20 April 2005

Press Statement on Iraq-Kuwait by Security Council President

NEW YORK, 19 April (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of today’s statement to the press on Iraq-Kuwait by Security Council President Wang Guangya (China):

On 19 April, members of the Security Council received a briefing from Ambassador Yuli Vorontsov, the Secretary-General’s High-Level Coordinator, on the eighteenth 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 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 Government of Iraq. Council members welcomed the desire of the Government of Iraq to cooperate fully with Ambassador Vorontsov and offer the necessary assistance to enable him to discharge his responsibilities in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions, as set out in a letter of 9 March from Mr. Hoshyar Zebari, Iraqi Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Secretary-General.

Council members further welcomed the actions of Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs to publish in the media the names and photographs of missing persons whose remains had not yet been found, with a request that any relevant information be reported to the competent Iraqi authorities.

Council members are confident that the new Iraqi Government will continue this constructive engagement and 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 agreed to keep Ambassador Vorontsov’s 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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