UNITED NATIONS, July 9 (KUNA) — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday said the Development for Iraq (DFI) will remain in the Federal Reserve Bank in New York beyond December 31 of this year with the same existing mechanism and arrangements, including payment of five percent of the oil revenues to the Compensation Fund.
In his second quarterly report to the UN Security Council on the issue since last year, Ban said “the Government of Iraq has received confirmation from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of continuation of the existing mechanism in place for the DFI, to be effective after 31 December 2010.” As a result, he added, a sub-account to compensate the victims of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 will be established to enable the Iraqi Government to continue to deposit five percent of its oil and natural gas proceeds in the Geneva-based Compensation Fund.
By its resolution 1483 of May 2003, the council transferred the authority to manage the expenditures from Iraq’s oil revenue from the United Nations to the DFI, and created the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) to monitor it.
By its resolution 1905 of December 2009, the council extended until 31 December 2010 the arrangements for depositing those proceeds into the DFI, and asked Baghdad to put in place arrangements to ensure a “timely and effective transition” to a post-DFI mechanism by 31 December 2010.
It also asked Ban to report every three months on the progress by Iraq in preparing for such arrangements and decided to review the provisions of resolution 1483 at the request of the Iraqi Government by mid 2010.
Starting January 2011, the IAMB will disappear and Ban said he is “encouraged” that Baghdad, in coordination with the Iraqi Committee of Financial Experts (COFE), will continue to select an independent international auditor to monitor the successor entity to the DFI.
Iraqi Ambassador to the UN Hamid Al-Bayati told KUNA earlier this week that beginning next year, the DFI will also carry another name, different from the one given to it by the council.
Ban commended Iraq in his report released today for its efforts to make the new arrangements and encouraged Baghdad to continue to meet the deadlines set in a letter by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari to the council earlier this year for the successor entity for the DFI.
However, he expressed concern that “owing to certain administrative issues, there were delays in implementing the comprehensive oil-metering system.
“I urge the Government of Iraq to follow up on this issue and ensure that the implementation of the comprehensive oil-metering system continues as envisaged in the time-bound action plan presented to the Security Council,” Ban said. He also recalled that the IAMB continues to highlight issues of concern regarding weaknesses in controls over oil extraction and in the spending ministries. Audit fieldwork is not yet complete, as a result of delays caused by recent bombings that affected a number of ministries.
On the oil-for-food program, which used to buy humanitarian goods for Iraqis with oil money, Ban said irrespective of the manner the council chooses to close it, the conclusion of all pending issues should be subject to the provision by the Government of Iraq of a comprehensive indemnity with regard to all activities of the Organization, its representatives and agents in connection with the program since its inception and with regard to the funds that have been transferred and will be transferred to the DFI.
Also, he added, the conclusion of the outstanding activities under the program should also be subject to the availability of sufficient funds for the Organization to meet the costs and expenses that have been incurred or may be incurred in future in connection with the program, including the ones associated with the winding down of the program and the ones arising from the cooperation of the Organization with Member States in respect of investigations and proceedings related to the program.
The report coincided with a New York Times article published today about how hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraqi crude oil and refined products are smuggled every year from Kurdistan region to Iran under the nose of the US and without authorization from Baghdad. (end) sj.hb KUNA 092248 Jul 10NNNN