Security Council calls on Iraq to cooperate on issue of missing Kuwaitis
After the Council met behind closed doors to review the latest report of Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the repatriation or return of all Kuwaiti and third-county nationals or their remains, the President of the 15-member body issued a press statement expressing sympathy for the families of the victims.
Council members also "expressed their hope that this issue would continue to be dealt with as a strictly humanitarian one by all sides concerned and be resolved urgently," said Ambassador John Negroponte of the United States, which holds the body's rotating presidency for the month of August.
He added that Council members shared the views expressed by the Secretary-General in his report, which was presented by Ambassador Yuli Vorontsov, the High-level Coordinator on the issue.
"They recognized that despite growing international activity, by the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the European Union, the Government of Iraq has yet to match its words on the fate of missing persons with tangible deeds and cooperation," Ambassador Negroponte said. "They supported the Secretary-General's call on Iraq to restore its credibility on the outstanding humanitarian issues and stand by its intention to fully implement the decisions of the Beirut Summit on the issue of missing persons."
Council members also stressed the importance of the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Tripartite Commission in solving this humanitarian issue, according to Ambassador Negroponte, and encouraged them to further intensify their efforts. They also urged the Iraqi Government to resume its participation in all bodies dealing with this issue.