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UN Security Council Resolution 1483 Lifts Sanctions on Iraq

Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
May 22, 2003

A vital role for the UN and the international community:
Stresses the right of the Iraqi people to freely determine their own political future and control their own natural resources. The resolution establishes a framework under Chapter VII of the UN Charter for the Coalition, the UN, and others in the international community to participate in the administration and reconstruction of Iraq and to assist the Iraqi people in determining their political future, establishing new institutions, and restoring economic prosperity. The resolution will return Iraq's oil revenues to Iraq for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

Ensures the UN plays a vital role in Iraq's reconstruction. The resolution establishes the position of a UN Special Representative of the Secretary General, who will coordinate humanitarian and reconstruction assistance; assist in the development of representative government institutions; and promote legal and judicial reform, and protection of human rights.

Encourages international support for Iraq's recovery. The resolution makes it possible for states and organizations to support the Iraqi people in building a free, prosperous and secure Iraq-by responding to UN humanitarian appeals, providing resources for reconstruction, and contributing to stability and security in Iraq.

Enlists the support of international financial institutions. UNSCR 1483 calls upon international financial institutions to assist the people of Iraq and to facilitate assistance by the broader donor community, while calling on creditors to seek a multilateral and bilateral solution to Iraq's sovereign debt.

Supporting recovery and economic reconstruction:
Ends 13 years of sanctions. By lifting these outdated sanctions, leaving in place only the weapons ban, the resolution will kick start Iraq's recovery and economic transformation.

Enables Iraq to rejoin the global market. By abolishing trade restrictions, the resolution will permit Iraq to trade freely in the international market.

Returns oil revenues to Iraq. Oil revenues from export sales will be deposited in the Development Fund for Iraq housed in the Central Bank of Iraq, which will be monitored by an international board. Independent public accountants will ensure full transactional transparency.

Ensures Iraqi revenues are spent on Iraqi reconstruction. The resolution underlines that the Development Fund will be used in a transparent manner: for humanitarian needs, economic reconstruction and repair of Iraq'sinfrastructure, continued disarmament of Iraq, and costs of Iraqi civilian administration.

In summary, UNSCR 1483:

  • Lifts the sanctions burden on Iraqi people
  • Encourages the international community to help the Iraqi people build a better future
  • Establishes the position of a UN Special Representative
  • Winds down the Oil-for-Food program (OFF) over a six-month period
  • Supports Iraqis in charting their own political and economic future
  • Reaffirms the Coalition's commitment to work with the UN and an Iraqi Interim Administration to transition authority to an internationally recognized government

Temporarily immunizes oil sales. So that Iraqis have critical resources for reconstruction, oil sales will be immunized against attachment by international creditors or others with claims against the former regime until December 31, 2007.

Winds down the Oil-for-Food (OFF) program over a six-month period. The resolution allows the Secretary General, in coordination with Coalition authorities and the Iraq Interim Administration, to continue to prioritize contracts previously approved and funded by the UN for delivery to meet the immediate needs of the Iraqi people. One billion dollars of unallocated funds in the UN escrow account will be transferred to the Development Fund for Iraq to provide for immediate reconstruction needs.

Winding down OFF will not mean an immediate end to food distribution. During the transition, food distribution will continue through a public distribution system.

Returns assets stolen by Saddam and his regime to Iraq. Stolen assets will be deposited into the Development Fund to support Iraq's reconstruction.

Also, Resolution 1483:

  • Reaffirms Iraq's disarmament obligations.
  • Bars Iraqis alleged to have committed crimes and atrocities from receiving safe haven in other countries.
  • Bans international trade in stolen Iraqi cultural property.
  • Supports continued efforts to account for Kuwaitis and others missing since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait and continues funding (including 5% of oil proceeds) for the UN Compensation Commission.

International Community Pledges Assistance for People of Iraq

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