11 February 2013
The Governing Council of the United Nations Compensation Commission held a special session today for the purpose of electing a new president and one of the two vice-presidents of the Council. The Permanent Representative of Morocco (the current vice-president of the Council), Ambassador Omar Hilale, presided over the election. The Council elected Australia as President and the Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Woolcott, will preside over sessions of the Governing Council held over the course of 2013-2014. The election of the vice-president was deferred to the Council’s seventy-fifth session which is scheduled for 30 April to 2 May 2013. Australia replaces Germany which held the presidency of the Governing Council for the period 2011-2012. It has been the practice of the Council to elect its president and vice-presidents from the incoming members of the Council for a two-year period.
General background information on the work of the Compensation Commission is provided below.
The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) is a subsidiary organ of the United Nations Security Council. It was established in accordance with Security Council resolutions 687 (1991) and 692 (1991) to process claims and pay compensation for direct losses and damage suffered by individuals, corporations, Governments and international organizations as a direct result of Iraq’s unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait (2 August 1990 to 2 March 1991).
The Compensation Commission 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 thirteen offices of three international organizations, which filed claims on behalf of individuals not in a position to submit their claims through a Government. They consisted of the claims of individuals for departure from Kuwait or Iraq (category A claims), the claims of individuals for serious personal injury or death (category B claims), the claims of individuals for losses up to $100,000 (category C claims), the claims of individuals for losses over $100,000 (category D claims), the claims of corporations, other private legal entities and public sector enterprises (category E claims), and the claims of Governments and international organizations (category F claims). In June 2005, the Commission completed its processing of all submitted claims. The total compensation awarded amounts to approximately $52.4 billion.
To date, the Compensation Commission has made available to Governments and international organizations approximately $40 billion for distribution to successful claimants in all categories. Funds to pay compensation are drawn from the United Nations Compensation Fund, which currently receives 5 per cent of the proceeds generated by the export sales of Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products. The Commission monitors the distribution of payments to claimants by the relevant Governments and international organizations. They are obligated to distribute funds to successful claimants expeditiously and report back to the Commission on such distribution.
Further information about the Compensation Commission can be found on its website located at www.uncc.ch.
For use of the information media; not an official record