Mansour Al-Otaibi

NEW YORK: Kuwait, on behalf of the Arab countries, called Tuesday for having a permanent Arab representation with full powers in the Security Council in the event of any future expansion of it, stressing that fair representation also requires proportional Arab representation in the category of non-permanent seats in the "expanded Security Council."

Kuwait's Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi made the remarks on behalf of the Arab Group at the first meeting during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly for intergovernmental negotiations, on the issue of "fair representation in the Security Council and increasing the number of its members and related issues."

Otaibi said that such call by the Arab group come "based on objective criteria represented by the Arab population density and the number of Arab countries in the United Nations, in addition to the fact that a large part of the Council's work and issues on its agenda relate to the Arabic region, which requires fair and proportionate Arab representation in the expanded council."

He added that the Arab group adheres to the realization of a "real and comprehensive" reform of the Security Council, especially as it is the main body entrusted with maintaining international peace and security under the United Nations Charter, so that it becomes "more capable and effective" to face and overcome the relevant challenges within a "more representative, transparent, neutral and credible framework."

Focus on reform

On the political declaration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, Otaibi noted that the Arab group agrees on a "new life" in negotiations for reform and expansion of the Security Council. He pointed out that the group sees that the negotiations should focus on the five reform issues instead of being engaged in useless dialogues about the governmental negotiation mechanisms.

He called for working to reach a solution to achieve interests of everyone, including the Arab group, instead of focusing effort on disagreement over the drafting of documents that will not bring anything newer than the known balances.

Otaibi said the group affirms the cohesion of the five reform themes, and its vision says that the main and comprehensive goal of the reform process is to ensure that all geographical and regional groups are represented fairly and appropriately in the membership of the council.

He stressed that the reform process should focus on 'lifting the injustice' on developing countries, mainly the Arab countries and African countries that are not represented in all permanent seats of the Security Council. Otaibi pointed to the importance of specifying standards used in occupying a seat or seats at any category, affirming all standards should be implemented fairly and equally on all regions. He said that the Arab group affirmed its determination to continue positive and effective participation during the meetings of the government negotiations.

Arab East Jerusalem

Meanwhile, Kuwait has reiterated its commitment to defending rights of Palestinian people and the Arab identity of the occupied East Jerusalem. This came on Tuesday during a speech Otaibi delivered in a Security Council session on Palestine's cause. He said that Kuwait sticks to international, Muslim and Arab stance affirming that the Palestinian cause is a central issue to the Arab nation.

Otaibi re-affirmed adhering to peace as a strategic option and solving the Arab-Israeli conflict, in line with the international law, relevant international legitimacy's resolutions, the principle of land for peace and the 2002 Arab peace initiative to help Palestinians obtain their full legitimate rights and establish their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital. He pointed to the efforts made by the Palestinian authorities to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus amid acute shortage of medical equipment, medicines and vaccines due to the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities.

Otaibi expressed sorrow over the recent UN reports on a rise in acts of violence committed by Israel against Palestinians as well as detention campaigns, and the demolition of Palestinian buildings and properties. The absence of accountability and impunity anywhere and anytime will lead to further crimes, he said, adding that this is happening in the occupied Palestinian territories. He stressed that Israeli continues not to comply with international resolutions and approves building thousands of illegal settlement units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Approving the construction of these units was condemned by the whole international community as it undermines a two-state solution and is a clear violation of the UN Security Council 2334, international law, human rights and the 4th Geneva Agreement, Otaibi said. Kuwait reiterated that this is a blatant violation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, he said, calling for putting an end to the illegal Israeli practices and implement all relevant UNSC resolutions. He pointed to preparations by the Palestinian Authority to hold the presidential, legislative council and the Palestine National Council elections. - KUNA