Friday, December 16, 2011

Security Council Meeting on Missing Kuwait National Archives Seized by Iraq

Yesterday the UN Security Council issued this press statement and this news piece following a meeting in which members "called on Iraq to intensify its efforts to clarify the whereabouts of Kuwait's national archives, which disappeared during Iraq's 1990 invasion of the country."  Yesterday's meeting discussed the Secretary General's Thirty-second (yes, 32nd) Report "pursuant to paragraph 14 of resolution 1284 (1999)" completed earlier this month. Paragraph 14 of Security Council Resolution 1284 requested that the Secretary-General report periodically "on the return of all Kuwaiti property, including archives, seized by Iraq."

In the latest report, the Secretary-General states that he remains "concerned that no substantial progress has been made in the search for the Kuwaiti national archive, and that no credible information about its whereabouts has so far emerged."  He noted Iraq's recent letter regarding the return to Kuwait of microfilm cassettes of the archive of the official newspaper, Kuwait Today, welcomed the newly formed, high-ranking Iraqi committee to coordinate efforts on the missing archives, and looked "forward to the intensification of efforts to clarify the whereabouts of the archives by this newly established body and expect[ed] that its activities will be brought to the attention of the United Nations."

A more substantive post on the interesting history of the missing Kuwait national archives will follow in the coming weeks.