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14 May 1999

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Secretary-General approves telecommunications in Distribution Plan

The Secretary-General has written (on 13 May) to the President of the Security Council giving his approval to a revision of that part of the distribution plan for the oil for food programme involving telecommunications.

The Secretary-General had withheld approval for expenditure on telecommunications in the distribution plans submitted by the Government of Iraq for Phase IV and also for the current Phase V.

Since then the United Nations has sent technical teams to Iraq to work with the relevant authorities on a revised plan. The Secretary-General says that the new plan, if properly implemented, should enhance the implementation of the humanitarian programme throughout Iraq.

The Office of the Iraq Programme advises that it has already received five contracts worth a total of $88 million dollars for the telecoms equipment. These contracts, from companies in France and China, will be processed and circulated to the 661 Committee for consideration.

The Government has proposed spending $92 million dollars on telecoms in Phase V - the Executive Director of the Iraq Programme, Benon Sevan, has noted that the amount available will depend on the final revenue raised during Phase V and the programmes priorities.

Secretary-General's letter to the President of the Security Council

Letter from Benon Sevan to the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations

Executive Summary of Part Seven/Telecommunications of the Distribution Plan for Phase V (submitted by the Government of Iraq)

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For further information please contact Hasmik Egian, OIP - NY, 1.212.963.4341