UN Security Council - AFP
CAIRO – 1 January 2018: After a 40-year absence, Kuwait commences its non-permanent membership seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) starting from Monday after the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) elected Kuwait to lead the Arab Group in June.
Kuwait replaced Egypt in the seat, representing the Arab countries. The Gulf country was elected, along with Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Peru and Poland by to the UNSC for a two-year term, 2018- 2019.
Kuwait joined the United Nations (UN) in 1963 and was elected only once as a non-permanent UNSC member for the period 1978-1979.
Kuwait’s Permanent Envoy to the UN, Ambassador Mansour Al-Qtaibi, said that Kuwait will focus on the maintenance of stability and the prevention of conflicts, according to Kuwaiti state news agency KUNA on Sunday.
“Al-Qataibi revealed that Kuwait seeks reforms in the UNSC Articles, such as granting the right to VETO for new members,” KUNA added.
Kuwait faces many regional challenges amid ongoing developments in the Middle East and Arab countries, most notably in Yemen, Libya and Syria. Kuwait is also the conflict mediator in the Arab Quartet-Qatar fallout. The four Arab nations, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, severed their ties with Qatar, accusing the oil-rich state of funding terrorists who target nations’ peace.
The American announcement over Jerusalem deems another challenge that Kuwait has to address during its two-year term. On December 6, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by announcing the relocation of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Security Council is made up of 15 members elected, including ten non-permanent members elected for a two-year term. The five permanent members are Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
According to the UN Charter, the Security Council is considered to be the only UN body whose resolutions are legally binding to all Member States.
The primary responsibility for the UNSC is to maintain peace and security globally and to take the lead in the determination of a threat or an act of aggression in any place across the world. The Security Council is legally able to impose sanctions or approve military actions with the aim of restoring peace and security.
On January 25, 1946, the UN Security Council adopted without a vote the first ever resolution calling for the Military Staff Committees of the five permanent member states to convene for the first time in London.
The latest resolution adopted by the UNSC was on December 22, 2017 reaffirming the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of North Korea. The resolution expressed the gravest concern at the ballistic missile launched by North Korea and landed west of the northern end of Japan’s Honshu Island on November 28, 2017.