Kuwait backs UN WMD efforts – Guterres hails Kuwait cooperation

Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah speaks in the United Nations Security Council on Jan 19. (AP)

NEW YORK, Jan 20, (KUNA): Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah 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 Thursday 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 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,

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