By Tarek Elsheikh,
Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Resident Coordinator to the State of Kuwait
KUWAIT: The year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and its founding Charter, and the 57th anniversary for the State of Kuwait as a member of the United Nations. This anniversary comes in a time of great disruption for the world, compounded by an unprecedented global health crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with severe economic and social impacts. But it is also a reminder that times of struggle can become an opportunity for positive change and transformation.
As part of marking this historical year, leading to the UN75 celebrations, joint activities by the United Nations Resident Coordinator Office in Kuwait have mainly focused on playing a pivotal role in open dialogues such as the ‘UN75Talk,’ a monthly platform bringing UN Agencies and national partners across sectors, through open discussions and igniting people’s debate for positive solutions, as part of the UN Secretary-General largest and furthest-reaching call for a global conversation, the role of global cooperation in building the future we want and activating the Decade of Action.
Quoting the UN Secretary General: “The 75th anniversary of the United Nations falls in the middle of a global pandemic. Our founding mission is more critical than ever. To promote human dignity. Protect human rights. Respect international law. And save humanity from war. When the pandemic hit, I called for a global ceasefire. In our world today, we have one common enemy: COVID-19. Now is the time for a stepped-up push for peace to achieve a global ceasefire.
The clock is ticking. We must also make peace with our planet. The climate emergency threatens life itself. We must mobilize the whole world to reach carbon neutrality – net zero emissions of greenhouse gasses by 2050. A growing number of countries and companies have already pledged to meet this goal.” “We must build on progress. A remarkable global collaboration is underway for a safe, affordable and accessible COVID-19 vaccine for all. The Sustainable Development Goals give us an inspiring blueprint for recovering better. We face colossal challenges. With global solidarity and cooperation, we can overcome them,” the UN Secretary-General added.
Kuwait and the UN
This day is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the long-standing diplomatic relations and partnership Kuwait enjoys with the United Nations, the joint neutrality and collaboration to resolve Arab, regional and global issues, which laid the foundations of the preventive diplomacy concept and moderation that has borne fruit in the darkest circumstances. Supporting reform, fighting corruption and establishing the pillars of sustainable development, peace and human rights.
To continue building on the abundant generosity of Kuwait leadership as messengers of peace and a bridge-builders, distinctive humanitarian support, always at the front lines to motivate the international community to show solidarity and promoting multilateralism. We rest assured that our strong partnership with the State of Kuwait will remain intact, moving towards our common strategic objectives to support the state’s priorities and aspirations in a steady pace and a firm approach under the leadership of His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, as we are confident that His Highness will continue to support the integral role of the United Nations as an vital global advocate for peace, sustainable development and rights for all.
To mark the day, the United Nations has also launched #TheWorldWeWant virtual exhibit, a special collection of 75 photos curated from more than 50,000 images from over 130 countries and is a creative response to the UN Secretary-General’s call to hear directly from the peoples of the world about their vision for the future. The exhibit features the winning images. At the local level, to highlight the UN Day, amid the constrains imposed by the public health measures in place, a photography contest aspiring to showcase the different milestones, landmarks and human development aspects of a #SustainableSmartKuwait was launched recently involving the wider public.
The activity will spotlight the fruitful collaboration between the State of Kuwait and the United Nations in implementing the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development and reflection of the ongoing and future plans. “On this anniversary, I ask people everywhere to join together. The United Nations not only stands with you… The United Nations belongs to you and is you: ‘we the peoples.’ Together, let us uphold the enduring values of the United Nations Charter.
Let us build on our advances across the decades. Let us realize our shared vision of a better world for all,” the UNSG said. Last but not least, to commemorate the 75 years of the United Nations, member states including the State of Kuwait held a high-level event on September 21, 2020, where they reaffirmed and recognized that our challenges are interconnected and can only be addressed through reinvigorated multilateralism.