Press Releases

    SG/SM/7832
    5 June 2001

    SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES SWIFTER APPROVAL OF APPLICATIONS FOR CONTRACTS SUBMITTED UNDER HUMANITARIAN PROGRAMME FOR IRAQ

    NEW YORK, (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Office of the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General has repeatedly expressed his grave concern regarding the unacceptably high level of holds placed on applications for contracts submitted under the humanitarian programme for Iraq, pursuant to Security Council resolution 986 (1995), and has called on the members of the Council to reduce the level of holds drastically.

    As at 31 May, the total number of applications placed on hold was 1,651, with a total value of $3.7 billion.

    On Friday, 1 June, the Permanent Mission of the United States informed the Office of the Iraq Programme of the decision taken by the Government of the United States to release the holds placed on 410 applications, with a total value of $703.5 million. The applications concerned were submitted under the agriculture, food handling, education, electricity, health, housing, water and sanitation and the oil sectors, details of which are available at the Office of the Iraq Programme.

    The Secretary-General is encouraged by and welcomes the decision taken, and appeals to all members of the Security Council and its Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) to expedite the approval of applications and spare no effort in lifting the remaining holds placed on applications.

    * *** *