UN releases additional funds for victims of Iraq invasion of Kuwait

[JURIST] The UN Compensation Commission (UNCC) [official website] on Thursday made available additional funds [press release, PDF] for the government of Kuwait [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] in an amount of around $1.3 billion for losses suffered during 1990-1991 Iraqi invasion [BBC backgrounder]. The funds will be available to six successful claimants, including four claims by corporations and public sector enterprises and two claims by governments and international organizations. With these recent payments the UNCC will have made a total of $37.7 billion in payments to more than 100 governments and international organizations for distribution to 1.5 million individual claimants. The UN body stated that approximately $14.7 billion worth of funds are outstanding for five awards. The payments are drawn from the UN Compensation Fund collected from export sales of Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products. In 2003 the UN Security Council through resolution 1483 [text, PDF] set aside five percent of all such sales to be delivered to the fund. The resolution was reaffirmed by another resolution [resolution 1956, PDF] in 2010.

The UNCC had approved [JURIST report] the final claims from victims of the 1990 invasion in June 2005 in the total amount of $52.5 billion. With the finalization of claims the 15 member-panel of the UNCC, who are also members of the UN Security Council, awarded the governments of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran and Jordan a total of $366 million. In August of the same year Iraqi legislators accused [JURIST report] Kuwait of stealing Iraqi oil by drilling oil posts at angles into Iraqi territories. A month earlier Iraq's deputy UN ambassador Feisal al-Istrabadi claimed [JURIST report] that there was evidence of gross mismanagement and potential corruption related to the UN Oil-for-Food program. Independent Inquiry Committee [official website] investigators probed into controversial expenditures by the UNCC and whether the Iraqi government should be paid for overcharges by UN agencies.

 

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