UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION COMMISSION PAYS OUT $195 MILLION
(Reissued as received.)
GENEVA, 7 April (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) has made available today a total of $195,044,579.38 to six governments for distribution to 8,303 successful claimants. Payment is being made in respect of 2,946 claims in category “A” (claims of individuals for departures from Kuwait or Iraq), 4,740 claims in category “C” (claims of individuals for damages up to $100,000), 615 claims in category “D” (claims of individuals for damages above $100,000), and two claims in category “E” (claims of corporations, other private legal entities and public sector enterprises), that were approved for payment by the Governing Council at its fifty-fifth session, held from 8 to 10 March 2005.
Today's payment is being made in accordance with the Governing Council's decision 227, which extended the temporary payment mechanism set out by the Governing Council in its decision 197, under which up to $200 million from the Compensation Fund will be made available for the payment of claims every quarter. In the present round of payment, all newly approved claims, i.e. claims approved for payment at the fifty-fifth session, will receive $100,000 or the principal amount of the award, if less, and some claims will receive up to $200,000.
The present payment brings the overall amount of compensation made available to date by the United Nations Compensation Commission to $19,194,391,854.87.
The first phase of payments, which commenced in June 1994, involved an initial payment of $2,500 to each successful individual claimant in categories “A” and “C”, as well as payment of the full amount to all successful individual claimants in category “B” (claims for death or serious personal injury). In the second phase, which commenced in September 1999, payments of up to $100,000 were subsequently made available to approved claims in categories “A”, “C”, “D”, “E”, and “F” (claims of governments and international organizations) in two rounds comprising payment amounts of up to $25,000 and $75,000 respectively. The second phase concluded payment of the full amount to all successful claimants in categories “A” and “C”, with the exception of claimants who have not yet been located and late claims that were accepted for filing by the Governing Council at a later stage. A total of $8,397,696,294.08 was made available to 1,503,202 claimants in all categories under the first and second phases of payments.
In the third phase of the payments mechanism, which commenced in October 2000, each successful claimant in categories “D”, “E” and “F” received an initial amount of up to $5 million in accordance with decision 100 of the Governing Council of the UNCC. Subsequent rounds of payments of up to $10 million were made to successful claimants in these categories of claims in the order in which they have been approved. A total of $9,217,769,865.62 has been made available to 7,914 claimants in categories “D”, “E” and “F” under the third phase.
At the forty-eighth session (June 2003), the Governing Council adopted decision 197, establishing a temporary payment mechanism in light of the reduction in the Compensation Fund's income, following the adoption of Security Council resolution 1483 (2003), which provides in paragraph 21 that the Fund shall receive 5 per cent of all export sales of petroleum, petroleum products, and natural gas from Iraq. Under this temporary payment mechanism, up to $200 million from the Compensation Fund was made available for the payment of successful claims on a quarterly basis following each session of the Governing Council (from the forty-eighth to the fifty-first sessions, inclusive). Successful claimants in all categories received an initial amount of $100,000 or the unpaid principal amount of the award, if less, with the disbursement of subsequent rounds of payments of $100,000 to successful claimants in all categories in the order in which they had been approved at the sessions described above, until the available funds for distribution had been exhausted. As noted above, this temporary mechanism was extended by the Governing Council in its decision 227 at its fifty-second session (June-July 2004).
The Governing Council monitors the distribution of payments to claimants by the relevant governments and international organizations. Governments and international organizations are obligated to distribute funds to successful claimants expeditiously and to report to the Commission on payments made to claimants. Any funds undistributed to claimants by governments and international organizations within twelve months of receiving payment shall be returned to the Commission. Further payments to governments and international organizations shall be suspended where they fail to report on the distribution of funds to successful claimants or fail to return undistributed funds on time.
Further information about the Commission can be found on its website located at www.uncc.ch.
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