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Initial comments on SCR 1284 (fwd)

I attach some notes on the new SCR in the event that they might be of use. 

Colin Rowat

Coordinator, Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq

393 King's College            
Cambridge CB2 1ST                       tel: +44 (0)468 056 984
England                                 fax: +44 (0)870 063 4984


[C. Rowat 18/12/99]

The following remarks on SCR 1284 are made on a paragraph-by-paragraph
basis.  Occasionally comparisons are drawn to the July draft of the
UK-Dutch resolution and to the UN Humanitarian Panel Report (Annex II,
S/1999/356, 30/3/99).


The preamble re-iterates the Security Council’s commitment to
“establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass
destruction and all missiles for their delivery and the objective of a
global ban on chemical weapons”.  It also reaffirms the “commitment of all
Member States to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political
independence of Kuwait, Iraq and the neighbouring States”.


The gist of these paragraphs is to replace Unscom with Unmovic.  The only
apparent change is the recommendation that the new Executive Chairman of
Unmovic incorporate “as appropriate the recommendations of the panel on
disarmament and current and future ongoing monitoring and verification
issues”.  As a result, it is not clear that any of the issues that led to
Unscom’s corruption and demise have been addressed.  As the disarmament
panel’s report made specific recommendations this disinterest in acting
upon them when establishing Unscom’s successor is peculiar.

The timetable envisaged by SCR 1284 for weapons inspection is described in
paragraphs 5 - 7.  Within 30 days of 1284’s passage, an Executive Chairman
of Unmovic will be appointed; no more than 45 days later, the Chairman
will present an organisational plan for approval to the Security Council.
Work programmes will then be presented no later than 60 days after work
has started in Iraq (which, presumably, could not occur before approval of
the organisational plan, as that is necessary for Unmovic’s operations).
Supposing everything to go smoothly, this is a 135 day programme [one
could compare this to the 120 programme of SCR 687 in 1991]. 

While the wording of paragraph 33 (governing sanctions’ suspension) is
unclear, it is possible that Iraq’s 120 days of cooperation cannot begin
until after these 135 days, lengthening to 255 days the period before
which sanctions could be suspended.


Nothing new: Iraq has to cooperate, return property and people


Paragraph 15 lifts the cap on Iraqi petroleum sales.  The 661 committee
still approves imports and revenues are still paid into the UN escrow

Paragraph 16 suggests that additional export routes might be considered to
allow Iraq increased exports.  The UK-Dutch proposal had (in its
paragraphs 17 - 19) explicitly mentioned Turkey, and had called for the
establishment of a second escrow account for the proceeds of oil sales by
road through Turkey.  Those funds would be used to purchase goods of
Turkish origin.  These recommendations seemed very strange to me and felt
rather like a bribe for Turkey’s political support, including continued
support of US bombing of Iraq from the Incirlik airforce base.  The
Humanitarian Panel report did suggest that “petroleum and other oil
products presently exported outside” of oil-for-food (i.e. smuggled) could
be brought within in (paragraph 54 (iv)); this would fit with the Turkey

Paragraph 17 authorises a ‘green list’ of humanitarian items to be
imported into Iraq without Sanctions Committee involvement.  The Sanctions
Committee would draw up the list.  It seems to me that this is a point at
which lobbying can occur: require the Committee to adopt a broad list.
None of the categories of goods listed are infrastructural (except
“standard educational items”).

At first glance, paragraph 18 seemed to authorises creation of a ‘green
oil parts list’.  At second glance, the Sanctions Committee still needs to
approve every part; the technical experts are merely present in an
advisory capacity.

Paragraph 20 is more involved yet; it implements Paragraph 54 (vii) of the
Humanitarian Panel report.  Under SCR 778 (1992)  anybody with ‘illegal’
Iraqi oil revenues was to pay those into the UN escrow account to be
established.  The funds thus received would be returned with interest; I
don’t know whether these payments were to be on-going as funds allowed or
merely once sanctions were lifted.  Under SCR 986, funds were to be set
aside explicitly to address the interest payments envisaged in 778.
Paragraph 20 of SCR 1284 allows these set aside funds not to be set aside,
and therefore useful to the humanitarian programme; this provision lasts
for six months and is renewable.

This paragraph will not make more than $40 million / year available to
Iraq.  Remember that the Humanitarian Panel report stated that:

        The question of securing additional funding to finance
        humanitarian efforts is of paramount importance, as virtually all
        submissions to the panel underlined the insufficiency of present
        levels of revenue to deal with pressing humanitarian needs.
        [paragraph 54]

Paragraph 54 (vi) of the Panel Report recommended loaning payments into
the Compensation Fund for humanitarian aid.  This recommendation was
adopted by the UK-Dutch proposal (paragraph  24), which called for a
temporary and reimbursable loan of 1/3 of the funds intended for the
Compensation Fund.  As Iraq pays 30% of its exports into the Compensation
Fund, this recommendation could have made available an additional $1.6
billion / year (Iraq exported about $7.5 billion in the last 6 months,
thus paying about $2.5 billion into the Compensation Fund.  One third of
this is $800 million).

Paragraph 24 asks the Secretary-General to draw up plans for the purchase
of Iraqi goods under oil-for-food and for a cash component.  The Council
will need to approve those plans.  These are both steps in the right
direction.  The previous inability to purchase Iraqi goods meant that, for
example, Iraqi farmers (with increased costs due to the sanctions) had to
compete with the free produce from abroad provided in the food basket.
Under these circumstances, Iraqi farmers had a perverse incentive to sell
their own produce abroad.

Paragraph 28 asks the Secretary-General for a report on “progress made in
meeting the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people and on the revenues
necessary to meet those needs”, with an interest especially in whether the
current allocation [of $300 / phase] of oil spare parts should be
increased.  As the Secretary-General has repeatedly called for a doubling
of this to $600 / phase (most recently in S/1999/1162 on 12/11/99) this
recommendation seems simply an attempt to stall.  The Humanitarian Panel
report called for “lifting the ceiling of allowable oil exports”
(paragraph 54 (i)) but recognised that this would have little immediate

Paragraph 29 expresses a willingness to act on the Secretary-General’s

Paragraph  30 calls for the Secretary-General to establish a group of oil
experts who can recommend steps to increase Iraq’s capacity, including
through foreign firms’ involvement.  This, and other private investment,
was recommended by the Humanitarian Panel report.  The foreign funds could
immediately free up $300 million / 180 days (the amount that Iraq spends
on oil spare parts) for humanitarian purchases.

Other paragraphs make minor requests, of the sort made by the
Secretary-General in his 90 and 180 day reports on oil-for-food.

Recommendations of the Humanitarian Panel that do not appear in SCR 1284,
and have not been mentioned above, include:
- the deposit of frozen Iraqi assets held abroad into the escrow account,
increasing the amount available for humanitarian purchases;
- attempts to ensure contractors’ timely delivery of goods to Iraq,
reducing blockages in the escrow account;


Paragraph 33 expresses the Council’s “intention” to suspend sanctions once
Unmovic and the IAEA report 120 days of cooperation “in all respects”.
This meaning of this was deliberately kept vague by Britain.  The
“fundamental objective” of the suspension is “improving the humanitarian
situation in Iraq”, recognising a link between the sanctions and that
situation.  The sanctions will be suspended “subject to the elaboration of
effective financial and other operational measures”, also left undefined.

It is therefore unclear what the form of the suspension might be, even
should it occur.  Paragraph 36 promises that these will be defined no
later than at the end of the 120 day cooperation period.  As the French
government presented detailed proposals for these measures in August
1284’s ambiguity is likely intentional.  The result is that the government
of Iraq is being asked to cooperate in an undefined sense for 120 days
when as yet undefined benefits may then be realised.

Paragraph 35 allows sanctions to be re-imposed upon the word of Unmovic’s
Executive Chairman or the IAEA’s Director General.  This will occur within
five working days unless the Security Council objects.

Paragraph 37 says that the Council might adopt the oil experts’
recommendations if sanctions are suspended.  This suggests that the
possibility of foreign investment in Iraq will not be allowed without the
120 days of cooperation

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