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No UK change of policy

Many of us were somewhat hopeful when the UK government announced 5
criteria for the future use of economic sanctions, regarding their
more 'efficient' targetting at the regime rather than the people (as
related in earlier postings by Colin Rowat). Unfortunately, the recent
statements by Baroness Symons (Foreign Office minister) in the House of
Lords emphasise  quite categorically that these criteria do not apply to
Iraq. I reprint sections from the debates below; for the whole text,

2.45 p.m. 

Lord Judd: [....] Can my noble friend assure us that the thinking
which the Government have been doing on the application of sanctions can
be rapidly applied to the Iraqi situation so that sanctions are targeted
on those upon whom they should be targeted so that suffering can be
relieved? Does my noble friend further agree that the ultimate test of all
we are doing on sanctions is our clear long-term objective for security in
the region as a whole?

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, if my noble friend is
suggesting that we should relax sanctions against Iraq, I cannot agree
with him. Relaxing those sanctions without Iraq having met its obligations
would be a serious mistake [......] My noble friend made reference to the
review of the sanctions policy which my right honourable friend announced
earlier this week. It is true that the Government have been looking at
ways of targeting sanctions more against regimes than against some of the
innocent people in those countries. But in putting forward those plans my
right honourable friend also made clear that he did not believe that it
would be possible to have that kind of specific targeting in the case of


Lord Kennet: My Lords, in view of the adoption of five new principles
which should govern sanctions and which were announced on Monday by my
noble friend in a Written Answer to my noble friend Lady David, and
in view of the fact that the current sanctions on Iraq breach at least
three of those five principles, can my noble
friend give any idea as to when she hopes to lift them? 

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, as I indicated, the Government
have been doing a great deal of work on sanctions policy. We are
examining whether policies can be improved so that they punish
the regimes of the countries concerned rather than innocent people in
those countries. When my right honourable friend published the outcome of
the review, he made clear that there would be rare occasions when
comprehensive sanctions should be imposed where the behaviour of the
target regime justifies the toughest measures. My right honourable friend
said that Iraq is one such place. 

Glen Rangwala
The Graduate Attic
Faculty of Social and Political Sciences
Free School Lane
Tel: 44 (0)1223 334535
Fax (shared): 44 (0)1223 334550
Home tel: 44 (0)1223 462187

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