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Potential basis for action in IDC Report on "The Future of Sanctions"

I have just read the Select Committee on International Development's
Second Report, on the Future of Sanctions (released on Thursday and
mentioned earlier this week).  A full HTML version can be found on

There is much in it that can be discussed, and much of it that
relates to Iraq.  Some of the statements contained in it appear
contradictory and many of the thoughts do not seem to be taken to their
logical conclusions.  This, of course, is to be expected in a committee
document and, on the whole, I think that it provides a largely fair
assessment of the situation in Iraq.

I don't want to initiate a full discussion of the report, though, but
merely call people's attention to paragraph 136, reproduced below: 

        136. The Committee believes that sanctioning organisations have an
        obligation to ensure that targeted states are adequately
        reintegrated into the international community once sanctions have
        been lifted to ensure that the long term humanitarian impact on
        the population is minimised. We recommend that once sanctions have been
        lifted donors - bilateral and multilateral - should agree a
        coordinated strategy for post-sanctions reconstruction similar to
        strategies developed in the wake of conflicts or natural
        disasters. We invite the Government, in its response to this
        Report, to provide the Committee with details of any preparations
        it is making for the eventual lifting of existing sanctions
        regimes such as those imposed against Iraq. 

This struck me as interesting and a possibly useful basis for action. 
Iraq will have a very difficult time even after economic sanctions are
lifted.  The debts that it incurred during the 1980s are still waiting to
be paid (it has apparently repudiated them, but the Security Council, in a
move whose legality has been publicly questioned by a former UN legal
counsel, subsequently resolved that Iraq was not able to do so).  On top
of this are mounting compensation claims (including for the wages of extra
personnel taken on by the German Foreign Ministry during the crisis; I am
told this by someone in the German Foreign Ministry who helped to prepare
these claims for submission) and the need to repair a decade of decaying

If we are concerned about the post-sanctions future of Iraq, we may
therefore wish to use this report in advocacy to the government for
generous assistance to post-sanctions Iraq.


Colin Rowat

Coordinator, Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
     fax 0870 063 5022

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

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