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NEW YORK, June 3: Kuwait was elected on Friday to serve as non-permanent member on the Security Council for a two-year term beginning in January 2018.
In one round of voting the United Nations General Assembly gathered in its main hall and elected Kuwait, Cote D’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, the Netherlands, Peru and Poland — whom ran unopposed — for the five regional group vacant seats.
Out of the 192 ballots Kuwait received 188 votes, Cote D’Ivoire 189, Equatorial Guniea 185, Poland 190 and Peru 186.
The Netherlands takes over from Italy for a one year term, after they agreed to split a two-year term as a non-permanent member for Security Council.
They received 184 votes. The five overall seats available for election in 2017 are two seats for the African Group (Cote D’Ivoire and Equatorial Guniea), one seat for the Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States (Kuwait), one seat for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (Peru) and one seat for the Eastern European Group (Poland) and one seat for the Western European and Other Group (the Netherlands).
The five new members elected this year will take up their seats on Jan 1, 2018 and will serve through to Dec 31, 2019.
Kuwait First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah led the Kuwaiti delegation during the voting process, accompanied by Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Ambassador Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Sabah, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled’s office Director, Kuwait’s Permanent representative to the UN Mansour Al-Otaibi and Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister for International Organizations Nasser Al-Hayyen. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent Friday a cable of congratulations to Sheikh Sabah Khaled over Kuwait being elected as a non-permanent member at the United Nations Security Council. His Highness the Amir hailed the Foreign Minister for all the effort made by him, along with the ministry staff. He lauded the Kuwaiti diplomacy for being able to secure 188 votes in the elections, wishing for them more success in the future in serving Kuwait.
His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent similar cables to the Foreign Minister. HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf congratulated His Highness the Amir on Kuwait’s election to the UN Security Council. In a cable to His Highness the Amir, His Highness the Crown Prince said the fact 188 UN members voted for Kuwait “is a result of relentless efforts of your Highness …, and an affirmation of Kuwait’s regional and international status under your Highness’ wise leadership.” His Highness the Crown Prince highly appreciated His Highness the Amir’s “relentless and exceptional efforts to reaffirm the State of Kuwait’s position on the international stage.”
His Highness the Crown Prince prayed to Allah the Almighty to bestow his blessing upon His Highness the Amir to continue his leadership. Lawmakers expressed happiness and congratulated the entire country and its leaders on Kuwait’s election as non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Speaker of the National Assembly Marzouq Al- Ghanim said the election of Kuwait as non-permanent member of the council representing Arab nations with an overwhelming majority reflects the country’s prestigious diplomatic position. He pointed out the “rational and mature voice” of Kuwait’s foreign policy is a positive addition to the council.
He disclosed the country got majority votes — 188 out 291 — as non-permanent member of the council for two years. He said the country returned to the council after about 40 years as a mature and experienced Arab voice, as an international partner known for its policies on moderation and compromise, and as a diplomatic player that strongly supports policies on restoration of international peace and security in all areas experiencing conflict. He also voiced optimism that the country, represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and permanent delegation to the United Nations, will succeed considering its balanced foreign policy which was laid down by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, more than 60 years ago.
He hopes that Kuwait and its international partners will greatly contribute to ongoing efforts to ease tension in areas witnessing political and armed disintegration, as well as find lasting solutions to recurring conflicts in the region and in the entire world. Foreign Affairs Committee member MP Askar al-Anzi congratulated His Highness the Amir, the humanitarian leader and Dean of Arab Diplomacy in addition to HH the Crown Prince, HH the Prime Minister and all Kuwaitis for winning non-permanent membership to the council. MP Salah Khourishdi said Kuwait’s victory is the result of commendable efforts exerted by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the government through balanced and realistic policies in dealing with various international issues.
He pointed out the ministry strengthened Kuwait’s relations with United Nations member-nations, particularly the Middle East countries, with the aim of ensuring security and stability in the region in accordance with the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter and international law. He added, “We congratulate the political leadership on this achievement. We pray that Almighty Allah will protect Kuwait for the good of the world.” MP Riyadh Al-Adsani congratulated the leaders and people of Kuwait as the precious homeland won the trust of the international community.
He prayed, “May Almighty Allah guide our beloved country — the country of peace and moderation, and bless it with good luck and success in every step, especially its efforts to promote peace.” MP Abdulwahab Al-Babtain thanked all those who exerted tremendous efforts for Kuwait to obtain this important seat through its unique foreign policy and great diplomatic and humanitarian role. He added Kuwait deserves to be a member of the council to continue in its movement towards protecting rights and spreading international peace.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff and Agencies