KUWAIT CITY, Aug 27: Visiting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Sunday appreciated His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s leading humanitarian role, and efforts to contain the Gulf crisis.
Speaking during a meeting with His Highness the Amir, Guterres said it was an enormous honor and pleasure to be in Kuwait again and “very clearly pay tribute not only to what has been the humanitarian leadership I’ve witnessed in my position and that led my predecessor to appoint you as the Humanitarian Leader, but today it’s much more than that.” Guterres also highly commended the crucial role and efforts by the State of Kuwait in all political and humanitarian issues.
“I consider Kuwait to be the voice of equilibrium, with dialogue and wisdom in the region. When I see the entire crisis, from Syria to Yemen to the new Gulf crisis, not to mention all the other places of crisis, your leadership has been the leadership of tolerance, dialogue and the bringing of people together,” said Guterres.
He said Kuwait has “no agenda but peace, understanding, security, and this was what lead me during the beginning of the crisis in the Gulf to say that the United Nations policy is very simple; it is to support Kuwaiti mediation.
“We don’t want to have protagonism, we recognize the leadership of Kuwait and we support Kuwait,” the UN chief added.
National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim on Sunday received in his office United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who is currently in the country as part of his official tour in the region. They tackled several pressing regional issues; including the Palestinian issue, Syrian file and terrorism.
During the meeting, Al-Ghanim said the UN and its agencies play a vital role in pressuring Israel to comply with international resolutions on the rights of Palestinians and to stop its daily attacks on Palestinians. He pointed out the UN also plays a moral role in terms of respecting the political and humanitarian rights of Palestinians.
Guterres, who will travel to Palestinian territories on Monday, stressed the need to implement the concept of the two States and the clear position of the UN in rejecting Israeli settlement in Palestinian territories.
On the Syrian file, Guterres praised the humanitarian role that Kuwait continues to play in helping Syrians, particularly since HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jabar Al-Sabah has taken the initiative to organize conferences for donor countries in a bid to provide assistance to Syrians at home and abroad. He said HH the Amir and Kuwait dealt with this humanitarian issue at a time other countries were hesitant and unable to do anything.
Both Al-Ghanim and Guterres highlighted the seriousness of this issue, while stressing that terrorism has no religion; hence, the need to address it internationally and regionally through broader political, cultural, economic and security perspectives.
Guterres confirmed the United Nations fully supports Kuwaiti mediation efforts led by His Highness the Amir in relation to the Gulf-Gulf dispute.
He also lauded Kuwait’s role in hosting Yemeni negotiations and its position on the reconstruction of damaged Iraqi areas which were under the control of DAESH and other terrorist groups.
Also present at the meeting were MPs Mubarak Al-Hajraf, Mohammad Al-Dalal, Safa Al-Hashem and Yousef Al-Fadalah, as well as Secretary-General of the National Assembly Allam Al-Kandari, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeff Feltman, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Dr Abdullah Al-Ma’touq, Kuwaiti Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi and Deputy Assistant of Foreign Affairs Minister for International Organizations Nasser Al-Hain.
In another development, MP Faisal Al-Kandari said the State Audit Bureau (SAB) repeats some observations annually but the concerned authorities have yet to benefit from them. For the second year in a row, the Central Internal Audit Unit in Kuwait Petroleum Cooperation (KPC) remains under the control of the chief executive officer and this is a violation of the rule stating that the internal audit unit must be under the supervision of the board chairman, he said.
He said the parliamentary Budgets and Final Accounts Committee highlighted this issue in its 37th report and in its annual report for fiscal 2016/2015, while SAB pointed out that KPC is not committed to rules on implementing budgets in public institutions with independent budgets, specifically in relation to the internal audit unit.
He submitted questions in this regard to Oil Minister Essam Al-Marzouq, as he wants to know if former Minister Ali Al-Amir transferred supervision of the internal audit unit to the board chairman; if yes, reasons for putting the unit under the control of the chief executive officer again, and justification for not complying with the recommendation of SAB.
He also requested for information on the Central Internal Audit Unit, its operational structure, number of employees, their names, positions and job descriptions.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim
Arab Times Staff and Agencies