The State of Kuwait was elected to the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member through an election in the United Nations General Assembly on July 2nd 2017. The State of Kuwait obtained a total of 188 votes out of 193 for the period of 2018-2019 non-permanent membership seat, this is the second time the State of Kuwait has served in the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member since 1978.
1. Since obtaining the non-permanent United Nations Security Council (NP UNSC) membership seat for the period of 2018-2019, the State of Kuwait has been selected to lead two committees in the United Nations Security Council, the first is the committee on Resolution 1533 (2004) monitoring an arms embargo imposed on all foreign and Congolese forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the second is alongside the Kingdom of Sweden in 2018 and alongside the Kingdom of Belgium and Federal Republic of Germany in 2019, as the penholders of the Syrian humanitarian file.
2. The State of Kuwait became the President of the United Nations Security Council during the month of February 2018, it was an extensive month especially in relation to the humanitarian crisis in Syria after the military situation developing in east Ghouta. The United Nations Security Council had resulted, under the leadership of the State of Kuwait in the month of February, twelve outcomes containing five resolutions, four public statements and three public announcements. Furthermore the State of Kuwait’s United Nations Security Council Presidency the month of June 2019, resulted in thirteen products containing eight resolutions, one presidential statement, and four press statements.
3. The State of Kuwait’s presidency of the United Nations Security Council was widely commended by fellow members in the Security Council for its level of transparency, coordination, excellent management and achievement, especially in relation to the adoption of resolution 2401 that resulted in a cease-fire in Syria. Which was present by the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Sweden. The State of Kuwait also presented Resolution 2474, unanimously adopted by the United Nations Security Council, pertaining to the protection of civilians/missing persons in armed conflicts. The first Resolution in this matter.
4. The following most important issues that the State of Kuwait had a significant role in during its non-permanent membership in the UNSC:
- During its first year tenor in the United Nations Security Council, The State of Kuwait, alongside the Kingdom of Sweden, had succeeded in leading the efforts of the United Nations Security Council in adopting two resolutions in relation to the Syrian Humanitarian Crisis. The first resolution is 2401 that was adopted unanimously, in February 24th 2018 during the State of Kuwait’s presidency in February 2018, which demands cessation of hostilities in Syria to enable humanitarian aid delivery. The second resolution is 2449 that authorizes cross-border aid deliveries in Syria.
- In September 19th 2019, the State of Kuwait, alongside Kingdom of Belgium and Federal Republic of Germany, as the penholders of the Syrian humanitarian file, produced a Resolution aiming for an immediate cease to hostilities in the Governorate of Idlib, Syria, and requiring all parties to adhere to international humanitarian laws. Twelve countries voted for the resolution and one abstained, but the Resolution was not adopted due to the use of Veto by two Permanent members of the UNSC.
- The State of Kuwait’s efforts had an impact on the situation in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. It had drafted resolution (S/2018/516) aiming to provide international protections for the Palestinian people. As the resolution had obtained 10 Security Council votes in favor and 4 abstaining, however a Permanent member had vetoed the resolution.
- The resolution (S/2018/516) was supported and commended by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League, as it was greatly praised by the international community. Additionally, the State of Kuwait lead the noble efforts that resulted in the adoption of 10 Security Council Members a letter directed to the United Nations Secretary-General, which asked for more reports in regards to implementation of resolution 2334 (2016) of condemning the policy of Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
- The State of Kuwait engages in the noble international efforts for a political solution to the crisis in Yemen. The State of Kuwait has hosted the negotiations between the two Yemeni parties for a total of a hundred days in 2016. The State of Kuwait has continued this role through its 2018 membership in seeking a political solution. It has provided logistical support to the Yemeni party of Ansar Allah (Houthis) by providing a private plane for them to attend the Stockholm peace talks in December 2018.
- The State of Kuwait also had a vital role in the negotiations preceding the adoption of resolution 2451 aiming to reinforce the Stockholm peace talks.
- As an Arab nation in the UNSC, the State of Kuwait continues to gather international support to alleviate the suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people,
and to work towards a political solution to the Yemen crisis.
- The United Nations Security Council had performed an official visit under the leadership of the State of Kuwait, the Republic of Peru, and the United Kingdom, with all Security Council members to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the People's Republic of Bangladesh during the months of May and April 2018. During this official visit, the State of Kuwait had provided logistical support by providing a private plane to transport all of the Security Council members to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the People's Republic of Bangladesh, for this act was met with praise and appreciation from the member states and the United Nations.
- The UNSC members visited the State of Kuwait and the Republic of Iraq during the period of 28th to the 30th June 2019 (Coinciding with the State of Kuwait’s presidency of the UNSC). During the Visit, the UNSC members met with H.E. Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the State of Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. They also met with Iraqi leadership (Presidents of the Three Branches of Iraqi Government). The visit was conducted under the co-presidency of the State of Kuwait and the United States of America, with the aim of delivering a message of support for the government of Iraq. In fulfilling its international duties and in the fight against terror, with support for the Iraqi Parliament in the period of post war with the terrorist organization “Daesh”. In addition to supporting the Republic of Iraq in its reconstruction efforts, stability, unity and safety of Iraqi territories.
- The State of Kuwait produced a UNSC Presidential Statement on the 19th of February 2019, in the matter of searching for missing Kuwaiti persons and property, including the Kuwaiti National Archives. A duty carried out by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) operating under Resolution 2107 (2013). The Presidential Statement encourages the Republic of Iraq to continue its efforts in fulfilling this international commitment.
Other contributions by the State of Kuwait during its Non-Permanent Membership in the UNSC: -
- As the only Arab member of the UNSC, the State of Kuwait worked to represent the voice of the Arabs through this membership, within the context of the outcomes and Resolutions of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), Arab League and OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation), spearheaded by the Palestinian issue.
- The State of Kuwait contributed to most of the Security Council's outputs during its two-year tenor (2018-2019) from Resolutions (106 Resolutions), Presidential Statements (36 Presidential Statements) and Press Releases (154 Press Statements) Especially those related to Arab and Islamic issues.
- On May 24, 2018, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2417 unanimously, which was submitted by the State of Kuwait in partnership with the Netherlands, Sweden and Côte d'Ivoire. A Resolution that emphasized the link between hunger and armed conflict, and strongly condemned the use of starvation of civilians as fighting tool.
- Following the terrorist act that targeted two mosques in New Zealand, the State of Kuwait jointly initiated with Indonesia to issue a press statement condemning this cowardly terrorist act, which was approved by the Security Council on March 15, 2019.
- During its Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in June 2019, the State of Kuwait held a session on June 12 on Conflict Prevention and Mediation, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait at the time.
- During its Membership in the United Nations Security Council, the State of Kuwait played a role in emphasizing the importance of the unity and cohesion of the ten elected states E10. Especially towards a number of issues raised in the Council, including the issue of Palestine, the humanitarian situation in Syria, and improving the working methods of the Council.