Iraq must step up oversight of its resources, Security Council says

27 August 2009

The Security Council believes the Iraqi Government must take greater responsibility for the management of its own resources, the head of the United Nations body said today.

The Council was briefed in a closed meeting today by UN Controller Jun Yamazaki on the fund administering proceeds from export sales of petroleum from Iraq, known as the Development Fund for Iraq.

That Fund was established in 2003, the same year the Security Council phased out the oil-for-food programme, under which a sanctions-bound Iraq was allowed to use monitored oil sales revenue for humanitarian purchases.

Also discussed in today’s meeting was the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB), an independent body set up by the Council.

“Council members expressed some concern about the need for further steps to improve the internal controls” in the Fund, Deputy Permanent Representative Philip John Parham of the United Kingdom, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency this month, told reporters following the consultations.

In a report to the Council made public yesterday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the IAMB has found that the Committee of Financial Experts, created by Iraq’s Council of Ministers in 2006, is ready to assume oversight responsibilities of the Fund.

“It will be important to ensure that a proper succession mechanism and process be considered,” the Secretary-General wrote.

From its establishment in 2003 till the end of 2008, the Fund has received nearly $180 billion from oil exports, the balance of the oil-for-food funds held under escrow by the UN and proceeds from frozen assets, according to the report.

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Nearly $180 billion transferred to Iraq fund, says UN report

The fund administering proceeds from export sales of petroleum from Iraq has received an influx of nearly $180 billion through the end of last year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says, acknowledging that an Iraqi-run committee is ready to assume responsibility for the scheme.