Ban welcomes decision to postpone Iraqi payments into fund set up after invasion of Kuwait

18 December 2014

Iraq will not be obligated to deposit 5 percent of its oil proceeds into a fund set up by the United Nations to pay compensation for the 1990-91 invasion and occupation of Kuwait, a decision Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed in light of the “severe security and humanitarian crisis” confronting the Iraqi people.

“Noting the extraordinarily difficult security circumstances in Iraq and the unusual budgetary challenges associated with confronting this issue,” the Governing Council of the UN Compensation Commission (UNCC) on Thursday decided to postpone Iraq's obligation to deposit 5 percent of oil proceeds and 5 percent of the value of any non-monetary payments to service providers into the so-called Compensation Fund until 1 January 2016.

This session was held in response to a request from the Government of Iraq that the Governing Council agree to a temporary postponement of the requirement under Security Council resolution 1956 (2010), according to a press release issued by the Commission.

The Commission was created in 1991 as a subsidiary organ of the UN Security Council with a mandate to process claims and pay compensation for losses and damage suffered as a direct result of Iraq’s unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait.

Secretary-General Ban welcomed the decision and noted that he was “particularly grateful” to the Government of Kuwait for its support in accepting the Iraqi request.

“The Secretary-General expresses his strong solidarity with the Government and the people of Iraq who are currently facing a severe security and humanitarian crisis,” according to a statement issued through his Spokesman. “The Secretary-General encourages the international community, including countries in the region, to further expand cooperation and support to Iraq at this challenging time.”

The Compensation Commission has received approximately 2.7 million claims. The total asserted value of these claims (i.e., the amount sought by the claimants) amounts to approximately $352.5 billion. Ninety-seven Governments filed claims on behalf of their nationals, corporations and themselves, as well as 13 offices of three international organizations, which filed claims on behalf of individuals not in a position to submit their claims through a Government.

To date, the Commission has made available nearly $48 billion for distribution to successful claimants in all categories. Funds to pay compensation are drawn from the Fund.


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