Press Releases

         16 December 2004

    Press Statement on Iraq-Kuwait by Security Council President

    NEW YORK, 15 December (UN Headquarters) -- Following is today’s statement to the press by Security Council President Abdallah Baali (Algeria):

    On 15 December, members of the Security Council received a briefing from Ambassador Yuli Vorontsov, the Secretary-General’s High-Level Coordinator, on the seventeenth report of the Secretary-General, in accordance with paragraph 14 of Security Council resolution 1284 (1999). Council members expressed their full support for Ambassador Vorontsov’s work and for his continued efforts in pursuit of his mandate.

    Council members shared the views expressed by the Secretary-General in his report and strongly condemned the execution of Kuwaiti and third country nationals by the previous Iraqi regime, in violation of human rights and international humanitarian law. Security Council members agreed with the Secretary-General’s High-Level Coordinator that those responsible for these horrendous crimes should be brought to justice.

    Council members again expressed their deepest condolences to all of the families of those missing persons that had now been identified. Members of the Council also expressed their continuing concern for the plight of the families of those missing persons whose whereabouts were still unknown.

    Members of the Council again stressed the importance of the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Tripartite Commission and its Technical Subcommittee, and the involvement of the Interim Government of Iraq. Council members welcomed the statement made by Mr. Bahtiar Amin, Iraqi Minister for Human Rights, at the 27th meeting of the Tripartite Commission in which he reaffirmed Iraq’s commitment to work together with all parties concerned in clarifying the fate of all missing persons, regardless of their nationality.

    In this regard, Council members welcomed the positive approach taken by the Interim Government of Iraq in providing support to Ambassador Vorontsov. Council members also welcomed the recent return of Kuwaiti property in November 2004. Council members welcomed this development and hoped that the Interim Government of Iraq would continue with its constructive approach and lead to further returns of all remaining Kuwaiti property as quickly as possible.

    Council members call on all parties concerned to continue to work towards a satisfactory solution to all of the outstanding humanitarian and property aspects covered by Ambassador Vorontsov’s mandate.

    Council members welcomed the invitation from the Government of Iraq to Ambassador Vorontsov and hoped that, as circumstances permit, Ambassador Vorontsov will be able to visit Iraq to take his work forward. Council members agreed to keep his mandate under review and recalled that Iraq continues to have international obligations, as set out in paragraph 14 of Security Council resolution 1284 (1999).

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