UN WILL DO OUTMOST TOWARDS KUWAITI MISSING PERSONS – MLADENOV

NEW YORK, Feb 18 – UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Iraq Nickolay Mladenov assured on Tuesday the Security Council and the families of Kuwaiti missing persons that the UN will continue to do its “outmost” to fulfill its mandate.

This came during a Security Council’s meeting on the situation on Iraq, where the head of UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Mladenov said the Iraq-Kuwait relations continue to be on the ascendant.

Referring to the High-level Iraqi visits and the results of the fourth Joint Ministerial Committee meeting, he described them as being very “encouraging.”

“I wish that I could report similar progress to the Council on the missing Kuwaitis and the Kuwaiti national archives,” he expressed.

Mladenov, who has completed his tenure as the Secretary General’s Special Representative for Iraq, said that the Kuwaiti Government and people are “understandably” disappointed that nothing tangible has been achieved for many years, as he assured that UNAMI share the same disappointment.

The UN official said that his team is working to reach a witness, who has been overseas and who Kuwait believes holds the key to identifying a graveside which may contain as many as 180 mortal remains.

The goodwill between Kuwait and Iraq is at its highest since 1990, he said, adding he believed that this is a very opportune moment for both leaderships to come together on this important humanitarian issue in order to review the efforts and decide on a new course of action.

Resources, technology and a “fresh approach” may be all be required, he said.

Furthermore, the UN official stressed that for the last nine months the world has been appalled by the “brutality of Islamic State” and its rapid advances.

“IS flourishes,” he said, when Iraq is weak, and Iraq is weak when it is divided by sectarian politics, when political patronage overtakes national loyalty, he added.

IS has made a point of not hesitating to openly publicize its crimes committed against men, women and even children, he confirmed.

Therefore, the safety and security of members of Iraq’s diverse ethnic and religious communities in areas controlled by IS remain of grave concern, he added.

He said that the Iraqi authorities and the UN need to redouble efforts at supporting over two million IDPs, who have been forced from their homes.

Mladenov announced the urgent need of USD 150 million to support IDPs, who’s life-saving and protection needs are enormous, and likely to grow.

On his part, the Iraqi Ambassador to the UN Mohammed Al-Hakim told the Council that his country looks forward to developing relations with Kuwait.

He valued Kuwait’s position in support of Iraq and thanked Kuwait for understanding the very difficult economic conditions prevailing in his country because of the war against ISIL.

“We value Kuwait’s cooperation to put back the restitution at five percent of Iraqi oil export revenues for 2015,” he added.

On his capacity, the Iraqi Ambassador stressed that his country is keen to continue making strong efforts to identify and find the remains of “Kuwaiti disappeared persons and national Kuwaiti archives”.

SOURCE: KUNA