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To save space, I'm including 3 items here: i) Minister of State Tony Lloyd's claim that Iraq's Distribution Plan allocates less money now for food & medicine than before; ii) The frequent UK claim that the UN Special Rapporteur, Max van der Stoel, places the blame on the Iraqi government for malnutrition &c. iii) The UN Minorities Commission's condemnation of economic sanctions on Iraq. i) Tony Lloyd said in the House of Commons on 25 Jan 99: ³Let us look at the way in which Iraq tries to prioritise spending of oil for food money. The Iraqi distribution plan for the present six-month phase in the programme allocates less food than it did when the programme was worth only $2 billion; it is now worth some $5.3 billion. It reduces the daily food ration from 2,200 calories to 2,050, and reduces spending on medicine.² Dr Herring's comments, posted earlier, do not directly address this claim. Distribution plans are devised by the Iraqi government, and confirmed by the Secretary-General. The current plan (DP5) has been in operation since December 1998 (after the S-G's last report). In this plan, the daily food ration is 2150 kcal not 2050kcal (Tony Lloyd's first mistake), and spending on food is $906 million. Lloyd is right to point out that this is actually a reduction from the Fourth plan (DP4) which ran from May98; DP4 allocated $1.113 bn to food, and gave a ration of 2300kcal. Similarly, with medicine: $308million under DP4, and $240 under DP5. Lloyd is absolutely correct when he says that things are in fact getting worse again for most Iraqis. But he is absolutely wrong to claim that this is all evil Saddam's fault: the actual amount of money available to the Iraqi government thru the escrow account for humanitarian supplies has dropped, from $3.1bn in DP4 to $2.596 in DP5. I hope the following table can be read by all: Total (mills) Food Medicine Intake (kcal) DP2 (July97) 1320 807 210 2030 DP3 (Nov97?) ? ? ? 2030 DP4 (May98) 3100 1113 308 2300 DP5 (Dec98) 2596 906 240 2150 Of course, the decrease is due to the fall in oil prices. ii) Max van der Stoel, UN Commission on Human Rights Special Rapporteur. As far as I know, the last report he gave was on 10 March 1998, almost a year ago. A recent letter from the UK government mentioned a report of 'October 1998', but the UN have no record of a report from this month on Iraq. I imagine it's just the usual FCO incompetence. Stoel does strongly criticise the Iraqi government on a wide range of human rights counts, not only on the usual torture- mass execution- deportation score. A third of his long report deals with how the Iraqi government is not ordering the right goods under Oil-for-Food. He begins by mentioning that Iraq had excellent food availability prior to the Gulf War & its reliance on food imports; then goes on to devote a large section to how Iraq did not accept oil-for-food until it was too late for many; and the intermittent stoppages in Iraq's oil production. By drawing information selectively from WHO / UNICEF / the Secretary-General's reports, he criticises only the Government of Iraq for not implemented UN-advised projects. Two points: his selective use of UN agencies' reports is very misleading, ignoring their comments on external delays to the delivery of goods. More importantly, Special Rapporteurs can only comment on the responsibility of the government they are sent to investigate; to blame other governments would be outside his terms of mandate. Nowhere, despite what the UK government says, does he state 'it's more to do with Saddam than sanctions', and neither can he in terms of his mandate. iii) again, this is a bit old. Last August, the UN Subcommission on Minorities reached a very strongly worded decision on economic sanctions in Iraq. As it hasn't been posted previously on CASI, here it is in full - an ample source of quotes. See the part especially on complementing the US humanitarian groups (ie Voices) who take supplies into Iraq - I hope Voices have a copy for their forthcoming trial? 'Humanitarian situation in Iraq. Sub-Commission decision 1998/114 At its 35th meeting, on 26 August 1998, the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, recalling its decisions 1996/107 of 20 August 1996 and 1997/119 of 28 August 1997 and its resolution 1997/35 of 28 August 1997, believing that measures such as embargoes should be limited in time and should be lifted even if the legitimate objectives of the measures have not yet been attained, affirming once again the need to respect the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights, and the relevant provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the two Additional Protocols thereto; noting with grave concern the immense suffering endured by the Iraqi people, and by children in particular; drawing attention to the alarming accounts in numerous reports by the United Nations, the report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Iraq (E/CN.4/1998/67), and reports of specialized agencies concerning the situation of innocent people who are suffering an unacceptable decline in levels of health, nutrition, health care and employment and in agriculture; pointing out in that regard that the Secretary-General stated in his report to the Security Council on the ³oil for food² programme in February 1998 (S/1998/90) that infant mortality in Iraq was rising, that the water supply situation continued to deteriorate, and that farm output would be able to meet only 10 per cent of required nutritional levels; noting with satisfaction that many non-governmental organizations and personalities from a variety of countries, including the United States of America, have organized humanitarian convoys for Iraq, thus displaying their disapproval of the adverse consequences of an embargo that deprives an entire population of food, care and education; having in mind general comment No. 8 (1977) adopted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; considering any embargo that condemns an innocent people to hunger, disease, ignorance and even death without attaining the objectives for which it was declared to be a flagrant violation of the economic, social and cultural rights of the people concerned and of international law, the Sub-Commission decided, without a vote, to appeal to the international community and, in particular, to the Security Council for the embargo provisions affecting the humanitarian situation of the population in Iraq to be lifted. It also decided to urge the international community and all Governments, including that of Iraq, to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi population, in particular by facilitating the delivery of food, medical supplies and the wherewithal to meet their basic needs. [See chap. XIV.]' If anyone wants a copy of any of the documents mentioned here, please email & I'll send them a formatted version; otherwise to be found on the UN website. All corrections appreciated. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html