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Iraq/Kuwait: accounting for missing people remains a priority

06-06-2012 News Release 12/114

Baghdad/Kuwait/Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today chaired the 35th meeting of the Tripartite Commission, the purpose of which is to ascertain the fate of persons who went missing in connection with the 1990-1991 Gulf War.

"After almost 22 years, hundreds of families still do not know what happened to their missing loved ones," said Gérard Peytrignet, the head of the ICRC regional delegation in Kuwait, after attending the meeting. "It is only because of efforts such as these that they have any hope of obtaining the answers they so earnestly need."

During the meeting, Kuwait, through its National Commission for the Missing and POWs, Iraq, through its Ministry of Human Rights, and other members of the Tripartite Commission took account of what has been achieved so far and agreed on future steps.

The Tripartite Commission is composed of representatives of Iraq, Kuwait and the 1990-1991 Coalition (the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Saudi Arabia).

"Resolving the issue of missing persons in order to relieve the suffering of the families remains a focus of the ICRC's humanitarian work," said Beat Schweizer, the head of the ICRC delegation in Baghdad, who took part in today's meeting. "We are doing our utmost to gather information. In our role as an intermediary, we are committed to carrying on and seeing this through, for as long as it takes."

Today's meeting follows the 75th meeting of the Technical Sub-Committee, which was held on 4 June, also in Kuwait. The ICRC has chaired the Tripartite Commission and its Technical Sub-Committee since they were set up, in 1991 and 1994 respectively.

For further information, please contact:
Claire Aude Kaplun, ICRC Baghdad, tel: +964 780 91 31 626
Fouad Bawaba, ICRC Kuwait, tel: +965 97 87 94 34
Hicham Hassan, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 25 41 or +41 79 536 92 57