Kuwait suggests to UN appointing official to deal with “all” of Iraq’s obligations as Tarasov retires post

UNITED NATIONS, July 28 (KUNA) ­­ As the UN high­level Coordinator for missing Kuwaitis and property Gennady Tarasov will relinquish his post at the end of this year, Kuwait suggested to the Security Council appointing another high­level Coordinator or a Special Representative of the Secretary­General to deal with ”all” Iraq’s outstanding obligations towards Kuwait

In a letter to Security Council President, Ambassador Nestor Osorio of Colombia issued late Friday, Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al­Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah said Kuwait ”appreciates the great efforts” made by Tarasov to fulfil his mandate and “wishes him all success” in his future endeavours

Kuwait therefore hopes that the Security Council will appoint another high­level Coordinator or a Special” Representative of the Secretary­General to replace Ambassador Tarasov, in order to continue following up implementation of the obligations set out in (relevant) Security Council resolutions (and) would appropriate if such a High­level Coordinator or Special Representative were to follow up on all of Iraq’s outstanding international obligations (towards Kuwait),” Sheikh Sabah Al­Khaled added in his letter

If the Council agrees with the Kuwaiti proposal, it will have to adopt a resolution changing the high­level Coordinator’s mandate from dealing with only the issues of the missing Kuwaitis and property to a wider mandate that would include, besides these two humanitarian issues, all Iraq’s other outstanding obligations towards Kuwait, ranging from compensation to maintenance of the border markers.

The mandate of the high­level Coordinator for missing Kuwaitis and third country citizens and missing Kuwaiti property was established in 1999 by Council resolution 1284. The first UN official to occupy the post was late Yuli Vorontsov, succeeded by Tarasov. In his letter, conveyed to the Council President by Kuwaiti Charge d’affaires Abdulaziz Aljarallah, Sheikh Sabah Al­Khaled mentioned, among Iraq’s outstanding obligations towards Kuwait pursuant to Council resolutions adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, maintenance of the border markers, compensation owed to Iraqi farmers, residual compensations owed by Iraq to Kuwait and the question of Kuwait prisoners, missing persons and property

The Council called on Iraq and Kuwait in a press statement issued last month “to explore other arrangements to ensure continued cooperation in the search for missing persons, property and the Kuwait archives” and agreed to finance the continuation of Tarasov’s activities until the end of this year

Sheikh Sabah Al­Khaled expressed regret in his letter that “despite the significance and the sensitive nature of the question of the missing persons, a humanitarian issue that the Council has been following for many years, and despite the great efforts that have been made since 2004 by the Tripartite Commission and the Technical Subcommittee, which operates under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the remains of only 236 Kuwaiti prisoners out of 605 missing Kuwaiti and third­country nationals have thus far been identified,”

He added that “while we appreciate the cooperation demonstrated by the Government of Iraq and its efforts to resolve this question, we believe that it would be possible to make significant progress if efforts were redoubled and agreed­upon plans were implemented in the framework of the Technical Subcommittee.” On the issue of the Kuwaiti property and the national archives, Sheikh Sabah Al­Khaled acknowledged that “Iraq has returned some Kuwaiti property” belonging to some Government authorities and that it established in December 2011 a Ministerial Committee to follow up on this matter

However, this Committee has not presented any reports on its work. The fate of the Kuwaiti national archive, which includes important documents pertaining to the Amiri Diwan, the Diwan of the Crown Prince and the Diwan of the Prime Minister, remains unknown,” he added

He expressed Kuwait’s satisfaction with the “noticeable progress” that has been made in bilateral relations between Kuwait and Iraq at various levels, as evidenced by the exchange of visits at the highest levels and the significant agreements reached by the two States at the most recent meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee in April 2012

He also commended Iraq’s “sincere efforts and desire to fulfil its international obligations towards Kuwait,” vowing that Kuwait “stands ready to provide Iraq with the support it needs, with a view to hastening the fulfilment of the outstanding obligations pursuant to the relevant Security Council resolutions.”

In a related matter, and in response to Secretary­General Ban Ki­moon’s request last week, Council President Osorio said in a response letter to Ban issued late Friday that the Council decided to earmark USD 235,530 from the UN escrow account, where part of Iraqi oil revenues is deposited to cover administration and operational costs, to finance the continuation of Tarasov’s activities until December 31, 2012

Ban wrote to Council President Osorio last week saying “given that all parties (Kuwait and Iraq) should translate political statements of goodwill into concrete actions to enable progress during the coming months to resolve outstanding issues, the period ahead will require further intensification of the activities of the high­ level Coordinator

To that end, it would be necessary to allocate resources sufficient to finance the activities of the high­level” Coordinator and his support staff until 31 December 2012 in the amount of 235,530.” He also informed the Council in the same letter that Tarasov’s activities during the first six months of this year amounted to USD 169,887.