UN urges Iraq to remove all obstacles to boundary project with Kuwait

UN urges Iraq to remove all obstacles to boundary project with Kuwait

Thursday, 14 March 2013 11:19

Baghdad (AIN) -The Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday urged Iraq to “immediately remove all obstacles” hindering the “timely completion” of the Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Maintenance Project (IKBMP) by the end of this month.

In a written report to the Security Council on the work of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Ban urged Iraq to fulfill “all” its outstanding obligations “without further delay,” and told both countries that a “historic opportunity” is at hand to fully normalize their relations.

“It is important that the Government of Iraq immediately finalizes the removal of all the obstacles between boundary pillars, in order to enable a timely completion of the Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Maintenance Project (IKBMP),” he said.

“I strongly encourage the Governments of Iraq and Kuwait to quickly establish a bilateral boundary maintenance mechanism to take over the United Nations responsibility in line with Security Council resolution 833 of 1993,” Ban added.

He also urged the Government of Iraq to concur with the United Nations proposal to transfer the funds for the compensation of Iraqi private citizens pursuant to Security Council resolution 899 of 1994 as soon as possible.

In this regard, Ban said “the Government of Iraq announced on November 29 that it would update the list of recipients eligible for compensation. However, the Government has yet to respond to the proposal by the United Nations to transfer the funds for that purpose in the soonest possible manner”.

The UN formally launched the field maintenance work on January 14, in the presence of representatives from both countries.

“Both sides committed to take the necessary steps to ensure that the work is completed by the set deadline of 31 March. At the time of reporting, the work is on schedule and the Government of Iraq has started to remove the obstacles between boundary pillars, with the notable exception of the residential constructions in the Umm-Qasr area,” he said.

The report was apparently written before Monday’s incident in which a number of Iraqi demonstrators attacked border security personnel to hinder the work of the project.

The issue will be raised by the UN Special Envoy for Iraq Martin Kobler when he briefs the Security Council on March 21 in the afternoon.

Ban welcomed in his report the “continued progress” towards the full normalization of relations between Iraq and Kuwait. “I continue to believe that a historic opportunity is at hand in this regard. I call upon the Government of Iraq to fulfill all its outstanding obligations under Chapter VII without further delay”.

He also expressed hope that the recent “positive developments” in relations between Iraq and Kuwait would enable the issue of the return of Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and property to be resolved in a “timely manner,” and the Security Council to consider the exit by Iraq from its obligations under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.

On the crisis in Syria, Ban said it continues to have a “serious political, security and humanitarian impact” on Iraq, and thanked the Iraqi Government for its generosity and hospitality towards the 96,270 Syrian refugees who have been registered or are awaiting registration seeking protection in Iraq, calling on Member States to extend their financial commitment for an adequate response to the crisis.

Ban said he remains concerned by increased tensions in Iraq, in particular since the emergence of protests in western parts of the country.

“I urge the Government of Iraq to continue to exercise maximum restraint in dealing with the demonstrators, who in turn should continue to express their demands peacefully. I strongly encourage the Government of Iraq to promptly investigate allegations of human rights violations in a transparent manner,” he urged.

He said he remains equally concerned about the continued volatility in relations between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, urging them to resume dialogue, and reminding them that transparent and accountable power- and resource-sharing are essential for ensuring further political stability, economic growth, and prosperity for all.

“There is no alternative to peaceful coexistence in a united federal Iraq,” he insisted.

Ban noted that UNAMI and the UN Country Team continue to be “adversely affected” in their ability to undertake mandated activities due to the “continuing absence of a status-of-mission agreement,” appealing once again to the Government to take the steps necessary to ensure the agreement be brought into force without further delay. /End/