By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has agreed to lift sanctions imposed on Iraq when the country invaded Kuwait 27 years ago.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said Dec. 9 the country had completed its obligations under the sanctions, which were imposed in 1990 when dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. The UNSC levied the penalties after naming Iraq a threat to international security and ordered it to pay reparations to states and other parties that suffered as a result of the invasion.

Some 27 years later, Iraq is still suffering the effects of the invasion. Hisham al-Rukabi, the head of Vice President Nouri al-Maliki’s press office, told Al-Monitor that the Iraqi people welcomed the recent UN decision.

Saad al-Hadithi, the spokesman for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, said the move is “an important event in Iraq’s recent history and the closing of a painful [age] that lasted a long time, during which the Iraqi people suffered reduced sovereignty as well as political and economic sanctions that damaged the country’s institutions as well as individuals.”

Lifting the sanctions, he said, “will make Iraq more able to develop and achieve prosperity for its citizens, and restore the world’s trust so it can deal with Iraq as a fully sovereign nation.”

He predicted the decision will allow Iraq to play a greater political and economic role in the Middle East, experience an economic recovery and attract new investment.

The UN Security Council announced on Friday that all the measures imposed in its resolutions 1958 (2010) and 2335 (2016) pursuant to Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations in relation to the Iraq oil-for-food programme had been fully implemented.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2390 (2017), the Council welcomed the fact that the remaining funds in the escrow accounts established pursuant to resolution 1958 (2010) had been transferred to the Government of Iraq pursuant to resolution 2335 (2016).

The Council acknowledged the Secretary-General’s final report on the matter (document S/2017/820), which stated, among other things, that the remaining $14,283,565 in the administrative escrow account had been transferred to Iraq.

Following the adoption, Amy Noel Tachco (United States) applauded Iraq’s complete implementation of measures under the oil-for-food programme, although the country still faced many challenges.  She looked forward to close cooperation internationally and bilaterally in support of Iraq as a federal, democratic and prosperous country.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2390 (2017) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolutions 1958 (2010) and 2335 (2016),

Acknowledging receipt of the final report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 4 of Security Council resolution 2335 (2016), S/2017/820,

“1.   Welcomes the implementing arrangements entered into by the Secretary-General and the Government of Iraq as requested in paragraph 7 of Security Council resolution 1958 (2010);

“2.   Also welcomes that the remaining funds in the escrow accounts established pursuant to paragraphs 3–5 of Security Council resolution 1958 (2010) have been transferred to the Government of Iraq pursuant to Security Council resolution 2335 (2016);

“3.   Concludes that all the measures imposed by the Security Council in resolutions 1958 (2010) and 2335 (2016) pursuant to Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations have been fully implemented by the parties.”

(Source: UN)

The United Nations Compensation Commission has made available $1.03 billion to the Government of the State of Kuwait towards the Commission’s remaining claim with an outstanding award balance.

The United Nations Compensation Commission was established in 1991 in accordance with Security Council resolutions 687 (1991) and 692 (1991) to process claims and pay compensation for losses and damages incurred by individuals, corporations, Governments and international organizations as a direct result of Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait (2 August 1990 to 2 March 1991).

The Commission received approximately 2.7 million claims and concluded its review of all claims in 2005. Approximately $52.4 billion was awarded to over 100 Governments and international organizations for distribution to 1.5 million claims in all claim categories.

Successful claims are paid from the United Nations Compensation Fund which receives five per cent of the proceeds generated by the export sales of Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products in accordance with Security Council resolution 1483 (2003), and reaffirmed in a number of subsequent resolutions, most recently under Security Council resolution 1956 (2010).

Pursuant to Governing Council decision 267 (2009), payments are made on a quarterly basis utilising all available funds in the Compensation Fund.

With this payment, the Commission has paid out $44.5 billion, leaving approximately $7.8 billion remaining to be paid to the only outstanding claim. This category E claim was submitted by the Government of the State of Kuwait on behalf of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and awarded $14.7 billion in 2000 for oil production and sales losses as a result of damages to Kuwait’s oil field assets. It represents the largest award by the Commission.

(Source: UNCC)