Ban calls for further steps by Iraq to fulfil pledges to Kuwait


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has encouraged the Iraqi Government to act quickly to fulfil its obligations to find Kuwaiti or third country nationals, property and archives lost in Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait more than 20 years ago.

In his latest report to the Security Council on the subject, Mr. Ban says that the efforts in the search for missing Kuwaiti and third country nationals are gradually moving forward.

“I believe that the task of discovering the fate of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals is urgent and should not be influenced by political factors and considerations,” he says, adding that, for this reason, the humanitarian mandate must be insulated as much as possible from wider regional developments to ensure its effective implementation.

“Now that the organizational and logistical aspects of the search for the missing persons appear to be in place, the goal of finding and identifying the victims and finally closing their cases is an imperative,” Mr. Ban states in the report, which was released today and discussed by the Council.

Regarding the return of Kuwaiti property, the Secretary-General says he remains concerned that no progress has been made in the search for the Kuwaiti national archives, and that no credible information about their whereabouts has emerged.

Mr. Ban voices support for the recommendation of his High-Level Coordinator, Gennady Tarasov, that an effective national mechanism be set up by the Iraqi Government to lead and coordinate efforts to clarify the fate of the archives and other properties and report the results to the UN.

He also recommends that the Council extend the financing of the Coordinator’s mandate until December 2011 “in order to continue to build on the current momentum.”