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I'm sure this will get reposted a lot on lists. Sorry in advance for the duplications. Amnesty International a *crit : > * News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty > International * > News Service 144/99 > AI INDEX: MDE 14/06/99 > 28 July 1999 > > Iraq > > UN Security Council Considers the Humanitarian Panel's Report on > Sanctions > > A summary of Amnesty International position and concerns > > In January 1999, the Security Council decided to establish three > separate technical panels on Iraq to review the situation and ongoing UN > actions. The first panel examined disarmament and verification issues. > The third panel investigated the issue of prisoners of war and Kuwaiti > property. The second panel was asked to assess the current humanitarian > situation in Iraq and make recommendations for improving it. This panel > submitted its report to the Security Council on 30 March 1999. > > Amnesty International does not take a position on the issue of sanctions > as tools for influencing government behaviour. However, Amnesty > International believes that the Security Council, as the body that has > imposed sanctions on Iraq, has a responsibility to carry out periodic > reviews of the impact of sanctions on the human rights of the Iraqi > population. Now that a review has been carried out, Amnesty > International believes the Security Council must take appropriate action > on the recommendations of the panel it has commissioned on the > humanitarian situation in Iraq with a view to ensuring that human rights > considerations are fully taken into account. > > The humanitarian panel's report concluded that "the gravity of the > humanitarian situation of the Iraqi people is indisputable and cannot be > overstated. Irrespective of alleged attempts by the Iraq authorities to > exaggerate the significance of certain facts for political propaganda > purposes, the data from different sources as well as qualitative > assessments of bona fide observers and sheer common sense analysis of > economic variables converge and corroborate this evaluation." > > According to the report, infant mortality rates in Iraq are now among > the highest in the world and only 41 percent of the population have > regular access to clean water. The report also noted that population's > dependence on humanitarian supplies has "increased government control > over individual lives." > > The report does not exempt the government of Iraq from responsibility > for the ongoing humanitarian crisis. But it notes that, "Even if not all > suffering in Iraq can be imputed to external factors, especially > sanctions, the Iraqi people would not be undergoing such deprivations in > the absence of the prolonged measures imposed by the Security Council > and the effects of the war." > > To meet pressing humanitarian needs, the panel concludes that additional > revenue, more humanitarian assistance and better distribution are > required. It recommends that the Security Council lift the ceiling of > allowable oil exports and facilitate the provision of spare parts to the > enable Iraq to increase its export capacity, and allow private foreign > investment in the oil industry and agriculture. To the Iraqi government, > the panel recommends that it facilitate the timely distribution of > humanitarian goods, address the needs of vulnerable groups, especially > street children, the disabled, the elderly and the mentally ill, and > ensure that those involuntarily displaced receive adequate humanitarian > assistance. > > Research by several international organizations, including UN agencies, > indicates that the impact of sanctions on Iraq (whether directly or > resulting from the manner in which the Iraqi Government has responded to > the sanctions, or both) has resulted in violations of the right to life, > among other rights, of civilians -- in particular children. > > Amnesty International strongly supports the position of the UN Committee > on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, elaborated in General Comment > No. 8 (E/C.12/1997/8), adopted on 8 December 1997, that "inhabitants of > a given country do not forfeit their basic economic, social and cultural > rights by virtue of any determination that their leaders have violated > norms relating to international peace and security." For this reason, > the Committee stated, "In considering sanctions, it is essential to > distinguish between the basic objective of applying political and > economic pressure upon the governing elite of the country to persuade > them to conform to international law, and the collateral infliction of > suffering upon the most vulnerable groups within the targeted country." > The Committee identified three obligations for the parties imposing > sanctions. First, human rights "must be taken fully into account when > designing an appropriate sanctions regime." Second, "effective > monitoring...should be undertaken throughout the period that sanctions > are in force." And finally, those imposing sanctions must take measures > "to respond to any disproportionate suffering experienced by vulnerable > groups within the targeted country." > > In light of the findings and recommendations of the Security Council's > humanitarian panel, Amnesty International believes the Security Council > should give urgent attention to the humanitarian situation in Iraq and > take all necessary measures to protect the rights of the civilian > population. > > ENDS.../ > Amnesty International, International Secretariat, 1 Easton Street, > WC1X 8DJ, London, United Kingdom > **************************************************************** > You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main > text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting > Amnesty International and this footer remain intact. Only the > list subscription message may be removed. > **************************************************************** > To subscribe to amnesty-L, send a message to <email@example.com> with > "subscribe amnesty-L" in the message body. To unsubscribe, send a > message to <firstname.lastname@example.org> with "unsubscribe amnesty-L" in the message > body. If you have problem signing off, contact <owner-amnesty-L@oil.ca>. > <owner-amnesty-L@oil.ca> handles only messages concerning list administration. > Past and current Amnesty news services can be found at <http://www.amnesty.org/news/>. Visit ><http://www.amnesty.org> for information about Amnesty International and for other AI >publications. Contact email@example.com if you need to get in touch with the International >Secretariat of Amnesty International.
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