U.S. Remarks at the Opening of the 84th Governing Council Session – UN Compensation Commission

Opening of 84th Governing Council Session
UN Compensation Commission

Geneva, April 25, 2018

Thank you Ambassador,

Congratulations Ambassador on Poland’s election as President of this Governing Council.  We greatly appreciate Poland’s willingness to take on this position.

Distinguished representatives of Iraq and Kuwait, distinguished members of the Governing Council and the UNCC Secretariat:

The United Nations Compensation Commission is considered a model for post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation, demonstrating the value and importance of international law.  As a subsidiary organ of the United Nations Security Council pursuant to a Chapter VII Security Council resolution, its decisions have the force of law and have been implemented by the governments of Iraq and Kuwait.

We would like to recognize and thank Iraq for its continued cooperation with the UNCC, in fulfillment of those Security Council obligations.  And thank you to Iraq’s Committee of Financial Experts, COFE and its head, Dr. Abdulbasit, who has traveled to Geneva to join us today.

We also appreciate Kuwait’s support to and cooperation with the UNCC, and the presence of Chairman Al-Mudhaf of Kuwait’s PAAC.

Since the Governing Council last met, Iraq has retaken all of its territory back from ISIS and on December 9, formally declared victory.  We commend the Iraqi Security Forces for their bravery and professionalism.   However, ISIS’s threat has not completely disappeared and its legacy will scar Iraq for many years to come.  The Iraqi government continues to respond to the aftermath of ISIS’ invasion of Iraq, including providing humanitarian aid to millions of internally displaced persons, restoring basic services to the areas liberated from ISIS, and dealing with damaged economic infrastructure.  The government also continues to conduct security operations against ISIS elements that are launching asymmetric attacks in Iraq.  We commend the Iraqi government for its continuing efforts to meet its many challenges.

We would also like to extend our sincere gratitude to Kuwait, who hosted the Iraq Reconstruction Conference in Kuwait City in February this year.  The Government of Kuwait graciously supported the event during which the international community and private sector were able to come together to assist in Iraq’s reconstruction, raising almost $30 billion in grants, loans, and financing support.    We laud Kuwait’s brotherly support to its Iraqi neighbor.

We are extraordinarily pleased that Iraq commenced repayment of its payment obligations at the beginning of this year under a payment schedule agreed to by both governments and adopted by this Governing Council in November 2017, and urge both governments to continue to work in this spirit of cooperation.

We now have a clear plan for the completion of the UNCC’s mandate in a reasonable time – so that we maintain the UNCC’s positive reputation and credibility.  We want the UNCC’s performance to stand as a success story that serves not only to discourage illegal acts of aggression, but also to showcase a positive example of post-conflict recovery and reconciliation – even in these demanding circumstances.

Thank you Ambassador.