The Golden Jubilee
Of The Independence Of The
State Of Kuwait

 

  • Kuwait Story

19th June 1961 is considered as the actual date of Kuwait’s independence from Britain and entering a new phase of its history, through which it looks upon the horizons of the independent world and contributes in peace making and human civilization.

This day marked the signing by the Amir, the late Sheikh Abdulla Al Salem Al Sabah, the 11th ruler of Kuwait, named as the “father of independence” of the independence treaty with Sir George Middleton, the British commissioner for the Arabian Gulf, on behalf of his government, and canceling the agreement signed by Sheikh Mubarak Al Sabah, the 7th ruler of Kuwait, with Britain on 23 January 1899, to protect it against external ambitions.

Independence means the independence of the State and it independent structure, and undertaking its external mission without other guardianship. This has been attached int eh Independence Treaty.

The Independence Treaty stated the cancellation of 23 January 1899 treaty, as it contradicted with the sovereignty and independence of Kuwait. Article two stipulates continuation of relationship between both countries with the spirit of close friendship. The most prominent aspects of 1961 independence treaty is the third paragraph which stipulates that nothing in these results will affect the readiness of the government of her majesty in assisting the government of Kuwait, if the government of Kuwait requested such assistance.

Upon declaring the independence, the late Amir, His Highness Sheikh Abdulla Al Salem, may God have mercy on him, whose rule extended from 1950 to 1965, delivered a speech on this occasion in which he said :

“On this enticing day of our beloved nation, on which we transfer from one phase to another phase of history and fold another page of the past with all its components and contents, to open a new page represented in this treaty which you read now, whereby Kuwait gained its full independence and sovereignty.

On this day, the heart is full of happiness with shining smiles on the faces, we raise our eyes with humbleness to the Almighty God to praise and thank Him for His blessing bestowed on us.

The close cooperation between the government, represented by the officials from the ruling family and the faithful people, is a beautiful meaning which diffused happiness and applause in myself, making me wish that such good cooperation will continue, with everlasting progress and prosperity. I would like to point here to the good spirit which prevailed over.

The negotiations and record for the friendly British side for their magnanimous spirit, proper understanding of matters and sincere wish to reach an understanding, which eased reaching the desired objective and confirmed its content from the beginning.

At the end, while we are approaching a new era, we hope that Kuwait would start its beginning by reinforcing ties of friendship and fraternity with its Arab sister countries, in order to work with solidarity and compassion for the goodness of the Arabs and realize the wishes of the Arab nation. Further, the new situation requir4es us to work towards membership in the Arab League, United Nations organization and other organizations working for the goodness, safety and security of the world, whenever possible. God help us.”

The new independence phase imposed upon the modern state structure to take legal, constitutional and diplomatic actions, the most prominent of which was replacing the country’s flag which was in red color with the word “Kuwait” in the middle, to the new flag. This step started with the enactment of law No.26 of 1961 for renewal of the flat form, specifications and the locations where it is to be hoisted.

On the level of constitutional procedures, the first step was crystallized on 26 August 1961 with the enactment of the Amiri Decree calling for conducting public elections for the constituent council to undertake, upon its composition, drafting the country’s constitution. Within nine months, the council finalized the draft constitution of the State of Kuwait, consisting of 183 articles, which was submitted to His Highness Sheikh Abdulla Al Salem Al Sabah, who ratified and passed the same on 11 November 1962.

On 23 January 1962, in implementation of the provisions of the constitution, the first parliamentary elections in the modern history of Kuwait were organized to elect fifty representatives to represent ten constituencies.

On 29 January 1963, the late Sheikh Abdulla Al Salem Al Sabah opened the first National Assembly in Kuwait’s history.

Kuwait’s independence marked a new phase for its entry as part of the international community countries, according to a special Kuwaiti policy, the elements of which  are to strive towards peach and establish cooperation with the various world countries, as part of the relationship of brotherhood and friendship with the countries and nations.

On the diplomatic field, the first step was represented in establishing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in order to carry out its entrusted role. On 19 August 1961, the Amiri Decree No.13 was enacted for establishing the foreign affairs department to be concerned alone with assuming the foreign affairs of the country. The second article of the decree stated the merging of the Government of Kuwait’s secretariat in the foreign affairs department, which was transferred on the first cabinet composition into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Following the enactment of the decree establishing the department, an Amiri decree was passed for the appointment of the first head of foreign affairs on the date of Kuwait’s independence, on 3 October 1961, whereby Sheikh Sabah al Salem al Sabah was appointed as head of the foreign affairs, then minister of foreign affairs in the first cabinet on 17 January 1962, followed by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad Al Sabah who was appointed the minister of foreign affairs in the second cabinet, issued on 28 January 1963.

Following its independence, Kuwait submitted an application for membership in the Arab League, whereby the League board organized a meeting on 16 July 1961 and passed a decree for accepting it as a member besides its sister Arab countries.

On 30 November 1961, the international Security Council considered Kuwait’s request to join the UN membership. On 14 May 1962, Kuwait’s joining of the international organization was approved, to become the 111th member. Further, Kuwait participated in the international organizations of the UN, such as the World Health Organization, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), UNESCO, World Bank and the International Labor Organization.  It worked hard through its international activity to support Arab issues in general, including the Palestinian issue.

In 1963, a decree was enacted for merging the National Day with the assumption of the rule Day on 25th February, the anniversary of Sheikh Abdulla Al Salem Al Sabah’s assumption of the rule in Kuwait in 1950.


Sheikh Abdulla Al Salem Sabah, named as the father of independence, passed away on Wednesday, 24th November 1965.

 


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