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Kuwait hosts National Day reception among the largest this yearAttended by Gender Equality minister, lawmakers

Ambassador and Mrs. Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi of the State of Kuwait in Seoul hosted a gala reception at the main Grand Ballroom of Grand Hyatt Seoul on Feb. 25, 2016 with the attendance of many important guests from the Korean society and international community as well as the Seoul Diplomatic Corps. They included Minister Kang Ein-Hee of Gender Equality & Family, National Assembly Members Jasmine Lee and Kim Jung-Hoon, ambassadors of many countries of the world, civic leaders and media representatives who included Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post, publisher of three English and two Korean-language news publications. From the business circles came many CEOs and senior executives who included Vice Chairman Ms. Young-joo Kim of Daesung Group and Senior Vice President Yong-Soon Park of Korean Air for Intenrational Affairs who came with Vice President T.J. Kim.

▲Ambassador Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi of the State of Kuwait in Seoul and Minister Kang Ein-Hee of Gender Equality & Family and (8th and 9th from left, front row, respectively) cut the celebration cakes with the attendance of other ambassadors and dignitaries at Grand Hyatt Seoul on Feb. 25, 2016.

From the diplomatic community came an unsually large number of ambassadors and other senior diplomats accompanied by their spouses. Among them were newly accredited Ambassador and Mrs. Sarun Charoensuwan of Thailand and Ambassadors Derragui Mohammed Elamine of Algeria, Albino Malungo of Angola, Elisabeth Bertagnoli of Austria, Ramzi Teymurov of Azerbaijan, Natallia Jhylevich of Belarus, Dato Paduka Haji Modh Rosli Bin Haji Sabtu of Brunei Darussalam , Petar Andonov of Bulgaria, Jario Lopez of Costa Rica, Sylvestre Kouassi Bile of Cote d'Ivoire, Grecia Fiodalicia Pichardo of Dominican Republic, Oscar Gustavo Herrera Gilbert of Ecuador, Hassan Taherian of Iran, Dato Rohana binti Ramli of Malaysia, Mohammed Chraibi of Morocco, Mohamed Salim Alharthy of Oman, Zahid Nasrulah Khan of Pakistan, Hakan Okcal of Turkey, Vasyl Marmazov of Ukraine and Mumba Smyth Kapumpa of Zambia?and many, many more who, with our deep apology, are not included here for space reasons.
There were a number of special features that told the gala party apart from other diplomatic and social functions.
Off hand, all the guests were made to feel ‘special’ as they were each pinned with a ribbon on their chest, which was nice just to look at (which see on the chest of the guests).
All partitions of the spacious Grand Ballroom had been removed to turn it into one ‘open ground indoor.’ However, the enormously hall room was well arranged with food tables in places?in such a manner that the guests could have easy access to them from anywhere in the room.
Speaking to the guests in a welcome message, Ambassador Albudaiwi of Kuwait noted that Kuwait celebrated the 55th National Day and the 25th anniversary of Liberation of The State of Kuwait and that the official state visit made by President Park Geun-hye made to that country greatly contributed to the rapid development and promotion of relations between the two countries, when a total of nine MOUs were signed.
In response, Minister Kang noted, “Our friendship and cooperative efforts are developing into a comprehensive partnership spectrum that, extending far beyond economic relations, includes politics, diplomacy, culture, and regional and global issues.” (See excerpts.)

Excerpts from the congraulatory remarks by Minister Kang:
Congratulations on the 55th anniversary of Kuwait’s independence and the 25th anniversary of the end of the Gulf War.
I thank Ambassador Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi and his staff who have worked hard to organize the celebration of this great occasion.
It is my great pleasure to join in celebration today with Congresswoman Lee Jasmin, Congressman Kim Jung-Hoon, and other distinguished guests from home and abroad.
Since the establishment of our diplomatic ties inn 1979, Korea and Kuwait have become inseparable in industry areas, in particular, energy and construction.

▲From left: Ambassadors Dato Paduka Haji Modh Rosli Bin Haji Sabtu of Brunei Darussalam, Jario Lopez of Costa Rica, Mrs. Charoensuwan, Ambassador Sarun Charoensuwan of Thailand and Ambassador Dato Rohana binti Ramli of Malaysia.

Korea’s deployment of troops during the Gulf War in 1991 became the founding basis of a more solid partnership between the two countries.
That Kuwait was the first state for President Park Geun-hye to visit in the Middle East during her state visit to the region last year, well indicates how much Korea values Kuwait and its people.
Our friendship and cooperative efforts are developing into a comprehensive partnership spectrum that, extending far beyond economic relations, includes politics, diplomacy, culture, and regional and global issues.
With a female president in office for the first time in its history, Korea is seeking sustainable and inclusive growth by endeavoring to achieve gender equality through various policies.
Above all, the Framework Act on Gender Equality adopted last year, aims to accomplish in more practical terms gender equality for the harmonious development for both men and women, improving from last year’s policy paradigm of ‘Women’s Development’.k
More specifically, all laws and policies are scrutinized through gender impact analysis and assessment to prevent unintended gender discrimination, while child-care leave and flexible working hours are made accessible and pressure ? free for the work-life balance of all works, and companies are provided with a great many incentives to voluntarily participate in the Family-Friendly Certification Program.
The status quo of women of Kuwait and Korea, I believe, show some similarities. Our conservative and patriarchal cultures place invisible barriers upon political and social activities of our women. On the other hand, our expanded education for women have allowed for their independent, confident, and driven participation as active members of society.
Currently, the world is plagued with conflicts all around the globe. In times of national crises, women of Kuwait and Korea have contributed selflessly to the independence and rebuilding of our respective states. I believe women are, and will continue to be, pivotal not only to the Korean Peninsula and Middle East, but also to world peace.
May the friendship between Korea and Kuwait continue to hold strong , and our cooperation in facts of politics, economy, culture, and other, thrive.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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