Global Policy Forum

UN to Transfer $200 mln to Iraq Development Fund


By Evelyn Leopold

June 24, 2005

The Security Council decided on Friday to transfer $200 million from an account for U.N. weapons inspectors to a Development Fund for Iraq and another $20 million to pay some of the country's dues owed to the United Nations. Secretary-General Kofi Annan had recommended the transfer from an escrow account that still has monies from the now-defunct oil-for-food program. The account was set up to fund the remaining weapons inspectors and their extensive data base on Iraq's past nuclear, chemical, biological and long-range missile programs and materials.

Iraq has been lobbying for months for the Security Council to have all money remaining in the oil-for-food accounts transferred to the Development Fund and to help pay its arrears in dues to the United Nations.

The staff of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Agency, known as UNMOVIC, has not been allowed to return to Iraq by the United States since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003. It is now studying satellite images to determine the extent of widespread looting of Iraqi weapons sites sealed by its inspectors before the war. But UNMOVIC's $12 million annual budget is paid for with Iraqi oil money, and the council has come under pressure from the new Baghdad government to close down the agency so the money can be used for other purposes.

The UNMOVIC account, according to U.N. officials, still has some $100 million so the transfer is not expected to affect the work of the remaining 50 professional staff from 24 countries. There are also 20 to 30 support staff in New York plus small offices in Baghdad and Cyprus to maintain and guard inspection equipment.

The United States earlier this year began talks to wind up UNMOVIC's work by September with Anne Patterson, the acting U.S. ambassador, telling reporters, "There is a broad consensus to look at the mandate pretty quickly." But other council members believe the United Nations first has to decide on where to place some of the weapons experts and to address a 1991 resolution that says U.N. inspectors have to formally certify that Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction.

More Information on Iraq
More Information on the Development Fund for Iraq


FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.