Remarks by U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative Peter Mulrean
14th Special Session of the UNCC Governing Council
December 18, 2014
Thank you, Mr. President.
The United States appreciates that both Iraq and Kuwait have sent eminent representatives from their capitals for this Special Session. We share the deep concern of the government of Iraq regarding its present security situation, and we are undertaking significant efforts to assist Iraq to overcome the multiple challenges it faces. We understand the requests that Iraq has made regarding its UNCC obligations, and we are in favor of helping Iraq.
We have listened very carefully to the representative of Kuwait. For us a key question about Iraq’s requests is whether Kuwait and Iraq have reached accord on these proposals. It is heartening to hear that they have. Kuwait deserves much appreciation from the international community for taking a constructive and helpful approach to Iraq during its time of crisis. In fact, it is an extremely positive symbol of how far the relations of these two countries have come since the events of the early 1990s that led to the creation of the UNCC.
In the present extraordinary circumstances, and given that there appears to be agreement between Iraq and Kuwait, the United States supports adoption by the Governing Council of a decision to suspend Iraq’s payment obligations for one year until January 1, 2016, when the payment obligations would resume.
It is important that Iraq’s obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions remain until all outstanding claims payments have been made. Until recently, we expected the remaining payments of approximately $4.6 billion to be completed during 2015. Under this proposal, the conclusion of the UNCC’s mandate will be deferred. That is acceptable to us, as long as there is a definite expectation and a reasonable timing for Iraq to resume and complete its payments. It remains important, as we have said at previous Governing Council meetings, to use UN resources wisely, and to accomplish the orderly wind-down of the UNCC and fulfillment of its mandate, even if that event will now be delayed by one year.
In sum, based on the accord between Iraq and Kuwait, we support Iraq’s requests for both the deferral of payments and the release of funds for the months of October, November and December. We hope that other Council members will do the same.