A report by Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar avoids specifying the amount of Iraqi oil revenues to be paid as reparations, leaving the task up to a U.N. commission.
The 22-page report was due to be given to the Security Council Friday under terms of the Persian Gulf war cease-fire signed one month ago.The Sanctions Committee, meanwhile, was to consider an Iraqi request to sell $942.5 million worth of oil to pay for food, medical aid and humanitarian supplies. Iraq also has asked that $1 billion of its assets be unfrozen worldwide.
Diplomats on the committee said no action was expected on Iraq's request. Baghdad still might have assets in its own banks, and the question of reparations from the oil profits must first be settled, they said.
Under the truce, Iraq is liable "for any direct loss, damage, including environmental damage and depletion of natural resources, or injury to foreign governments, nationals and corporations, as a result of Iraq's unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait" that began Aug. 2.
Perez de Cuellar has left the task of deciding reparations up to a Compensation Commission, made up of various experts and Security Council representatives, according to a copy of the report obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.
Western diplomats have said they have sought up to 25 percent - about $8 billion each year - of Iraqi oil money for the U.N. reparations account. That range of percentages, they said, is about equivalent to what Iraq spent to build up its war machine.
But non-aligned and Arab nations are said to favor a more lenient approach - between 5 and 10 percent - so that Iraq will have enough money to rebuild its economy after fierce wartime bombing by the allies.
Kuwait, which suffered the brunt of the war's damage, is expected to file the largest demands for reparations.
So far 37 nations have also indicated they will file for business and wage losses, individual claims for family deaths, injuries and hardship, and environmental damage.
No effort has been made to force Iraq to pay for allied costs of driving its armies out of Kuwait or for the effort to provide relief to more than 2 million Kurdish refugees who fled Iraq after failing to oust Saddam.