Monday, December 19, 2005

Environmental conditionality built into US$ 5.26 billion environmental compensation awards for Gulf War

On December 8, 2005, the UN Security Council's Compensation Commission (UNCC) approved a new follow-up scheme to ensure proper remediation of environmental damage from the 1991 Gulf War.  The UNCC completed its review of 168 environnmental claims in June 2005, bringing the final awards of compensation for environmental damage to US $ 5.26 billion (of a claimed US $85 billion), the largest amount of compensation ever awarded in the history of international environmental law.see UNCC report and ASIL Summary.  To ensure implementation of the Commission’s detailed technical recommendations for environmental monitoring and remediation annexed to the awards, and in order to prevent the kind of misappropriation of UN-administered funds documented in October 2005 by the Volcker Commission Report (Report of the Independent Inquiry Committee into the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme), the UNCC laid down a series of guidelines and safeguards, including half-yearly progress reports through ‘independent reviewers’, accompanied by auditing certificates and potentially subject to site inspections. UNCC decision. The four principal recipient countries (Iran, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) agreed to the Commission’s withholding a 15% portion from all final disbursements until satisfactory completion of the environmental projects concerned – which is the first time ‘environmental conditionality’ has been built into an international claims procedure for state responsibility.  HT Peter H. Sand

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/environmental_law/2005/12/us_526_billion_.html

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