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Statement of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Amir of the State of Kuwait at the opening of the 3rd International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, Kuwait - 31 march 2015

 

In the Name of Allah – The Merciful, The Compassionate

 

Praise to be to Allah, and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad, His Family and His Companions

Excellencies,
His Excellency, the Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Mr. BAN Ki-moon

His Excellency the Secretary- General of the League of Arab States,
Dr. Nabil Al Arabi

His Excellency the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council,
Dr. Abdulatif Al Zayani

Distinguished Guests,

Assalm Alaikum Warrahmatu Allah Wabarakatuhu,

It pleases me to welcome you in the State of Kuwait as dear guests to attend the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria. This conference is being held in response to the initiative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. BAN Ki-moon, and out of our cognizance of the magnitude of the human suffering in Syria, and our keen interest in putting an end to it.

Your Excellencies,

The Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria is being held in the State of Kuwait, to face the biggest humanitarian catastrophe witnessed by humanity in our contemporary history, to alleviate the pain of our brothers in Syria, as the disaster that befell their country entered its fifth year.

The first two pledging conferences have achieved huge successes, thanks to your contributions, particularly in the second conference when the response recorded a high 90% fulfillment of the pledges made. We are hopeful that your conference will register the generous adequate response to meet the urgent needs of our brothers in Syria.

Your Excellencies: over the past five years, the conflict in Syria, has transformed the streets and neighborhoods of Syria into rubble, the buildings into ruins, and the people of Syria became merely casualty figures of death and displacement. The frightening figures and documented data, about the economic and social impact of the crisis, published lately by international organizations, based on research studies, reveal that destruction is the headline in every region in Syria, without exception. The number of those killed among our brethrens exceed 210 thousand, and the number of those displaced both internally and externally is almost 12 million, all of them live under harsh conditions, and in tragic humanitarian situations, best described by one Syrian refugee, who compared his life as a refugee to being stuck in quicksand, every time he moves, he sinks further. The catastrophe in Syria has also deprived 2 million Syrian children, under 18 years of age, of their most basic rights in education and healthcare, which threatens the future of an entire generation, leaving them to face a gloomy future, and depriving their country of their active participation in building it.

The studies also indicate that the Syrian economy is in a quasi state of total collapse, its losses have exceeded 200 billion dollars, and unemployment rate stands at 57%, while the life expectancy rate has dropped to 55 years, the rates of poverty have risen, and the number of Syrian refugees outside the country is 3.9 million people, the biggest refugee society in the world.

These daunting facts, place us, as an international community, before a historic responsibility, that makes it incumbent upon us, to work with determination to put an end to this catastrophe, the consequences of which are becoming a threat to international peace and security, taking into consideration that the area has become a safe haven for terrorist organizations who use it as a launch pad to carry out their sinister plans.

Here, I cannot but pay tribute to the generous efforts exerted by the countries hosting the Syrian refugees, namely, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, The Republic of Lebanon, the Republic of Turkey, the Republic of Iraq, and the Arab Republic of Egypt, for the immense humanitarian and relief services they provide for the refugees community. The magnitude of the Syrian refugee crisis exceeds by far the response capabilities of those neighboring countries. The crisis has left a significant negative impact on their social and infrastructure services and on the government resources, in addition to the security risks caused by the proliferation of the conflict to other parts of the region.

We also would like to pay tribute to the tremendous efforts exerted by the United Nations and its specialized agencies in this regard, in particular the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, (UNHCR), UNICEFF, World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Program (WFP), the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and all the other international agencies that are active in the field. In this context, I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to express our thanks and appreciation to Ms. Valerie Amos, for all her sincere and noble efforts during her service as Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs.

Excellencies,

The international community, and in particular, the Security Council, have failed to find a solution that would put an end to this conflict, and spare the blood of our brethrens, and maintain the entity of a country which had been injured by the talons of discord and torn apart by the fangs of terrorism.

In the face of this bitter reality, and the blatant threat to international peace and security, the Security Council, especially the permanent members, are required to put aside their narrow interests and wide differences, and to join forces to come up with a solution that ends this devastating conflict, restores security and stability throughout the sisterly Syria, and stops the serious violations of human rights committed by all sides. We also demand that all those who perpetrated these crimes be brought to justice.

The only comprehensive political way out of this conflict is based on the 1st Geneva Communique of 2012, and it is the suitable solution to put an end to the ongoing conflict in Syria where no side will be a winner. Rockets and missiles will only lead to more deaths and destruction, reaffirming our support to the efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General to Syria, Mr. Staffan De Mistura.

Excellencies,

Since the onset of the crisis, the people and Government of the State of Kuwait did not spare any effort to provide humanitarian assistance to the brotherly Syrian people, through official and private charitable institutions. In view of the continuity of the tragic situations suffered by our brothers and sisters in Syria, and proceeding from our belief in the importance and the need to convey a message to the Syrian people, that the international community stand by them, feel their suffering, and will not abandon them in their plight, I am pleased to announce the contribution of the State of Kuwait in the amount of $ 500 million dollars from both the governmental and civil sectors, in support of the humanitarian situation of the brotherly Syrian people, hoping that everyone would put this tragedy in front of their own eyes and work to heal the wounds of the Syrian people who have suffered a lot.

In conclusion, I extend my thanks and deep appreciation to His Excellency, the Secretary-General, all his assistants, the head and members of the concerned committee, and for all the participants for their good preparation and arrangement of this conference.

 

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