IDLO and Kuwait have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), in what both parties say is a milestone in their three-decade-old relationship. The document provides a framework for the Organization to support a variety of legal and administrative processes in the country, from building the capacity of state lawyers to enhancing transparency in procurement. Kuwait is in the unique position of being all at once an IDLO member party, an important donor and – as a self-described ‘developing nation’ despite its wealth – a recipient of rule of law expertise. It currently shares IDLO’s leadership with Italy and the United States.
The signing of the MOU coincided with a visit to Italian state and judicial institutions by a Kuwaiti government delegation. Delegation leader Salah Hussein Al-Massad, who heads the Kuwaiti Council of Ministers’ Legal Advice and Legislation Department, described himself as ‘proud and very pleased’. “We are long-standing partners of IDLO,” he said, “so it is natural that we should be both funders and beneficiaries of its expertise.” Speaking for the host nation, senior diplomat Gianni Ghisi highlighted fifty years of relations between Italy and Kuwait. Ambassador Ghisi also outlined what he said was Italy’s historical interest in the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula, while underscoring the ‘like-mindedness’ between his country and IDLO. The Organization’s mission, he said, was ‘very close to the Italian government’s own priorities’ in advancing the rule of law. For her part, IDLO Director-General Irene Khan saluted what she called a ‘multi-faceted partnership’. “This agreement,’ she concluded, “will help strengthen it and seal it further.”