Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Was Champion of Preventive Diplomacy, Generous Humanitarian, Secretary-General Says at General Assembly Tribute to Late Kuwait Amir

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks for the General Assembly Tribute to His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, in New York today:

Today, we are united in sorrow by the passing of His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait.  I want to extend my sincere condolences to His Highness’s family, and the Government and people of Kuwait.  We stand with all of you today in mourning and memory.

Sheikh Nawaf dedicated his life to the people of Kuwait. For nearly six decades, on the domestic and global stages, he served at the highest levels of Government, across a diverse range of ministerial positions.

Far beyond Kuwait’s borders, His Highness was a respected statesman.  He was a determined champion of preventive diplomacy — an approach that helped define Kuwait’s role across the Gulf region and around the world.  He was a steadfast voice of regional and global stability, peace and multilateralism — the very values and goals that give life to this chamber.  He was a generous humanitarian, helping to ease human suffering and mobilize support for millions of people in need around the region and the world.  And his personal commitment to collective solutions to forge peace remains an inspiration.

After Sheikh Nawaf’s death, digital billboards across Kuwait City bore his image and the words:  “Emir of wisdom, forgiveness and peace.”  These qualities — wisdom, forgiveness and peace — are in tragically short supply.

As we look around the world today, we see a planet in turmoil. Conflicts, climate catastrophe, mistrust, inequalities and injustice are driving people, countries and entire regions apart.

As we honour the memory of Sheikh Nawaf today, let us also remember our own obligations — in this hall, and in communities around the world — to the principles for which he stood.  To be wise in our decisions and actions — recognizing the impact they have on the world around us and on future generations.  To be forgiving of one another — accepting of our differences, understanding of one another’s points of view, and respectful of every person’s worth.  And to be willing to collaborate and compromise to forge a world of peace that our children deserve.

This is our solemn responsibility, and one that Sheikh Nawaf clearly demonstrated through his words and his actions.

I also want to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who while grieving the loss of his brother, has taken over the leadership of Kuwait.  The United Nations will continue its strong partnership and friendship with the State of Kuwait, as we work to build a better, more peaceful and tolerant world for all people.

In this difficult time, I once again offer my deepest condolences to the people of Kuwait, and the family of Sheikh Nawaf.

For information media. Not an official record.