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Student Union pass motion giving (limited) support to CASI



On Thursday 3rd March Cambridge University Students' Union (CUSU) Concil meeting
passed a motion to support CASI in raising awareness in Cambridge of the
declining educational situation in Iraq which is a direct result of sanctions. A
copy of the entire motion is at the end of this e-mail.

Although the motion does not commit CUSU to actively campaigning about this issue, it means they 
have given approval and support for CASI in

1) organising a poster campaign around Cambridge informing people of the severe educational 
deprivation in Iraq as result of sanctions

2) making contact with Iraqi university students

3) sending textbooks to Iraq when a legitimate channel has been found to do this

It was felt that this vote of support from the Cambridge students' representative organisation  
would give CASI more standing and authority in its campaign as well as additional resources. It is 
hoped that the motion will be the FIRST STEP, BOTH in encouraging other students' unions to support 
similar anti-sanction campaigns AND in developing wider support among the Cambridge/national 
student body.

Please feel free to contact Elinor Wakefield, ejw24@cam.ac.uk if you are thinking about drafting a 
similar motion or have some ideas to pass on.

A copy of the Motion follows.


CUSU COUNCIL NOTES

1)that article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises the right of all children 
to education, and obliges all countries to work towards making higher education accessible to all

2) that before Sanctions were imposed on Iraq by the UN following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, 
illiteracy rates in Iraq had been decreasing steadily (female illiteracy was 25.2% in 1987 down 
from 62.4% in 1977; male illiteracy was 13% in 1987 down from 24.4% in 1977)

3) with UNICEF (April 1998 report), that the increase in literacy in Iraq has slowed considerably 
in comparison with other Arab countries and that male literacy had decreased  to 1995

4) with UNICEF, that "[sc. amongst Iraqis] social esteem for education is dwindling...in the face 
of economic decline"

5) with UNICEF, that the number of teachers in Iraq is falling by 10% each year

6) with UNICEF, that 1 million (20%) of Iraqi schoolchildren and students did not enroll in
1998

7) that economic sanctions on Iraq have prevented the import into Iraq of all of the following at 
some point since 1991:  books, journals, pencils, and school desks

8) that the impoverishment of Iraq caused by economic sanctions has resulted in a steady decline in 
the budget of the Ministry of Education

9) with UNESCO, that 1.34 million books are required for 'priority needs' in the Iraqi education 
system

10) with UNICEF, that 4520 schools in Iraq need extensive rehabilitation

11) that it is UK policy not only to maintain and enforce the sanctions, but also to tighten them 
further


CUSU COUNCIL BELIEVES

1) that communication between students in this country and those in different countries, including 
Iraq, may be of mutual benefit

2) that the absence of teachers and the paucity of funds and resources in primary and secondary 
level education in Iraq will adversely affect the standard of schoolchildren's education in Iraq

3) that as a result of 2) admissions and standards in Iraqi universities can only fall

4) that a high standard of university education in the present is integral to Iraq's ability, when 
sanctions end, to
    - manage the reconstruction and maintainance of its infrastructure
    - to run a fully functional health service
    - maintain the number of teachers and academics in its education system


CUSU COUNCIL RESOLVES

1) to support our fellow students in Iraq whose education is being compromised by economic sanctions

2) to support Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq (CASI) in expressing concern about the educational 
situation in Iraq

3) to allocate CASI 40 in photocopying facilities to enable it to spread awareness among Cambridge 
University students of the educational system in Iraq

4) to support CASI in its aim to initiate contact with Iraqi university students

5) to support the sending of books to Iraqi schools and universities when CASI has found a 
legitimate channel to do this



proposed by Elinor Wakefield (Queens') (ejw24@hermes)

seconded by Seb Wills (Clare) (saw27@cam.ac.uk)
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