Iraqi Development Fund seeks control of Saddam regime's assets
The acting governor of the Central Bank of Iraq has asked the United Nations for help in getting countries to transfer assets of the Saddam Hussein regime to the Development Fund for Iraq, reported the US Department of State’s official publication, the Washington File.
US Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte forwarded to the Security Council on August 5, 2003, a letter from Faleh Dawod Salman, acting governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, asking for help in locating and recovering Iraqi assets so that they can be used for the benefit of the Iraqi people.
"These funds, assets, and resources include not only those of the previous government of Iraq but also its state bodies, corporations, agencies, such entities that have been removed from Iraq or acquired by Saddam Hussein or other senior officials of the former Iraqi regime and their immediate family members," Salman said in his appeal to the council.
"It also includes entities owned or controlled by them directly or indirectly, and persons acting on their behalf or at their direction. I am sure you understand the vital importance of ensuring the prompt transfer of these funds to the Development Fund for Iraq. These funds are urgently needed for humanitarian, reconstruction, civilian administration, and other purposes benefiting the people of Iraq," Salman said.
Security Council resolution 1483, passed earlier this year, requires all UN member states to identify, freeze, and immediately transfer to the Development Fund for Iraq all funds, financial assets or economic resources in their jurisdictions that were established or held by the previous government of Iraq.
Salman asked the council to encourage nations to do everything possible to find assets that may be in their jurisdictions and to transfer the Iraqi assets without delay.
Coalition Provisional Authority Administrator L. Paul Bremer III said in a separate letter to the Security Council, "the identification of foreign Iraqi assets and the transfer of these assets to the Development Fund for Iraq... is a critical part of Iraq's economic reconstruction and the Coalition Provisional Authority's efforts to assist the Iraqi people at this time."
In the meantime, the Security Council committee that oversees the oil-for-food program spending approved the use of more than $183 million of the funds for projects in Iraq, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard announced.
A $72.3 million-project will print more than 66 million copies of newly edited textbooks for nationwide distribution to 5.5 million Iraqi students and provide salaries for 25,000 teacher trainees for the 2003-2004 academic year.
The UN said that schools were stripped of textbooks during the looting rampage after the war. The UN says another challenge was the necessity of editing out propaganda statements from the new revised versions of some 509 titles without changing the educational content.
The committee also approved a $104 million-project for fertilizer for Iraq's winter wheat and barley crops and $6.8 million for fungicides to contain smut, a disease that affects wheat and barley seeds, Eckhard said.
The committee was set up to monitor Iraq's purchase of food and humanitarian supplies with the proceeds from oil sales under the sanctions imposed after the Gulf War. The oil-for-food program will be phased out by November 21, 2003, and any remaining funds will be turned over to the Development Fund for Iraq. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)