In little over a year, the United Nations has created a new and innovative mechanism to collect, assess and ultimately provide compensation for hundreds of thousands—or even millions—of claims against Iraq for direct losses stemming from the invasion and occupation of Kuwait.
The UN Compensation Commission, an element of the United Nations response to Iraq’s August 1990 invasion of Kuwait, began operations in Geneva in July 1991. In seven formal sessions between July 1991 and September 1992, the Commission’s Governing Council adopted by consensus an innovative structure for collecting and verifying millions of potential claims. A small, but experienced, professional staff was recruited; it is headed by a distinguished Peruvian diplomat and includes legal experts with long experience at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague. The staff is at work in the Villa La Pelouse on the UN grounds in Geneva.