Two weeks ago on Sunday, May 19, I had the honor of accompanying a group of students from the political club of the College of Political Science in Kuwait University to the United Nations House of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Mishref area.
The visit was part of a cooperation agreement based on which the students of the political science college have the opportunity to learn about the history and operation of this vital global domain.
The visitation coincided with the anniversary of Kuwait’s partnership with the United Nations which took place on May 14th about 56 years ago. This strategic partnership culminated when the UN issued one of its historic resolutions for the liberation of Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion.
Accompanying the college students was Dr Hanan Hamdan who elaborated on the global organizations affiliated to the United Nations in Kuwait, There are 11 such organizations, and 8 of them are outside Kuwait. These organizations have different missions, such as humanitarian, development, etc.
Dr Hamdan spoke proudly about the UN’s gesture to acknowledge and recognize the humanitarian championship spearheaded by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad, who in 2014 was awarded the Global Humanitarian Leader Award, and Kuwait was declared the International Humanitarian Center.
This prestigious award was recently followed by the World Bank’s award to recognize the major contributions made by Kuwait to help countries fight poverty by offering them financial grants and low-interest loans, and to support refugees and displaced people in accordance with ethical and humanitarian principles. These led to Kuwait and its Amir receiving international appreciation and good reputation.
The visit was also characterized by lectures presented by official experts in the UN House who highlighted the cooperation aspects between the Kuwaiti government and the United Nations in various fields. They indicated about the ongoing work on joint plans with its organizations concerning certain important issues such as health, education, environment, as well as to support Kuwait’s plan by being in the region.
During discussions, explanations were given about UN’s humanitarian aspects, both official and private, and that Kuwait offers its support as per its ability and in a manner that does not infringe regulations set to govern this aspect.
This support is made through governments and concerned charitable organizations. Everything is done as per certain endorsed principles such as coordination with the country itself, and based on regulations which precede any cooperation.
In case the regulations are not honored, cooperation with any given body is suspended. All this is aimed at ensuring help reaches those in need and for preventing any exploitation of human suffering in this aspect.
What I noticed was that the major drive in this center is not limited to protocol missions but it also gives the host country a great deal of benefit. However, I wish this center would employ Kuwaitis in their domains as such a move would increase the benefits for the host country and for the center also. After all, Kuwait enjoys a great deal of national expertise, some of who were part of our delegation.
The center could also introduce a research center to tackle global challenges such as humanitarian crisis, wars, and issues concerning migrants and refugees, majority of which is unfortunately in our Arab region.
The visitation was fruitful, and so was the hospitality shown by those in charge of this international center. This visit gave our future leaders some insight of the possible careers, and instilled in them confidence which would encourage them to work in such vital international domain.
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi