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SC 687

Hello Milan, Everyone.

Not sure I completely agree with your interpretation, but you did well to
point out some things I overlooked.  Sorry, this response will be a little

Paragraph 21 looks particularly disturbing:

"Decides that the Security Council shall review the provisions of
 paragraph 20 above every sixty days in the light of the policies and
 of the Government of Iraq, including the implementation of all relevant
 resolutions of the Security Council, for the purpose of determining whether
 reduce or lift the prohibitions referred to therein;"

So yes, it looks like the requirements of other resolutions could be used to
justify the continuation of sanctions.  But what is "relevant"?  Not only
are there no criteria for relevance given, we're not even told what it is
that the resolutions are to be relevant to.

And then we have paragraph 22:

"Decides that upon the approval by the Security Council of the
programme called for in paragraph 19 above and upon Council agreement that
has completed all actions contemplated in paragraphs 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13
above, the prohibitions against the import of commodities and products
originating in Iraq and the prohibitions against financial transactions
related thereto contained in resolution 661 (1990) shall have no further
force or effect;"

You're right that exports to Iraq are not mentioned, but I don't see how an
interpretation holding that this paragraph calls for the lifting of half the
sanctions can be accurate.  There is no (explicit) mention of the other half
of the sanctions anywhere else.  What will it take for them to be lifted?
The resolution would not likely leave this question unanswered.  I can't see
the Security Council making such a gross oversight.  And paragraph 19 talks
about "ensuring" payment by Iraq.  I can't imagine that this can be
interpreted as meaning Iraq does not have to pay, but I think you're right
to point out that all paragraph 22 says is the the SC must approve the
program outlined in paragraph 19.

If your interpretation (and correct me if I'm not understanding you
properly) is sound, then 687 calls for half the sanctions to be lifted once
Iraq has fulfilled disarmament and all other "relevant" (whatever that
means) requirements.  And despite the call for Iraq to "adhere scrupulously"
to its debt obligations and the explicit statement that Iraq must, under
international law, pay damages resulting from the Gulf War, Iraq need not
live up to these requirements before sanctions are lifted.  I can't see that
this is what was meant and I don't see that this is what is actually said.
I will say that all of this is unclear.  Poorly written resolution.  Maybe
I'm just frustrated.

Another point about "relevant" resolutions is that they must be about
something to "implement".  Sometimes SC resolutions are just condemnations.

Lastly, and I think most importantly, if the conditions of these "relevant"
resolutions must be met before the SC can "reduce or lift the prohibitions
referred to therein" , then why does it say in the very next paragraph that
half the sanctions can be lifted when the disarmament conditions are met and
when the paragraph 19 program is set up?  Does this mean that Iraq gets to
export once it disarms and then other countries are allowed to sell to Iraq
once all those other "relevant" resolutions are taken care of?  Maybe.  At
this point I'm a little lost.

Andrew Loucks
The Global Movement to End the War
against Iraq -
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
"Each of us has an instrument to bring to the vast
orchestra of humanity"   - Jean Vanier

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