leadership of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber al Sabah.

We thank His Highness the Amir of Kuwait and the people of Kuwait for their outstanding generosity towards Syrians and Iraqis in need.

Under the leadership of His Highness the Amir, Kuwait has hosted two pledging conferences -- in 2013 and earlier this year [2014] -- and it hosts the meetings of the Top Donors Group for Syria.

And I thank my Humanitarian Envoy Dr. Al Matouq for his leadership too.

Every year, Kuwait hosts a regional conference on partnerships for effective humanitarian action.

Kuwait has also increased its support for multilateral humanitarian action exponentially since the start of the crisis in Syria.

In the past two years, Kuwait has donated hundreds of millions of dollars for humanitarian operations -- not only in the Middle East, but in Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan.

Kuwait’s leadership and funding has saved tens of thousands of lives, and has galvanized others to participate in coordinated international action.

At a time when so many of our appeals are under-funded, it is good to know we can count on Kuwait's generosity, and particularly His Highness, the Amir of Kuwait.

I urge more States in the world to come forward with assistance. 

With so many grave emergencies happening simultaneously, such solidarity and generosity is needed more than ever.

Your Highness, we thank you and count on your continued support and leadership.

Shukran Jazeelan

Thank you.