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Amir inaugurates new parliament session
October 29, 2013, 2:24 pm

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah inaugurated the second session of the 14th legislative term of the Kuwaiti parliament, Tuesday.

The inaugural address focused on shared responsibility, honest self-examination aimed at reform, sanctity of public funds, and Kuwait's unwavering support of just causes and proud hosting of related events.

His Highness started on a positive note, recalling what he called positive signs and sound gestures on the part of parliament, in particular efforts to assess and prioritize the concerns and needs of the public. He also praised signs of mutual keenness on cooperation and coordination between the government and parliament to serve the nation and its citizens.

"We for our part bless these initiatives and gestures and feel that they merit optimism and serve as a good start for a new phase of serious effort and sound practice of parliament's supervisory and legislative role and for a manifestation of article 50 of the Kuwaiti Constitution.

Addressing MPs, the Amir stressed, "The constitution is your point of reference and roadmap, and should you disagree on any point or detail, you have the counsel of our legal system which is known for impartiality and integrity and enjoys the esteem and respect of all.

"No doubt the flaws that impede national efforts are the result of mistakes and malpractices accumulated over the years, and many confused, wrong, and harmful notions had also taken root over time. It is necessary at this point in time to correct these notions and put things back in their right perspective, which is most fitting in view of the many decades since establishment of our modern state institutions.

"It is time for a new phase and major qualitative leap aimed at overall reform, continued construction, development, and improvement in all walks of life in our nation. This in turn requires a re-examination of old legislation, policies, concepts, and practices that are of no use to us today or tomorrow.

"It is also time to adopt a new working method aimed at reinvigorating and realizing the values and principles that are vital for our present national initiatives. Such method should be based on integrated and combined effort within a spirit of shared responsibility, discipline, and objective responsibility and accountability as part of a comprehensive national framework to guarantee realization of national goals.

His Highness specified some aspects of such attitude and mode of governance. "Our paramount priority at all times is the safeguarding of Kuwait's security internally and externally, ensuring stability, and maintaining rule of law, and there is no room for slack on this account.

He then mentioned, "Diligent effort to secure means of prosperous and dignified life for all Kuwaitis." His Highness stressed that "The solidarity among the citizens of our homeland despite their various backgrounds and origins is among the greatest boons God the Almighty bestowed on our country."

Further on this last point, His Highness the Amir stressed that such diversity is a strength and wealth for a society and a nation, adding that "those who try to cause rift and antagonism within our ranks and create dissent among citizens do not bear the best intentions towards this nation in their hearts. Rather, they aim to destroy national solidarity and tear at our social fabric to push us to the brink of destruction.

The Amir further stressed, "We would do well to learn from others' mistakes." The first and paramount objective of national effort today should be reform and development to make up for lost time and years wasted in tension and lost opportunities. "We should focus on the present, prepare for the future, and spare ourselves preoccupation with and futile debate over the past. Yesterday's fall should not distract us from working for today and tomorrow."

His Highness stressed that "true patriotism is a grave responsibility," and that while citizens have rights, they also have duties, and the benefits should not be sought without heeding commitments. "True allegiance to a homeland is non-negotiable, in good times and in bad, and every citizen is a partner," he spelled out.

The appropriate application of democracy, the encouragement of dialogue, mediation and respecting the other and their point of view, he also encouraged.
"We have to be aware that this is not achieved by the swipe of a pen or overnight, however, through a series of practices and continuing experiences that call for honest and devoted efforts.

"This could take years and generations and we all know that it took nations with deep-rooted democracies centuries to reach the maturity of their democratic practices," he said. Prospects for cooperation between both branches constitute an "appropriate environment, calm suitable surroundings and large incentives for serious work, reform and development," he added.

He described development as not being "limited to high rise buildings, despite their beauty, or fancy shopping centres, despite their benefits, or roads and airports, despite their necessity," but said this meant human development, noting to the youth as being fundamental in these plans. HH the Amir also underlined the importance of the protection and safeguarding of public state funds, which he described as "the people's money."

Speaking of Kuwait's position in the wider international community and its foreign policy, he said that the nation would remain committed to its position as a dynamic member in the Arab World, serving its causes but without intervention in each of the region's countries' internal affairs.

On this, he mentioned the African-Arab Summit, the summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Second Donors' Conference for Syrian Refugees all of which Kuwait will be hosting this year. He went on to express confidence in the efforts of the parliament and government in overcoming challenges through "sincere cooperation."

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