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UN panel on damages arising from Iraq's invasion of Kuwait opens meeting

UN panel on damages arising from Iraq's invasion of Kuwait opens meeting

The governing council of the United Nations panel set up to process claims and pay compensation for losses and damage suffered as a result of Iraq's invasion and occupation of Kuwait in 1990-1991 opened its 47th session in Geneva today.

The UN Compensation Commission (UNCC) has already resolved over 99 per cent of the 2.6 million claims before it, amounting to approximately $350 billion. The resolved claims have totalled about $43.8 billion in compensation out of a total of over $150.2 billion in claims. Of this amount $16.7 billion has so far been made available for distribution to successful claimants.

Money for the awards come from the UN Compensation Fund, which receives up to 30 per cent of the revenue generated by Iraqi petroleum and petroleum product exports under the UN's oil-for-food programme, which also allows Baghdad to use a portion of the sales to buy relief supplies.

At its three-day meeting the Council will consider a number of reports and recommendations of the panels of Commissioners concerning claims filed by individuals and corporations.

The Governing Council is the policy-making organ of the UNCC, a subsidiary organ of the UN Security Council, and its composition is the same as that of the 15-member Security Council at any given time. The panels of Commissioners review and evaluate the claims submitted by governments on behalf of their nationals, their companies or on their own behalf.