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Following are two additional reports on the visit of UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy to Iraq. According to both the BBC and AFP, Ms. Bellamy expects to address the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Iraq. Both sources note the US and UK had objected to this speech. In a related matter, the UN Office of the Iraq Programme has positions available in Baghdad and New York, including (apparently) John Mills' slot (the program's Chief of Information/Spokesman) and Bob Odeh's slot (Head/MDOU). The former pays more than the latter -- which seems odd; it certainly it can't be due to the hazards of dealing with the 'aggressive' press .... See http://www.un.org/Depts/oip/vacancies.html for the details, which are interesting for the background they provide on the OIP's bureaucracy. Regards, Drew Hamre Golden Valley, MN USA --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_477000/477438.stm Sunday, October 17, 1999 Published at 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK 'Iraq child death rates still high' Child death rates are high in Iraq, but United Nations sanctions are not the only reason, a senior UN official has said. The head of the UN children's fund, Unicef, Carole Bellamy, was speaking at the end of a five-day trip to the country. She said Unicef reports showed that the death-rate for children has more than doubled since the embargo was imposed nine years ago. "Child mortality rates are still as high as they were," she said, referring back to a Unicef survey published in August. The report showed mortality rates among children under five years had more than doubled in government-controlled areas since introduction of the sanctions. The sanctions were imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. From a rate of 56 per 1,000 in 1989, infant mortality went up to 131 per 1,000 in the period 1994-1999. Under the UN's oil-for-food programme, begun in 1996, Iraq is allowed to export limited amounts of its oil under international monitoring. The Unicef report sparked a controversy between Iraq and the United States over who is to blame. Baghdad said it proved that sanctions are killing thousands of children every month. The US alleges that Iraqi inefficiency and obstructionism are also key factors. Ms Bellamy said the Iraqi government could take some steps to improve the situation. She recommended stopped the distribution of formula powered milk and encourage breastfeeding in order to reduce diseases. "I have raised the issue of breastfeeding and the removal of infant formula from the food basket (with Iraqi officials) but I did not receive a commitment," she said. She urged the Iraqi government to distribute therapeutic milk and high protein biscuits bought under the oil-for-food programme to underfed and underweight children. She said these two items were undergoing health tests in Iraqi warehouses before they could be distributed. Ms Bellamy said she would plead the cause of Iraq's children before the UN sanctions committee. "We will advocate with the government of Iraq, we will advocate with the international community the right of the children to get a good education and good health care. "It isn't a matter of feeling sorry for children," she told a press conference. "Sanctions are tools that are used, they are decided by others than Unicef, but we would urge that in imposing them to take into account the implications for children." The 15-member committee regularly assesses the sanctions imposed against Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait 1990. It agreed to hear Unicef's testimony after the United States and the UK lifted their objections. --- http://asia.yahoo.com/headlines/171099/world/940141320-91017062251.newsworld .html UNICEF chief to plead cause of Iraqi children before Security Council BAGHDAD, Oct 17 (AFP) - The head of UNICEF said at the end of a mission to Iraq that she would plead the cause of its children before the UN sanctions committee in an attempt to improve their living conditions. "We will advocate with the government of Iraq, we will advocate with the international community the right of the children to get a good education and good health care," the director of the UN Children's Fund said late Saturday. "That is the message I will take from here, it isn't a matter of feeling sorry for children," Carol Bellamy told a press conference at the end of the five-day visit to Iraq. "Sanctions are tools that are used, they are decided by others than UNICEF, but we would urge that in imposing them to take into account the implications for children." Bellamy said she would take her case to UN Committee 661 which supervises the international sanctions that have been in force against Iraq for the past nine years. The committee is made up of the 15 members of the UN Security Council, and a Western diplomat said last Thursday that Bellamy would report to the committee on her return from Iraq. It agreed to hear an account from a UN humanitarian agency after the United States and Britain lifted their objections, the diplomat said. Committee members review all Iraq's contracts under an oil-for-food programme allowing Baghdad -- which has been under sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait -- to export crude in return for humanitarian goods. In August, UNICEF published its first study on child health in Iraq since 1991, highlighting that infant mortality rates were lower in the Kurdish-held north of the country which remains outside Baghdad's control. According to the figures, deaths among under-fives in the government-controlled south and centre have doubled under the UN sanctions from 56 per 1,000 before 1990, to 131 per 1,000 by 1999. "It's very important not to just say that everything rests on sanctions," Bellamy stressed at her press conference. "The deterioration in conditions in the south and the centre is the result of a number of factors," she said. "We do not discount the impact of the sanctions, but it is also the result of wars and the reduction in investment in resources for primary health care," said the UNICEF head. Bellamy met here with several officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz, as well as visiting hospitals and schools. --- Finally, it's interesting to note that the UN Office of the Iraq Programme has positions available in Baghdad and New York, including (apparently) John Mills' slot (the program's Chief of Information/Spokesman) and John Odeh's slot (Head/MDOU). The former pays more than the latter (hazards of dealing with the NY press?). U.K./U.S. nationals aren't elgible for posting to Baghdad. See http://www.un.org/Depts/oip/vacancies.html for details (which are interesting for the background they provide on the workings of the OIP's bureaucracy). Regards, Drew Hamre Golden Valley, MN USA -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. 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