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June 19, 1961, marks a great event in Kuwait’s history, as it was the day the Gulf state gained its independence after being a British protectorate since the agreement was signed in 1899 by the seventh Amir, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, and Britain.
Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, the eleventh Amir of Kuwait, came to realize that, in light of changes, Kuwait had come to have sufficient resources and that its people could no longer tolerate the limitations of being a British protectorate, and thus made the initiative to substitute it with an agreement of friendship.
Thus, on June 19, 1961, the British government cancelled the agreement of January 23, 1899, on grounds that it conflicted with Kuwait’s independence and sovereignty and signed the declaration of independence, bringing Kuwait into a new era.
Independence, however, had long been a priority for Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem, where he said in his speech, “We are now moving on to a new phase in history … cooperation between the government — in the form of ruling family officials — and the faithful people of this country brings joy to my soul and makes me pray for more cooperation, advancement and flourishing.”
With its independence, Kuwait came to take up its responsibilities as part of the international community, and thus established the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and appointed the now Amir of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, as the first foreign minister on October 3 of the same year.
Kuwait became a member of the Arab League on July 16, 1961, and a member of the UN Security Council on May 14, 1963.
The constitution came into effect on November 11, 1962, and since then there have been eleven legislative terms for the National Assembly, affirming the will of the people in choosing democracy as a means for advancement.
And thus, since the dawn of independence, Kuwait has been taking gradual and firm steps towards comprehensive rise under the wise rule of its leaders.