IK/178

                                                       23 March 1995







    COMPENSATION COMMISSION GOVERNING COUNCIL CONCLUDES SIXTEENTH SESSION



   Approves Claims for Compensation to Victims of Iraqi Aggression against

Kuwait







      GENEVA,  22 March (UN Information Service) -- The Governing Council of

the United Nations Compensation  Commission, established by Security Council

resolution 692  (1991) to review  compensation claims resulting  from Iraq's

invasion and occupation  of Kuwait, concluded its  sixteenth regular session

today, approving compensations awards to more than 162,800 claimants.



      During  the  three-day session,  the  Governing  Council approved  the

recommendations of the Panel of Commissioners dealing with individual claims

from  those  who were  forced to  flee Iraq  or  Kuwait as  a result  of the

invasion (category A claims) resulting in the award  of compensation to more

than 162,000 individual  claimants.  These  awards are in addition  to those

approved at earlier meetings of the Council.



      The  Council  also  approved  the  recommendations  of  the  Panel  of

Commissioners dealing with individual claims for serious personal  injury or

death  (category B claims)  that resulted in  additional compensation awards

for more than  800 claimants, thereby  raising the number  of claims so  far

approved under this category to above 4,000.



      The establishment of the Commission and its examination of hundreds of

claims  was a major  step towards alleviating the  condition of thousands of

persons who suffered personal losses during the 1991 Gulf war.  It  was also

a  move to  reaffirm  the  faith of  claimants  all over  the  world in  the

attainment  of   international  justice  within  the   framework  of  organs

established  by the  United  Nations.   The  Commission  began  the work  of

resolving  claims  in December  1993, less  than two  years since  they were

filed.   The process responded  to the  mandate received  from the  Security

Council to  render quick and effective justice to the millions of victims of

the invasion and occupation of Kuwait.



      The Compensation  Commission also administers the  fund established by

the  Security Council  from  which the  compensation  awards are  paid  out.

Further, it  determines Iraq's contribution to  the fund and how  it will be

paid.



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                                      - 2 -            Press Release IK/178

                                                       23 March 1995



      In addition to categories A and B, claims can also be classified under

category C  -- individual  losses of  property up to  $100,000.   Category B

claims  were the  first to  be  considered, since  they  concerned the  most

sensitive humanitarian cases such  as death and serious physical  and mental

injuries.   Upon  acceptance of  their claims,  individuals receive  $2,500,

while families receive a maximum of $10,000.



      Claims  were submitted  to the Commission,  as a general  rule, in the

form of consolidated  claims filed  by individual governments  on their  own

behalf or on behalf of their citizens and corporations.



      With the  awards made at this session, the overall number of claims so

far approved by the  Governing Council in the three  expedited categories of

individual  claims (A,  B  and C)  has  reached more  than  220,000 with  an

estimated value  of $870 million.   With  the most recent  decisions of  the

Governing  Council,   all  of  the  95  governments   and  15  international

organizations that have filed  claims with the Commission have  now received

compensation  awards  in  at  least  one  or  more  of  the  three expedited

categories of individual claims.



      The Governing  Council  also appointed  a  Panel of  Commissioners  to

review  the claim  submitted by the  Government of  Kuwait on  behalf of the

Kuwait Oil Company  for the cost  of extinguishing some  700 oil-well  fires

following  the conclusion of  the Gulf war.   The Panel  of Commissioners is

headed  by  a  Chairman,  Allan  Philip,  an  international  arbitrator from

Denmark, and  has two other members,  Bola Adesumbo Ajibola, a  Nigerian and

former  member  of the  International  Court of  Justice at  The  Hague, and

Antoine Antoun, an international auditor and accountant from Lebanon.



      In  addition,  the  Governing   Council  accepted  claims  in  various

categories submitted by 25  governments and four international organizations

after the expiration of the original time-limit of 1 January 1995.  However,

the  Commission  accepted  claims  in only  those  cases  which demonstrated

"strong  and compelling"  reasons as to  why the  claims could  not be filed

earlier.



      The  Compensation  Commission operates  as a  subsidiary organ  of the

Security Council, and the  Governing Council has the same membership  as the

Security Council.  At  this session, the Governing Council  heard statements

from four non-member States,  in accordance with  the rules of procedure  of

the Security Council.  Those countries were Kuwait, Iraq, India and Egypt.



      Finally, the Governing Council expressed its concern about the current

financial situation  of  the compensation  fund,  in light  of the  lack  of

sufficient   funds  available   for  the   payment  of   accumulated  unpaid

compensation awards.  The  Council urged prompt action in  order to maintain

the dynamics of the operation.



      This session of the Council of the Commission was the  first under the

presidency  of the Permanent Representative  of Italy to  the United Nations

Office  at Geneva, Ambassador Giuseppe  Baldocci, and with  Indonesia as the

new Vice-President.  The three new members of the Security  Council for 1995

--  Botswana, Germany and Honduras  -- also participated  in the proceedings

for the first time.



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