KUWAIT: After 14 years of leading his nation through triumphs and regional and global turmoil, the late Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah passes away, leaving an outstanding legacy that will remain in the minds of the people of Kuwait, the Arab and Islamic nations, and the world.

Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, said in an obituary run today that since ascending to power on January 29, 2006, the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah focused his journey on the development and progress of Kuwait and its people as well as bringing peace and stability regionally and globally.

His Highness the Amir became the 15th leader of Kuwait and the first to swear oath since 1965 at the National Assembly with the support of the legislative and executive powers.

His Highness the Amir advocated for humanitarian diplomacy and peace during his tenure and this policy was deeply rooted in his upbringing and government career prior to leadership of Kuwait.

Sheikh Sabah -- the fourth son of the late Amir Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah -- was educated in Al-Mubarakiya school in his earlier years.

His Highness the Amir began his governmental career in 1954 when he became member of the supreme executive committee tasked with organizing government interest and its official departments.

In 1955, His Highness the Amir became head of the department of Social and Labor Affairs which was tasked with organizing the relation between employers and employees especially with the increasing immigration of Arab and foreign labor to Kuwait. The department was also tasked with elevating society as a whole providing social support to women, children, the youth, and the elderly.

His Highness Sheikh Sabah was also very keen on the arts and the progress of theater in Kuwait, establishing the first center for Kuwaiti folklore arts in 1956.

In 1957, Sheikh Sabah was appointed as head of the department of print and publication. He worked extensively to publish Kuwait Al-Yawam -- the state's official gazette -- as well as Al-Arabi magazine.

His Highness Sheikh Sabah work on legislations to put Kuwaiti press on the map of Arab journalism through integrity and accuracy in conveying news.

He was also keen on reviving Arab tradition and manuscript via various publication in addition to forming a special committee for a project documenting the history of Kuwait.

Post-independence in 1961, His Highness the Amir was a member in the committee laying the foundations of Kuwait's constitution. He was part of the first cabinet formation in 1962, becoming minister of guidance and news.

On January 28, 1963 and after the first legislative elections, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah was appointed then as Foreign Minister of the country and essentially drawing the blueprint, in which Kuwait based its foreign policy. He spent 40 years in the position.

Kuwaitis still remember that fateful day on May 11, 1963 when His Highness the Amir -- who was then Foreign Minister -- hoisted Kuwait's flag at the UN building in New York, which signaled Kuwait's membership in the international establishment.

During his tenure as Foreign Minister, Sheikh Sabah played a pivotal role in trying to finding solution to crises in the Arab world.

He led Kuwait's delegation some 54 years ago in the meetings held in his country to find a solution Yemeni civil war.

The meeting held in Kuwait in August of 1966, gathered officials from Yemeni opposing parties, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

When tension continued between the south and north Yemeni parties, His Highness the Amir visited both groups in Yemen in October of 1972, bringing upon a peace treaty between the two sides.

In 1980, His Highness the Amir brokered an agreement between Sultanate of Oman and the democratic republic of Yemen, which led to a meeting in Kuwait in 1984 and a halt of media war as well as the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Due to Kuwait's strong foreign policy and efforts to spread peace, the country managed to gathered worldwide support during its darkest time on August 2, 1990 -- the period of the Iraqi invasion.

In reaction to the horrific event, the UNSC issued resolution 687, which enabled the use of all methods, including military might to force Iraqis out of Kuwait.

In addition to helming Kuwait's Foreign Minister's post, His Highness Sheikh Sabah was also assigned as Acting Information Minister in 1971-75, Deputy Prime Minister 1978-81 and also returned as acting Information Ministry in 1982.

On March 3, 1985, His Highness the Amir was appointed as then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Foreign Affairs, a post he held until October 18, 1992. He was then appointed as First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

On July 13, 2003, an Amiri decree was issued assigning Sheikh Sabah as Prime Minister, the first instance when the Premiership was separated from the post of Crown Prince.

As Prime Minister, His Highness made it his mission to bring upon development and prosperity to his country, encouraging for instance the private sector to providing job opportunities to the youth by supporting small enterprises.

His Highness also was keen on a vision to transform Kuwait into a regional and international commercial center, bringing the country back to its reputation as "the pearl of the Gulf." According to article 3/1964 of the constitution, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad was named as ruler of Kuwait and he took oath in parliament on January 29, 2006.

During his reign, His Highness the Amir ushered an era of development and progress, launching various development projects including the Sabah Al-Ahmad Sea City, a venture fully carried out by the private sector.

Other projects include the Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital, Mubarak Seaport, the Jaber Causeway, the Jaber Al-Ahmad Stadium, and others.

His Highness the Amir received various honors and accolades including the recent the US Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander medal which was granted by US President Donald Trump.

Sheikh Sabah was also honored by the UN in 2014 as a global humanitarian leader and Kuwait as an international center for humanitarian efforts.

Also during his tenure, Sheikh Sabah organised the first Arab social and economic summit on January 2009. At the event, Kuwait donated USD500 million to the summit's fund of USD billion for small and medium size enterprises.

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's legacy will continue to be remembered by the people of Kuwait, the Arab and Islamic nations, in addition to the world for his efforts for peace, progress and overall welfare for humanity.


© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2020.