Published: Mar 2, 2022

After more than 30 years, Iraq is officially out of the provisions of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter

On 21st February 2022, the UN Security Council issued decision No. (136/2022) in which it confirmed that Iraq had fulfilled all its international obligations by compensating all the claimers granted by the committee, the issue according to the decisions of the UN Security Council at the beginning of the nineties, for the losses incurred by them as a result of Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait. It was also decided, according to the aforementioned decision, to end the committee’s authority and instruct it to close the fund where the amounts are deposited and deducted from the sold oil’s revenues at the end of 2022, and to return the remaining amounts to Iraq upon its dissolution.

Iraq has been subjected to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter since 1990, which was imposed on Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait in August of the same year. This chapter allows the use of force against Iraq considering it as a threat to the international security, in addition to freezing large amounts of its financial balances in the international banks to pay compensations to those damaged by the invasion.

Among the legal implications of this UN decision, Iraq’s exit from Chapter VII will restore its absolute legal status, in the international community, to what it was before the Security Council decision (838) of 1993.

Iraq’s fulfilment of its obligations calls the United Nations to lift the guardianship on the Iraqi frozen funds abroad, so that the Iraqi management, on its money and its absolute right to act, will return. It is also considered as a sign of hope that opens new horizons in dealing with the countries of the world in the fields of development and investment.

In the same context, Iraq’s exit from the provisions of Chapter VII, means the liberation from economic determinants, which were the reason of delaying providing the services to citizens, and will enable Iraq to manage its affairs without any determinants that would be a reason for delaying the progress of the infrastructure projects needed by all the cities of Iraq. It is expected that Iraq will have great economic revenues which will contribute to reducing unemployment and poverty rates.

Furthermore, exiting from Chapter VII means full sovereignty because Iraq’s survival under its control means remaining under the guardianship of the United Nations and the Security Council.

In summary, exiting from Chapter VII means liberation from all political, economic, diplomatic and legal restrictions and many other things that develop the Iraqi situation externally and internally.

Key Contacts

Jawad Khalaf

Partner, Head of Litigation - Iraq