Kuwait has stressed that each country has full sovereign right to control and exploit its natural resources in accordance with the Charter and the principles of international law as a key factor if they are to be used for long-term economic growth and sustainable development. This came in a speech at the UN Security Council session on the root causes of conflict and the role of natural resources in conflicts, delivered by Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi on Tuesday evening.
Otaibi expressed Kuwait’s belief that natural resources are a blessing of God’s love to many countries. They must be a source and engine for sustainable development, prosperity of nations and the welfare of their peoples. He said that the management of natural resources legally, transparently and nationally at the national level were set by Kuwait as a priority for conservation and good use, taking into account the requirements of state security and national economy under the Constitution.
Otaibi expressed hope that today’s discussion will lead to a better understanding of the link between natural resources and conflicts, saying this is the third time that the Security Council has addressed this important issue. He pointed out that the time lag in discussing and dealing with them and developing the necessary perceptions and solutions does not indicate the Security Council’s perception of the seriousness and repercussions on the affected countries and peoples.
Otaibi said conflicts over natural resources among sovereign states are no longer the same as they were before and during the Cold War, adding that during the past three decades, many wars and civil conflicts broke out, most of them in developing countries, with different political and economic roots. He added that these conflicts resulted in many tragedies and suffering as the Security Council dealt with them for many years and some of them are continuing. Otaibi pointed out that the Security Council in its resolution 1265/2005 and its presidential statement 22 of 2007 highlighted several key factors that are supposed to contribute to reducing and addressing this phenomenon.
The Council called for the strengthening of the role of peacekeeping forces by granting peacekeeping operations an appropriate mandate to assist the Governments concerned in preventing the illegal exploitation of natural resources. Otaibi said the council also called for supporting regional initiatives that contribute to reducing the risks of exploitation of natural resources such as the Protocol against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources on the Lakes Region and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, as well as the commitment to the Kimberley Process 2000