Security Council members call on Iraq to cooperate on missing Kuwaitis

20 April 2001

Security Council members today expressed concern at the plight of Kuwaiti and third country nationals missing since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, and called on Baghdad to cooperate with the United Nations official who is looking into that matter.

The official -- Yuliy Vorontsov, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's High-level Coordinator on Iraq -- briefed the Council this morning in a closed-door session. Following the suspension of the meeting, the Council President, Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom, told reporters that "there has been no movement whatsoever" on the issue in recent months.

"This is one area where the Security Council is unanimous on Iraq -- in support for the work of Ambassador Vorontsov and for his future and his continuing efforts, and also in expressing deep concern at the plight of Kuwaiti and third country nationals still missing," said the Council President. He added that the members hoped that "at some stage soon and at last" there would be some progress in what was a strictly humanitarian issue.

Ambassador Greenstock said the Council members, convinced that "there is more information to be given from the Iraqi side," had urged Baghdad to cooperate fully with Ambassador Vorontsov and with all others dealing with the issue.

Noting that the matter had already taken "far too long" to resolve, Ambassador Greenstock said Council members "were very keen that when Member States have contacts with Iraq, when the Secretariat has contacts with Iraq, that this issue should continue to be brought up and must be ground away at until we have some results."