Speech of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, in the Opening Session of the Global Summit for Humanitarian Work – Istanbul City – Monday 23 May 2016
His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
Assalamu Alaikom wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh
It pleases me to thank you for hosting the first global humanitarian summit, which is held in response to the initiative of His Excellency Ban K. Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, as a clear indicator of the interaction of the international organization and the whole world with the sincere challenges faced by the international community, the continuity of wars and conflicts, and the spread of the phenomena of terrorism and extremism.
This summit comes after the escalation of tension around the world, and the increase of conflicts and instability areas, in addition to the escalation in the number of natural disasters, which all together participated in doubling the numbers of refugees and displaced people. According to the latest statistics issued by specialized international agencies, their number reached sixty million refugees and displaced. The number of people living in critical economic conditions or below the poverty line exceeded two billions and two hundred million persons.
The response to these unprecedented facts and data requires us to walk in two parallel paths. The first is to work to end conflicts and hotbeds of tension, particularly chronic ones, and the second rapid and efficient response to help meet the basic needs for the needy and to ensure a decent life for them. These endeavors invite us to activate humanitarian diplomacy and to push it forward in a way that relieves pain and needs of humanity.
At this summit, we are in front of an amble opportunity that allows us to conduct global dialogue that has been well-prepared for, in accordance with the agenda that senses the challenges and strive to find solutions for them, including the prevention and end of conflict, and search criteria that ensure the protection of human beings and work in a different way to end destitution, invest in humans through diversification and improve humanitarian funding systems, in addition to providing equal support for all States and individuals to achieve parallelism.
This dialogue will inevitably lead to clear recommendations that guarantees us a quick and effective humanitarian response and enable us to cooperate with the United Nations to devise ideas and creative mechanisms to achieve the desired response to deal with the growing crises and successive disasters.
My country Kuwait is known for its firm belief in humanitarian principles and its extended hand with good to others. My country adopted a policy that manifest this belief and urges the provision of humanitarian assistance to the people and countries in need. The total contributions provided by Kuwait's in the humanitarian field in the past five years, exceeded more than 2 billion dollars, ranking first globally in providing aid compared to gross national income, according to a number of international statistics. The total development assistance provided by my country Kuwait amounted to an average of double the percentage internationally agreed upon compared to the gross domestic product.
The continuous suffering of the Syrian people from as a result of the continued raids and the inability of the international community to put an end to it confirms the inevitability of this society to, at least, play a humanitarian role. My country Kuwait has played a leading role in facing of the largest humanitarian disaster affecting the brothers in Syria through organizing and hosting the three donor conferences to support the humanitarian situation there, and its participation in the Fourth Conference, which was held in London with Britain, Germany and Norway.
Kuwait alone presented at these conferences one billion and six hundred million dollars. The maturities of the first three conferences were fully paid, and the commitments Fourth Conference, amounting to three hundred million US dollars are being paid in accordance with the agreed schedule where the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development started setting the programs for the projects that will be funded in the neighboring states. Also, Kuwait Foundation for the advancement of science identified the educational programs to be presented in these countries in accordance with the commitment of this year.
The humanitarian summit that gathers us today is a historic unprecedented opportunity to define our goals, unite our efforts and coordinate our donations, as challenges are huge and problems facing mankind and the world are serious, especially as we gather under the auspices of the United Nations and in accordance with its charter and the role and capacities of its specialized agencies, which enables us to work within its framework to achieve our ends.
I reiterate my thanks to all of you, praying to Allah Almighty to save the whole humanity all evils, and to bless us in this summit for the best interest of all.
Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you.