MEA says can’t help Gulf War compensation seekers

MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) isn’t the place to knock if you are seeking compensation for your losses suffered in the Gulf War.

Even after a lapse of over nine years from the conclusion of the payment of the compensation on individual claims by the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) in 2007, the Special Kuwait Cell (SKC) of the MEA continues to receive enquiries/ appeals from a large number of individuals, through multiple channels, on the status of their claims to the UNCC, said an update from the ministry.

The update from the MEA further reads:

“UNCC was set up by the United Nations in 1991 with a mandate to process claims and pay compensation to Individuals of various nationalities, including Indians, for losses and damage suffered by them during the Gulf War of 1990-91. The claims were examined, processed, accepted or rejected under the exclusive discretion of the authorities at the UNCC in Geneva and the Commission’s decisions in this regard were final. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India had no influence or control over the claims processing, including the eligibility of claimants and the quantum of claim awarded by the UNCC.

The UNCC fixed 1st January 1996 as the final deadline for preferring individual compensation claims. The UNCC concluded the claims processing exercise in 2005 and payments to individuals was concluded in 2007. The Governing Council of the UNCC did not agree to accept any individual claims that were preferred beyond the prescribed deadline, despite several requests by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, including for persons who although were found eligible but remained untraceable to receive the claims as awarded by the UNCC. The Governing Council further notified that the UNCC would neither reconsider any resolved claims nor would it accept any new claims, regardless of the circumstances. The UNCC has already wound up its office dealing with processing of individual claims and their payment. The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India is therefore unable to approach the UNCC to revive the claims processing and payment exercise.”

MEA, therefore says that:

“It would serve no useful purpose to direct any future queries/ appeals for payment of compensation claims by concerned individuals to the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. All concerned individuals are, therefore, requested not to approach the Ministry of External Affairs any further in this regard. ”

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