SHEIKH NAWAF AL-AHMAD AL-JABER AL-SABAH, Amir of Kuwait, said pandemic statistics reveal “the magnitude of the scars that will remain present for a long time in the global conscience.” He cited over 4.5 million fatalities, cases exceeding 200 million, and the unbearable burden on the shoulders of health sectors and those working on the front lines, despite the horrors that threatened the collapse of health systems across the world. The crisis is “a mirror to the world, reflecting its weaknesses and revealing its flaws,” but also the emergence of creativity, innovation, and adaptation. Calling for fair and secure distribution of vaccines to reach universal immunization levels, he noted Kuwait has achieved one of the world’s highest vaccination percentages with 72 per cent of citizens and residents alike, as well as contributing $327.4 million to the fight, most recently $40 million to GAVI — the Vaccine Alliance — and the COVAX facility.
The Palestinian question still occupies the central pivotal position in Arab and Muslim worlds, he stressed. Tension and instability will remain prevalent in the region unless the Palestinian people obtain their legitimate political rights and Israel stops building settlements, confiscating land, blockading Gaza and desecrating holy places. To that end, he called for establishment of an independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital, along pre-1967 borders, and return of refugees, also praising the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for providing basic assistance to millions.
As the Syrian crisis enters its eleventh year, with all the humanitarian pain it bears, he reaffirmed there is no military solution, emphasizing the need for a political settlement according to relevant Security Council resolutions. He renewed support for the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to Yemen, noting the constructive roles undertaken by the Saudi Arabia to implement the Riyadh Agreement, as well as its initiative for peace in Yemen, and condemning all attacks on Saudi territory.
Hailing the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in electing a President and deputies for the Presidential Council as a sign of “a quantum leap” towards peace, he called for Libya to ensure elections are held as scheduled on 24 December 2021. Growing subversive operations by terrorist organizations, especially Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), are a spur to intensify efforts in combating the danger in all its forms. Also citing “delicate developments” in Afghanistan, he urged the Taliban movement to exercise utmost self-restraint to prevent bloodshed, provide full protection to civilians and adhere to international laws. He renewed a call to Iran to commence a dialogue built on respect for the sovereignty of States and non-intervention in their internal affairs, reducing tension in the Gulf and preserving the safety, security and freedom of maritime navigation.