Iraq steps up efforts to regain control of financial revenues

The UN Security Council will meet in December to decide the future of the Development Fund for Iraq. [Eric Thayer/Reuters]

The UN Security Council will meet in December to decide the future of the Development Fund for Iraq. [Eric Thayer/Reuters]

  • COMMENT 4
  • Print this article
  • increase decrease

The Iraqi government has been stepping up its diplomatic and political efforts to regain control over the country's money in the United Nations Development Fund for Iraq (DFI).

The efforts coincide with the approach of the UN Security Council meeting on December 31st, when the international body will examine the possibility of lifting the UN's custody of the fund.

"The government committee that is responsible for the issue of regaining control over Iraq's funds has in recent months exerted unremitting efforts to regain such control and to protect the funds against creditors in case the UN decides to lift its custody off such funds," Deputy Minister of Finance Fadhil Nabi told Mawtani on September 27th.

"These efforts have led to the cancellation of debts owed by Iraq to most world countries," Nabi said. "There is also a government move to close this file once and for all by concluding agreements on economic and investment partnerships, especially with some of the Arab countries that refuse to write off their debts."

In May 2003, the UN Security Council set up the fund to hold revenues from oil exports and other Iraqi funds to be used for humanitarian and economic reconstruction. The International Advisory and Monitoring Board for Iraq was established to oversee and audit the use of the funds.

In December 2009, the Security Council passed Resolution 1905, which extended the DFI arrangement for another year.

The Iraqi government stated that the country has successfully settled more than 70% of the debts it owes to individuals and companies. The settlements will prevent further claims on Iraqi funds once UN protection over the DFI ends.

The latest settlement was finalized with the United States, which agreed to abandon all lawsuits and claims from US citizens affected by the former regime in return for $400 million in compensation.

"The settlement of these claims for damages will enable Iraq to free itself from the international sanctions that were imposed under Chapter 7 resolutions. It will also pave the way for a secure transition in the task of supervising the fund from the United Nations to the Iraqi government," said Sami al-Atrushi, a member of the Financial Committee in the former Iraqi parliament.

Al-Atrushi said the US is serious about cooperating with Iraq to protect the funds in the DFI.

Economic analyst Haidar al-Yasseri said, "Iraq has an urgent need to restore its revenues that were generated from exporting oil, which were frozen following the imposition of international sanctions in 1991, and which are estimated at tens of billions of dollars."

Al-Yasseri expressed confidence in the ability of the Iraqi government to protect its funds in cooperation with its partners in the international community.

"The issue is not related to depriving the treasury of the Iraqi state of huge amounts of money since it is related to releasing Iraq from some of the restrictions that have chained it for many years and denied it the right to dispose of its financial revenues and direct them freely towards financing reconstruction projects," he added.

ADD A COMMENT (COMMENT POLICY) * DENOTES REQUIRED FIELD

* DENOTES REQUIRED FIELD

  • READER COMMENTS

    سالم الجعفري

    2010-10-16

    We all know that the Iraqi Dinar is worth nothing in the face of the other currencies. But, we should remember the past years and the position of the Iraqi currency, and how it was one of the highest currencies in the whole world. However, we should not also forget that Iraq faced a very difficult situation due to engaging in successive wars, in addition to the long siege that completely destroyed the Iraqi economy and infrastructure and caused rampant poverty in Iraq. Even after the end of the recent war that toppled the Baathist regime, terrorism and al-Qaeda came to finish the mission of destroying the Iraqi economy and currency. However, today, after the elimination of terrorism, several investment projects have been started in Iraq, which became the favorite destination of all investors from all over the world, in addition to the international and Arab companies. Believe me, we will see that the Iraqi dinar will recover and come back to control the market, once Iraq controls the oil production, given the fact that it has the largest oil reserves in the world.

  • احمد السراج

    2010-10-16

    We need a true and authentic renaissance, not just in words, as we used to hear from the rulers, ministers and politicians. I believe this renaissance is possible and easy, and Iraq has the physical and human resources to achieve such a renaissance. We have the money and we have huge material income, resulting from the export of Iraqi oil to other countries. There is a great deal of money in the treasury of the state, and all we need is to start working seriously on the ground through the use of that money in investment of service projects, reconstruction and building the infrastructure that suffers from ravages and destruction. We need to bring life to the various areas of life in Iraq through the proper use of those funds, spending them in the right place and working on developing the Iraqi economy through successful investment. This will bring good to Iraqis, if the wheel of construction and reconstruction starts working properly, as it is planned by the honorable people in the Iraqi government.

  • هند الحسان

    2010-10-16

    After all the suffering that we experienced in the time of injustice and tyranny that was exercised by the Baath regime in Iraq throughout the three decades or more, and after we got rid of the rule of the Baath Party forever, there has been no radical change to the reality of life in Iraq. We still suffer from poverty and a weak economy, unemployment and the spread of illiteracy, and the suspension of industry and agriculture in Iraq. But despite all this, we have not lost hope that the politicians and leaders will pay attention to our deteriorating situation. We hope that the next stage will be better, because the modern democratic experiment in Iraq has made the leaders and politicians fall into a lot of unintended mistakes that caused a delay in the advancement of Iraq. In addition, there has been terrorism and fierce attacks on Iraq by the enemies of peace and those who reject the new reality in Iraq. But, thanks to God and his grace, Iraq has managed to overcome the crisis, and has become healthy and is standing on its own feet. We all hope for the future, and we ask God for it to be a promising future, with progress and development and the eradication of all the problems of Iraq in all aspects of life, for Iraqis to be like other peoples of the Gulf States, who enjoy the wealth of their country and feel prosperity, security and happiness while watching their country develop and advance towards progress. We hope our future will be bright by God’s will and that He blesses the good-hearted Iraqis, who have worked very hard for Iraq to be a sophisticated and prosperous country in the future.

  • عماد الطارقي

    2010-10-15

    In the past, the United Nations Security Council issued a resolution preventing Iraq from using its funds freely, and forced it to do so under the supervision of the United Nations. Today, Iraq works seriously to rid itself of the seventh item that was imposed on Iraq because of the problems of the former regime, and using the revenues of Iraq for bad purposes that do not serve the people of Iraq. Hence, Iraq was placed under the seventh item, and all the oil revenues were managed under the supervision of the United Nations. Currently, there is no reason for continuing this legal condition, especially given that Iraq has changed and it is ruled by a new regime. Iraq is no longer a threat to the other countries, as it was in the past, and it does not use the oil revenues in making nuclear weapons or the like. Hence, I believe that the Security Council must lift these sanctions and allow Iraq to use its money without international supervision or control.