The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Koro Bessho (Japan):
The members of the Security Council were briefed on 15 July 2016 by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Ján Kubiš, on the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and missing Kuwaiti property, including the national archives, following the recent report of the Secretary-General.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the strong bilateral relations between Iraq and Kuwait and commended the Government of Kuwait’s continued support for Iraq in its efforts to achieve stability. The members of the Security Council encouraged the two countries, as per Security Council resolution 2107 (2013), to collaborate closely through the tripartite mechanism on the file of missing Kuwaiti persons and third-country nationals (the “file”) to achieve further concrete results.
The members of the Security Council noted the limited progress made on this issue recently and expressed their regret that no cases of missing Kuwaiti persons have been solved and no human remains exhumed over the past 11 years. The members reiterated their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the missing.
The members of the Security Council, while recognizing the considerable challenges facing Iraq at this time, called on the Government of Iraq to continue in its efforts to achieve tangible progress with respect to returning all missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals or their remains, in addition to returning Kuwaiti property, including the national archives. The members of the Security Council recognized that important steps have recently been taken to reinvigorate this file, and commended the momentum, energy and positive engagement of the Government of Iraq.
The members of the Security Council were encouraged by the commitment of the Iraqi Ministry of Defence to the file, as evidenced by recent activities, and welcomed the adoption of the 2016 Iraqi plan of action with the inclusion of the Kuwaiti recommendations. The Council strongly encouraged the Governments of Iraq and Kuwait to reconvene the Joint Property Committee, every six months, as agreed.
The members of the Security Council expressed their strong support for the perseverance of the members of the tripartite mechanism and its chair, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in an effort to locate the remains of the missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals. In this regard, the Council supported the Secretary-General’s opinion that ascertaining the fate of missing persons and providing answers to their grieving families depend on steadfast commitment, action and the adoption of new and innovative ways to push the file forward.
The members of the Security Council expressed their intention to remain engaged in this issue.
The members of the Security Council commended the efforts of UNAMI, its Special Representative and Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs to continue to promote, support and facilitate the efforts of the Government of Iraq.