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Kuwait calls for regional coordination to restore peace in Afghanistan

Kuwait backs UN efforts to build WMD-free world: Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled

NEW YORK: Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah attends a UN Security Council session on preserving international peace and security. —KUNA

NEW YORK: Kuwait called for boosting regional coordination coupled with a greater UN role to bring about peace and security in Afghanistan in line with UN resolutions 2344 (2017). Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, addressing a UN Security Council session on preserving international peace and security on Friday, said the session underlined importance of regional partnerships to boost security and development in Afghanistan.
The session was about building regional partnership in Afghanistan and Central Asia. The session was held under presidency of Kazakhstan, reflecting the keenness of the Central Asian countries in the stability in Afghanistan, and restoration of peace and security, said Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled.

He underlined importance of implementing a long-term development plan in Afghanistan, which included an economic and political plan fully integrated with neighboring countries. Cooperation with neighboring countries is key to boost stability and prosperity, and sustainable peace in Afghanistan, he added.

Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, who commended the UNSC members’ recent visit to Afghanistan, appreciated the UN Assistant Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Kuwait, he said, fully support the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ call to work on preventing threats against Afghanistan and Central Asia, as well as including conflict prevention in the UN regional mechanism. He underlined importance of the preventive diplomacy to guarantee long-term stability, security and development.

Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled said the UN regional center for preventive diplomacy in Central Asia was an example of political contribution in Afghanistan, which has been suffering from unstable security and political conditions since four decades, thus undermining the economic and humanitarian situation, regional and international peace and security. Deteriorating security affected economic growth and humanitarian conditions, where 3.3 million people need urgent relief supplies, millions were either homeless, refugee or displaced, unemployment reaching 25 percent and 40 percent of the population live under poverty line, said the Kuwaiti official.

Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled expressed concern over the threats posed by the terrorist and extremist groups, calling on all countries to implement counter-terrorism UN resolutions as well as boost regional cooperation against terrorists and drug traffickers. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, meanwhile, welcomed the Central Asian countries’ efforts in non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Kuwait’s top diplomat said military solutions to conflict were fruitless, so peace and diplomatic solutions were most appropriate.

Kuwait’s delegation to the UNSC session included Assistant Foreign Minister for the Minister’s office Ambassador Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Mohammad Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s permanent ambassador to the UN Mansour Al-Otaibi and Assistant Foreign Minister for International Organizations Nasser Al-Hayyen.

WMD disarmament
On Thursday, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled reaffirmed Kuwait’s commitment to the efforts aiming to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Kuwait attaches great importance to the issues of WMD disarmament and non-proliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, he said in a speech to the UN Security Council meeting on the theme of ‘non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: confidence-building measures.’

He commended the selection of this theme for the first UNSC open high-level session this year, which signaled the collective will of the Council members to free the world of the WMD. On behalf of the government and people of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled congratulated the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev on taking over the UNSC presidency for this month.

“I would like to renew Kuwait’s firm stance on the protection of the world peace and security, notably the issue of WMD nonproliferation and disarmament. “I’d like also to seize this chance to reaffirm Kuwait’s commitment to the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as well as the outcomes of the review conferences of the parties to the NPT, held in 1995, 2000 and 2010,” he pointed out.

He stressed the need of complete denuclearization of the world as early as possible, highlighting the leading role of the nuclear powers in this regard based on Article 6 of the NPT. “The Treaty remains to be the cornerstone of the world security and basis of the current framework of WMD nonproliferation and disarmament,” Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled stated.
“When we talk about the initiatives to declare nuclear weapon-free zones, we have to recall the threats posed to, and challenges facing, these endeavors in the Middle East. Regrettably, the region is one of the most outstanding examples of threats to the nonproliferation system given the selective attitude of the UNSC towards this issue,” he noted.

“It comes no surprise that countries of the region, particularly the Arab ones, witness unprecedented level of disappointment due to repeated failure to realize the consensus on declaring the region a nuclear free areas as stated in the 1995 NPT review conference and the plan of action adopted in the 2010 conference. The declarations of the two conferences continue to be in force and the responsibility to implement them must be shouldered by all state parties to the NPT, particularly the nuclear powers,” Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled went on. He voiced hope that today’s discussions would highlight the UNSC seriousness in addressing the risks of WMD, the preventive measures stipulated in the Resolution 1540 for 2004, and the possible responses to future emergencies.

He reminded that the unanimously-adopted UNSC Resolution 2325 of 2016 recognized the proliferation of WMD, including the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, poses a grave threat to peace and security around the globe. The document also charted a roadmap for action through 2021, he stated. He renewed condemnation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, citing the relevant reports by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-UN Joint Mission. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled reaffirmed support for the efforts of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission to verify the use of chemical weapons in the Arab country. He thanked the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on “the invaluable briefing” to the UNSC on this theme earlier today.

In his statement to the UNSC, the UN chief called for comprehensive political solutions that include dialogue and negotiation to prevent, mitigate and resolve conflicts. Guterres expressed his belief that UN can play a central role in assisting its Member States to develop, augment and support confidence-building measures and that its position as an “honest broker” allows it to serve as a venue in which all parties can engage in dialogue. – KUNA

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