File image. A damaged Iraqi tank abandoned next oil wells set on fire by Iraqi soldiers retreating from Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm in January 1991. (Photo credit: AP)
The government of Iraq announced on 23 February that the UN has lifted the sanctions that were imposed on the country in 1991 over its invasion and occupation of Kuwait. Baghdad said the move came after it made the final reparation payment for the invasion.
According to the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), Baghdad has paid a total of $52.4 billion in reparations. The final payment was made in late December 2021 and on 13 January the commission confirmed that the payment had been processed.
The money has been used to settle the 1.5 million claims against the government of Iraq by individuals, corporations, governments, and international organizations in relation with the invasion.
In an address to the the UN Security Council (UNSC) on 23 February, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said the country “has concluded an important 30-years-long chapter and embarks on a new chapter in its diplomatic, political and economic journey.”
On 9 February the governing council of the UNCC confirmed that Iraq has fulfilled all the measures it needed to take for the sanctions to be lifted. “The Government of Iraq has fulfilled its international obligations to compensate all claimants awarded compensation by the Commission for losses and damages suffered as a direct result of Iraq’s unlawful invasion of Kuwait,” read part of the statement issued by the Geneva-based organization.
Today @UNGeneva hosted a session of the @UN Compensation Commission, marking the conclusion of its mandate which started in 1991. This momentous occasion reflected on the completion of the payment of all compensation awards amounting to $52.4 billion. https://t.co/hR8yPEnJcS pic.twitter.com/Bs8tJ2JpvY
— Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of UN Geneva (@UN_Valovaya) February 9, 2022
The compensation commission was established by the UN on 3 April, 1991, a few weeks after Iraq was defeated by a military coalition led by the United States. It was established under resolution number 687 as a mechanism to process claims and pay compensation for the losses and damages suffered as a direct result of the actions of Baghdad.