local1KUWAIT: Kuwait will continue exerting efforts in the fight against terrorism and drying up origins of its resources, said a member of a Kuwaiti delegation currently on a mission in Cambodia. MP Dr Ouda Al-Rowaie affirmed that Kuwait had joined more than 11 international treaties for combating terrorism, also noting the National Constitution stipulates the state abidance by accords with other states and organizations.

He was addressing the permanent committee for political affairs' session, held as part of the 8th Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA), hosted by Cambodia. Excerpts of his address were given to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) yesterday.

Elaborating on the national anti-terrorism efforts, he noted the Central Bank of Kuwait's issuance of the Law 106/2013, regarding money-laundering and funding terrorism and the Cabinet Resolution 5/2014 concerning implementation of UN resolutions that fall under Chapter VII related to terrorism and its funding.

Shifting to democracy, he mentioned that the National Constitution includes five chapters and 182 provisions defining the relationship between the ruler and the ruled in terms of duties and rights, drawing up a way of life for the Kuwaitis based on social justice, equal opportunities and freedoms.

However, he cautioned that "absolute freedom" can be detrimental and may lead to chias, noting that freedoms must not be measured equally for all nations without taking into consideration diverse cultures, customs and civilizations.

The 8th Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) kicked off Wednesday in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. The three-day conference aims to "promote peace, reconciliation and dialogue in Asia" by bringing together parliamentary presidents and representatives of 22 countries to discuss and exchange views on current issues of politics, economics, finance and social affairs.

Pledging conferences

Meanwhile, MP Madi Al-Hajri said that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was the first to sense sufferings of the Syrian refugees. Thus, Kuwait hosted the First, Second and Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria under the umbrella of the UN that honored His Highness the Amir as a 'Humanitarian Leader,' he added.

Hajri's statement was made in the address of the Kuwaiti parliamentary group at a meeting for the Standing Committee on Social and Cultural Affairs of the APA. The three conferences managed to raise $7.7 billion to support the humanitarian situation in Syria, he said.

Kuwait's contributions were extended to humanitarian operations carried out by the UN organizations. These include $210 million that went to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Recently, the country has offered $121 million to the UNHCR operations in Syria, he noted.

Hajri also pointed to of Kuwait's strong belief in the importance of preserving tangible and intangible cultural heritage, pointing to the role of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL). In addition, the country issued in 1960 the first law on antiquities in the Gulf area, to regulate excavations and protect .monuments, in a bid to preserve the country's cultural heritage.

Since 2010, the world has been engulfed by a whirlpool of tensions, and ethnic and religious conflicts, besides regional wars that produced racism and hatred, Hajri said. He also denounced all acts of violence and terrorism against innocent people.

Hajri denounced the attempts to destroy or steal nations' antiquities and cultural heritage. He stressed that Muslim countries managed through 1,400 years to preserve antiquities and heritage of various cultures.

Eradicating poverty

In the meantime, MP Khalil Abdullah said that the State of Kuwait is playing a great role in eradicating poverty and famine, and in supporting development projects across the world. Addressing a meeting of the APA's committee on economic affairs and sustainable development, Kuwaiti parliamentary caucus member Khalil Abdullah said Kuwait supports world development projects through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), which was created 54 years ago mainly to fight poverty and joblessness in the world.

The committee meeting is part of the 8th gathering of the APA, which kick-started in Cambodia on Wednesday and winds up today. The KFAED has made contributions to development in 101 countries as per systematic methods and economic regulations, he said, pointing to the Goodwill Fund Initiative which was launched by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in 2008.

The State of Kuwait contributed $100 million to the fund, which was mainly intended to address surging food prices in developing countries, he said, adding that around 22 countries have benefited from the initiative.

Kuwait is a key donor of the World Food Program (WFP), Abdullah said, noting that His Highness the Amir had also launched a fund for small and medium-sized enterprises during an economic summit held in Kuwait in 2009. The State of Kuwait had contributed $500 million to the initiative, the Kuwaiti member pointed out.

Voicing sorrow at the world problems of poverty and famine, Abdullah cited the World Bank's 2012 statistics as estimating that there were approximately 902 million undernourished people across the world.

Khalil Abdullah is part of a delegation of the Kuwaiti parliamentary caucus headed by its undersecretary, MP Faisal Al-Shayea. They took part on Tuesday in the second meeting of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) executive council held in Cambodia. The Kuwaiti delegation also includes MPs Saleh Ashour and Seif Al-Azmi. - KUNA