Security Council applauds efforts to resolve outstanding issues

NEW YORK: Kuwait presented a presidential statement on the search for missing Kuwaitis and third-country nationals, including Kuwait's stolen properties in Iraq during the UN Security Council's (UNSC) session. The statement was presented by Kuwait's permanent mission to the UN late Friday. The statement referred to the UNSC's previous resolutions and presidential statements addressing the issues of missing Kuwaitis and third-country nationals and the return of Kuwaiti property, including the national archives, and takes note of the reports of the Secretary General pursuant to paragraph 4 of resolution 2107 (2013).

The Security Council applauded the ongoing efforts by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in the implementation of resolution 2107 (2013). It also expressed its full support for the Special Representative and Head of UNAMI Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs for UNAMI Alice Walpole in their efforts to resolve outstanding issues related to the matter. In the statement, UNSC also welcomed the strong bilateral relations between Iraq and Kuwait and hailed the government of Kuwait's continued support for Iraq in its efforts to achieve stability. Moreover, it welcomed Iraq's efforts to fulfill all remaining obligations in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions.

Meanwhile, the UNSC welcomed the ongoing cooperation between Iraq and Kuwait in the search of missing Kuwaitis and third-country nationals, and the positive efforts by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense on this important humanitarian endeavor. It called on Iraq to continue with these efforts in the same constructive vein and to ensure that all appropriate institutional, financial and technical support is made available to facilitate future activities. It also encouraged the international community to provide the necessary advanced and innovative technical equipment to Iraqi authorities to assist in identifying burial locations in accordance with best practices.

The UNSC expressed its strong support for the perseverance of the members of the tripartite mechanism and its Chair, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in their effort to locate the remains of the missing persons. The council noted the latest meeting of the Technical Subcommittee of the Tripartite Mechanism on December 11, 2018 and the Tripartite Commission on December 13, 2018, and welcomed in this regard the additional information provided to the ICRC by France, the UK, Northern Ireland and the US that might help to identify potential burial locations.

Moreover, the UNSC noted with regret that there remains 369 cases of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals still unresolved and that no human remains have been exhumed since 2004.It also hailed steps taken by Iraq to resolve its issues with Kuwait, mentioning the handing over of a consignment of Kuwaiti property by Iraqi President Barham Saleh, during his recent visit to Kuwait on November 11, 2018 to meet His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. - KUNA