MEDIA RELEASE

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D24
19 March 1997

UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION COMMISSION - PAYMENT OF CLAIMS RESULTING FROM THE IRAQI INVASION OF KUWAIT

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has received the first substantial payment from the United Nations Compensation Commission for compensation claims made by Australians following the Gulf War.

Under the UN Security Council Resolution 986 part of the revenue from the sale of Iraqi oil is directed by the UN to finance compensation claims resulting from losses incurred by individuals and corporations during the Gulf War.

Australia has received US$302,500 from the UN Compensation Commission (UNCC) to allow the payment of a first instalment of US$2,500 to each of 121 successful claimants in categories A and C. Category A claims are for costs associated with individuals' departures from Iraq or Kuwait. Category C is for individual claims for losses up to US$100,000.

The Department has mailed letters to all claimants who are to receive payments from this first instalment.

In preparation for the payment of claims on behalf of the UNCC, the Department has sought payment information from all claimants. Claimants who have not yet sent their payment information form to the Department are asked to do so immediately, so as not to delay the payment of their compensation. Forms may be faxed to (06) 261 3491.

The Department hopes that all claimants will have received their payments within two weeks.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has opened an information line, (06) 261 2001, which gives claimants access to recorded information providing updates on the assessment of claims by the UNCC and on compensation payments.

For more information, Brent Hall (06) 261 2081 or Kirk Coningham (media) 261 1555

Recorded information: (06) 261 2001.