Magazine article UN Chronicle

Security Council Authorizes Sale of Oil to Meet Humanitarian Concerns

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Security Council Authorizes Sale of Oil to Meet Humanitarian Concerns

Article excerpt

Concerned by the serious nutritional and health situation of the Iraqi population and the risk of a further deterioration in that situation the Security Council on 14 April authorized States to permit the impart of up to $1 billion in Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products every 90 days.

In unanimously adopting resolution 986 (1995). the Council, acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, also authorized Turkey to permit the import of Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products to meet tariff charges for their transport through the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline in Turkey. That would be after deduction of an amount to be provided to the UN Compensation Fund, which deals with claims of loss, damage or injury caused by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

Responsibility for supervising some aspects of the implementation of the new resolution was given to the Security Council's Sanctions Committee, which monitors the restrictions imposed on Iraq following the Persian Gulf war. Each transaction must be approved by that Committee. The full amount of each purchase has to be deposited directly by the purchaser into an escrow account to be established by the Secretary-General.

The Sanctions Committee is to monitor the sale of exports supplied through the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline and from Iraq's Mina al-Bakr oil terminal, with the assistance of independent inspection agents, who would inform the Committee of the amount exported and verify that they were sold at reasonable market value. The resolution also provided that the larger share of those exports should be shipped via the pipeline, and the remainder to come from the terminal.

The easing of sanctions was to occur on the day after the Council President informed its member that the Secretary-General had reported that effective implementation of the resolution had been taken. The exception to the sanctions were to remain in force for an initial period of 180 days, unless the Council decided otherwise.

The funds in the escrow account were to be used for:

* Financing the export to Iraq of medicine, health supplies, foodstuffs, and materials and supplies for essential civilian needs. All such exports must be at the request of the Iraqi Government, which must effectively guarantee their equitable distribution on the basis of a plan submitted to and approved by the Secretary-General;

* Ensuring the equitable distribution of humanitarian relief throughout Iraq by providing between $130 million and $150 million every 90 days to the UN Inter-Agency Humanitarian Programme operating within the sovereign territory of Iraq in the three northern Governorates of Dihouk, Arbil and Suleimaniyeh. That amount would be reduced proportionally, if the total collected every 90 days was less than $1 billion;

* Transferring from the escrow account an amount not to exceed 30 per cent of its funds to the UN Compensation Fund;

* Meeting the costs of UN activities associated with implementation of the resolution and the current operating costs of the Special Commission on Iraqi disarmament, set up under resolution 687 (1991);

* Meeting any reasonable expenses directly related to the export of Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products or to the export to Iraq of parts and equipment needed for the safe operation of the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline system, subject to the Committee's prior approval;

* Making available up to $10 million every 90 days for payments to replace funds already provided by States under resolution 778 (1992). (By that resolution, the Council had decided that all States with funds derived from the sale of Iraqi petroleum or petroleum products should transfer those funds to an escrow account established by the Secretary-General.)

The Council also affirmed that nothing in resolution 986 (1995) should be construed as infringing Iraq's sovereignty or territorial integrity. Persons appointed by the Secretary-General to implement the resolution should enjoy all relevant privileges and immunities, and the Iraqi Government should allow them full freedom of movement and all necessary facilities for the discharge of their duties. …

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