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Kuwait’s former foreign minister to serve on UN board

Shaikh Mohammad was named State Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2001

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 16:24 October 4, 2012
  • Gulf News

Manama: Kuwait’s former deputy prime minister and foreign minister Shaikh Mohammad Sabah Al Salam Al Sabah has been selected to serve on the UN General Assembly High-Level Advisory Board.

“I am very, very pleased and humbled to say that I will count on the support and advise of a High-Level Advisory Board for the 67th session Presidency, in which I invited a number of ex-colleagues I had the privilege of working with,” Vuk Jeremic, the president of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), said on Wednesday.

The list of others to serve on the board included Yevgeny Primakov, Russia’s former prime minister, and other ex-foreign ministers from Switzerland, Spain, Chile, and Indonesia, Kuwait news Agency (Kuna) reported.

They will serve from their countries and provide advise “when asked,” Jeremic said in his first press conference since he was elected president. He said that they would not be paid.

According to his biography, Shaikh Mohammad, 57, holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Harvard. He was a professor of Economics at Kuwait University from 1979 to 1985 and at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research from 1987 to 1988.

In 1993, he was appointed Kuwait’s ambassador to the US until he was named State Minister for Foreign Affairs on February 14, 2001. One year later, Shaikh Mohammad was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He resigned in October 2011.

In his press conference, Jeremic who was Serbia’s foreign minister until he was elected President of the 193-member assembly, pledged that it would have, under his presidency, a more prominent role in discussing global economic governance, strengthening efforts to achieve peaceful resolution of disputes, Kuna reported.

It will also contribute largely to enhancing the role of the UN-backed Alliance of Civilisations headed by the newly appointed Nasser Al Nasser, the Qatari diplomat who was the president of the outgoing assembly.

Jeremic cited the need for a “consultative mechanism” between the Group of 20 leading economies and the rest of the world — or ‘group of 173’ — to ensure a more inclusive approach to debating world economic governance issues, Kuna said.

The mechanism should enable the ‘G173’ put forward their views and ideas, while the G20 countries can benefit from hearing the rest of the world’s ideas and thoughts, he said.

Jeremic said that he would strengthen the role of outside experts in the work of the assembly by inviting world public policy institutes and think tanks.

“What I will try to do is to engage them in our work and deliberations by including them in thematic debates,” he said.

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