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Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 22, 2003


UN Security Council Resolution 1483 Lifts Sanctions on Iraq; International Community Pledges Assistance for People of Iraq

In summary, UNSCR 1483:

  • Lifts the sanctions burden on the Iraqi people.
  • Encourages the international community to assist in helping the Iraqi people build a better future for their country.
  • Establishes the position of a UN Special Representative who will play a vital role in all aspects of Iraq's reconstruction.
  • Winds down the Oil-for-Food program (OFF) over a six-month period, while providing for the continued delivery of priority civilian goods approved and funded under OFF to meet the immediate needs of the Iraqi people.
  • 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, representative government of Iraq as efficiently and effectively as possible.

UNSCR 1483 fulfills the promise of a vital UN role and involves the international community in Iraq's recovery:

  • 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; facilitate the reconstruction of key infrastructure; and promote economic, legal and judicial reform, and protection of human rights. The Special Representative will work with the Coalition and the people of Iraq to facilitate a process leading to an internationally recognized, representative government of Iraq.
  • 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, including 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 in the reconstruction and development of their economy 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.

The international community has come together to support Iraq's recovery and economic reconstruction. UN Security Council Resolution 1483 :

  • Ends 13 years of sanctions. Sanctions had been imposed to compel Saddam Hussein's compliance with WMD requirements and contain the threat of his regime. 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. The Development Fund will be monitored by an international board that includes representatives of the UN Secretary General, the IMF, the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development, and the World Bank. Independent public accountants reporting to the board will audit the fund to 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 the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people, economic reconstruction and repair of Iraq's infrastructure, the continued disarmament of Iraq, the costs of Iraqi civilian administration, and other purposes benefiting the people of Iraq.
  • Temporarily immunizes oil sales. To ensure that Iraqis have access to the critical resources needed for reconstruction during the transition period, 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 Iraqi 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. Action on contracts judged to be of questionable usefulness in light of the changed circumstances will be postponed until an internationally recognized, representative government is established and in a position to make its own determination. 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. This resolution is an important first step in Iraq's transition to a market economy. 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.

Resolution 1483 also:

  • Promotes disarmament of Iraq. UNSCR 1483 reaffirms the need to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction.
  • Bars Iraqis alleged to have committed crimes and atrocities from receiving safe haven in other countries. UNSCR 1483 affirms the need for accountability for crimes and atrocities committed by members of Saddam's regime.
  • Protects Iraq's heritage. UNSCR 1483 establishes a ban on international trade in Iraqi cultural property and other archaeological, historical, cultural, religious and rare scientific items illegally removed from the Iraq National Museum, National Library and other locations.
  • Supports continued efforts to account for Kuwaitis and others missing since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. UNSCR 1483 directs the International Committee of the Red Cross and other appropriate organizations and individuals to continue efforts to account for the fate of Kuwaiti and Third Country missing persons and property unaccounted for since Saddam's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
  • Provides for continued funding of the UN Compensation Commission, which deals with outstanding claims for victims of Saddam's aggression in Kuwait. Five percent of oil proceeds will be deposited into the UNCC Compensation Fund.

Released on May 22, 2003

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