Security Council members urge Iraq to redouble efforts to return stolen Kuwaiti property

18 December 2002

Members of the United Nations Security Council today urged Baghdad to intensify steps to return property stolen from Kuwait during Iraq's 1990 invasion, and to account for all persons missing since then.

In a statement to the press read out by the current President of the Council, Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso of Colombia, the members noted that in October, Iraq had returned a number of documents to Kuwait. "Members of the Council called upon Iraq to re-double its efforts aimed at returning all remaining Kuwaiti property," he said.

Expressing "deep concern at the continuing plight of the Kuwaiti and third-country nationals still remaining in Iraq," Council members noted Kuwait's positive appraisal of Iraq's recent invitation to the UN coordinator on the issue, Ambassador Yuli Vorontsov, and "expressed their strong desire for concrete and substantive progress on the matter."

"Members of the Council 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," the Council President said.

Stressing the importance of the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Tripartite Commission set up to solve this humanitarian issue, Council members said they expect "positive developments" as a result of Iraq's resumed presence on the Commission. They also urged Baghdad to cooperate fully with Ambassador Vorontsov.

The President's statement to the press followed closed-door consultations on the Secretary-General's latest report on the issue.


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