Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah on the need for cooperation to achieve development aims

Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah

Recently, the state of Kuwait celebrated the 50th anniversary of the ratification of its constitution. This marked the culmination of a process of political and social development that spans four centuries. Over that time the relationship between the ruler and his people has changed. Today, that relationship is securely established within the framework of an active constitutional democracy.

Our constitution is the beacon that guides our government and people in leading lives rooted in well-defined rights and duties. It regulates the relations between the three main sources of authority: legislative, executive and judicial. The Kuwaiti constitution aims to ensure fundamental freedoms for our people, offering defined and clear functions for the state. It also provides the basis for the conduct of Kuwait’s foreign affairs, respecting the sovereignty of the state of Kuwait on the one hand and enshrining the principle of noninterference with the internal affairs of other states on the other. It also makes clear Kuwait’s desire to develop and strengthen its relations with all countries, at both regional and international levels, in accordance with the principles of mutual respect and common interest.

We in Kuwait believe in working in accordance with democratic principles, inspired by the reality of what Kuwait has now become and its history of promoting freedom, equality and social justice. We aspire to a better future for present and future generations. And democracy remains a vital component of that equitable and sustainable national reality we all wish to see.

This is why the current tension, stress and anxiety hanging over our country and society hurts us. However, when we look at the true reasons for the disagreement, we thank God that it is not due to a violation of the main components of our society, the values of justice, freedom and equality, the constitution and the law, or other constants in our nation. It is instead a disagreement over a decree regarding changes to the electoral system, which was issued by the head of state out of his national responsibility and in accordance with clear protocols specified in the constitution, and verified by the provisions of the Constitutional Court.

I have found it necessary to repair the malfunction of the electoral system, which proved via practical experience to have negative aspects that led to dangerous results in three consecutive national assemblies.

It is my national duty and constitutional right to make the decisions that I believe serve the interest of the country in order to enhances security and stability within the limits of the constitution and the law.

We are confronting severe challenges and surrounded by serious dangers. We face the challenges of fighting corruption; integrating reform of all governmental institutions and the education system; improving health, electricity, water, communications and roads; building thousands of homes for those eligible for residential care; and providing thousands of work opportunities for our sons and daughters every year. Therefore, we must double our efforts and work together to concentrate upon developmental, economic and social fields, coordinate our economic and financial programmes and policies, set forth necessary laws and legislation to stimulate intraregional trade, encourage and protect investment, facilitate the movement of capital, and establish joint infrastructures to contribute to the creation of a strong economy that provides jobs for our citizens so that we are capable of confronting the challenges of the future. We also believe in the role of the private sector as an essential partner in development and in the support of joint Arab efforts.

We should spend our time and effort confronting dangers such as these, and not be distracted by artificial internal crises and disorders. This can be achieved through more cooperation, solidarity and cohesion and by devoting sincere efforts to develop the country, participate in objective debates, ensure control and responsible accountability that is in the public’s interest, and to do all this in an objective way free from partiality, unnecessary questioning and with full respect for the dignity of others.

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