Pol­i­tics, diplo­macy sole means to solve re­gional cri­sis: O’Brien

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

UN Un­der­sec­re­tary Gen­eral for Hu­man­i­tar­ian Af­fairs and Emer­gency Re­lief Co­or­di­na­tor Stephen O’Brien said Sun­day solv­ing re­gional crises should be through sole po­lit­i­cal and diplo­matic means ‘and noth­ing else.’

Hu­man­i­tar­ian or­ga­ni­za­tions can­not solve crises in Mo­sul in Iraq, Aleppo in Syria and in Ye­men, said O’Brien, but res­o­lu­tion should be po­lit­i­cal and diplo­matic, and backed by these or­ga­ni­za­tions, which paved suit­able ground for di­a­logue and peace.

These or­ga­ni­za­tions, O’Brien said in an in­ter­view, con­trib­uted to sta­bil­ity and bridg­ing gaps among war­ring par­ties. He said Kuwait and the UN shared long and deep his­tory of hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­tion. “I’m de­lighted to be able to come back to Kuwait be­cause this is the cen­ter of hu­man­i­tar­ian val­ues and not only ac­tions in the Gulf re­gion,” he said.

O’Brien said he met with His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and First Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and For­eign Min­is­ter Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Ha­mad Al-Sabah to con­vey UN ap­pre­ci­a­tion for help of peo­ple in need around the world, through host­ing donor con­fer­ences. “I be­lieve that his high­ness and the Kuwaiti peo­ple Have Hu­man­i­tar­i­an­ism in their DNA,” he said, which showed how Kuwait was al­ways will­ing to help peo­ple af­fected by the nat­u­ral dis­as­ters or wars.

O’Brien high­lighted im­por­tance of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween coun­tries and the UN agen­cies to ease suf­fer­ing of peo­ple. He said re­lief ef­forts were not only meant for con­flict zones but be­yond to in­clude the dis­placed, and Kuwait was play­ing a key role in this di­rec­tion.

O’Brien said he met with of­fi­cials from Kuwait Foun­da­tion for Ad­vance­ment of Sci­ence (KFAS) and Kuwait Fund for Arab Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment (KFAED). He con­sid­ered the two or­ga­ni­za­tions as great and pos­i­tive ex­am­ples of en­ti­ties that help peo­ple to find food, medicine, hous­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and jobs.

O’Brien, asked about Iraq, said there were more than 23,000 peo­ple who fled their homes in Mo­sul and neigh­bor­ing vil­lages amidst pro­jec­tions that this num­ber may surge to nearly a mil­lion if the hos­til­i­ties con­tin­ued. He said the UN man­aged to con­tact many or­ga­ni­za­tions in­side Iraq and pro­vided 60,000 shel­ters for the in­ter­nally dis­placed.

On Syria, O’Brien said there were hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple in east­ern Aleppo liv­ing un­der siege and un­able to leave the city, cou­pled with lack of ba­sic ser­vices. O’Brien, mean­while, said the cri­sis in Ye­men was very crit­i­cal with 80 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion af­fected by the con­flict. How­ever, he added, food sup­plies were reach­ing around 3-4 mil­lion peo­ple ev­ery month, and the UN was keen on tak­ing the wounded and pa­tients abroad for treat­ment.

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