Secretary-General's press encounter after meeting His Highness the Amir of Kuwait

In Kuwait, Secretary-General António Guterres takes questions from reporters. (Photo: UN/Stéphane Dujarric)

Kuwait City, 27 August 2017

Secretary-General: This is a visit to pay tribute and to express gratitude to what has been not only the Kuwait leadership in humanitarian action. When I was High Commissioner for Refugees I remember how the Amir of Kuwait presided the three conferences to mobilize the international community to support the Syrian people suffering so much, with the war that has been going on and on. My predecessor, Ban Ki-moon, nominated His Highness [the Amir] as Humanitarian Leader globally. But it’s not only the humanitarian leadership of Kuwait, it’s the wisdom, the dialogue, the promotion of understanding that Kuwait has shown in relation to all conflicts in the region. Kuwait has no agenda. The agenda of Kuwait is peace, is understanding. In relation to the current crisis in the Gulf the position of the UN is very simple: we are here to support the Kuwaiti mediation. This was an occasion for me to express our deep appreciation to say how much we want to strengthen the cooperation and the dialogue between Kuwait and the United Nations, as we believe Kuwait is an extremely reliable partner in our common commitment to peace and security around the world.

Question: You have just met with [the] Amir. What did you discuss with him?

Secretary-General: We had the opportunity to discuss all the very difficult situations of the region: not only the Gulf Crisis but also Yemen, Syria, the drama of the Palestinian people, Libya, the need to make sure that Iraq is able to come together in unity after defeating ISIS. All of these aspects were discussed in a very detailed way. I had the opportunity once again to express my deep appreciation for all the initiatives that Kuwait has had in relation to the solution to these crises. We also discussed the situation in the Gulf and many of the humanitarian objectives that Kuwait has been leading and that we fully support.

Question: Are there any plans to begin negotiations on Yemen, here in Kuwait?

Secretary-General: We are doing our best to create the conditions for the present stalemate to be overcome. Kuwait has been very successful in the first conference that was organized. We will be working very closely with the [parties] to see when and how a new strong initiative will be possible.

Question: Are you facing any pressure from Saudi Arabia or any other member of the coalition regarding the report on Children and Armed Conflict?

Secretary-General: We are not facing any pressure. We consider that no pressure would lead to anything. We are not having any pressure. There is technical work that is being conducted and, in the end, that will be presented to me. I will make the decision to what I think is the right thing to do.

Question: Are there any efforts to send aid to Yemen through Saana airport or Hodeida port?

Secretary-General: First of all, there is an initiative that my envoy [Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed] is trying to push in order to create the conditions for both Hodeida and Sana'a to allow for an effective use, for humanitarian purposes, of these two very important infrastructures. I hope it will be possible for an agreement to be achieved between the parties to allow for Hodeida and Saana to be fully operational for the humanitarian needs of the Yemeni people who are suffering in such a terrible way. They deserve our solidarity and our commitment.