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Cunningham on Iraq oil-for-food

>U.S. Department of State
>Ambassador James Cunningham
>UN Security Council
>New York City, NY, March 24, 2000
>The Council has three goals today: to review the sanctions
>on Iraq, to examine the state of Iraq's oil production
>capacity and look to allocations in that field, and to
>assess progress on the humanitarian sections of resolution
>1284 (1999). Taking a comprehensive look at the humanitarian
>situation to focus improvements even more sharply is also a
>process envisaged in that resolution. Today my delegation
>will offer constructive ideas in all of these areas. Given
>the questions posed in recent weeks about the situation in
>Iraq, I hope it will be helpful to the Council to review
>fully how the United States approaches this important
>To accomplish our first goal--assessing Iraqi sanctions--it
>would be useful to recall how we got here in the first
>place. In 1990 and 1991, Iraq attempted to annihilate its
>neighbor, strip it of its property and resources, and seize
>its oil. The Security Council and a strong international
>response prevented Iraq from succeeding. Following the
>conflict, the international community decided it had to
>disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and ensure that
>it would not again become a threat to international peace
>and security.
>I trust that no one here today will suggest that that goal
>has been achieved. Iraq remains a threat. Unanswered
>questions remain in the areas of nuclear, chemical and
>biological weapons, and of the missiles to deliver them.
>And, given the long pattern of unacceptable Iraqi behavior,
>including public rejection of resolution 1284 (1999), there
>will be a need to monitor Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
>capability for some time to come. In the meantime, sanctions
>are the leverage the international community has to get the
>Government of Iraq to comply with Security Council
>resolutions. That is the goal. And, as the Secretary-General
>just told us, that is the solution. But so long as Iraq is
>not meeting its obligations under Security Council
>resolutions, sanctions remain essential.
>I would like to speak now about Iraq's responsibilities. As
>the Secretary-General's report makes clear, the oil-for-food
>programme will never supplant the responsibilities of the
>Government of Iraq to provide for the needs of its people.
>It was designed to alleviate the impact of sanctions on the
>Iraqi people. But because Iraq continues to evade its
>obligations, sanctions have continued for a period
>unimagined. At the same time, the Iraqi regime's refusal
>over time to fulfill its responsibilities to care for and
>feed its own people was also unimagined and still remains
>hard to comprehend.
>A country that once spent a billion dollars on education
>sustains a bloated military-industrial complex instead. Iraq
>has consistently under-spent on education, and has chosen to
>build palaces over building schools. Even now, seven phases
>into the programme, Iraq consistently under-orders
>foodstuffs and has never met the minimum calorie and protein
>targets set by the Secretary-General, despite record-setting
>revenues under the oil-for-food programme.
>My delegation has circulated a set of printed charts to
>which I would like to refer in the course of my discussion.
>Chart 1 shows that, despite growing revenues and despite
>daily caloric values for the Iraqi people of less than the
>Secretary-General's recommendation of 2,463 kilocalories per
>person per day, the purchase of food has remained flat. Even
>when given the opportunity properly to feed the Iraqi
>population, the Government of Iraq chooses not to do so.
>In the meantime, the Iraqi regime has found the money and
>the personnel to sow tens of thousands of landmines within
>its own borders. Landmines placed by the regime between 1992
>and 1997 have caused more than 15,000 casualties, of which
>15 per cent were children. The Secretary-General tells us
>that in areas where the United Nations has been able to
>conduct demining, significant progress has been made in
>agriculture and reforestation. Sadly, this kind of
>improvement has occurred only in the north because Iraq has
>banned -- placed a permanent hold on, if you will United
>Nations demining activity anywhere else in the country.
>No one denies that Iraq's poor oilfield management practices
>and lack of spare parts have resulted in critical
>circumstances for its oil production capacity. Yet, at the
>same time, Iraq has converted container ports into oil
>depots and has brought on line new facilities to export
>petroleum products in order to steal money via smuggling,
>money that otherwise would have been destined to the escrow
>account and the Iraqi people.
>While Iraq was asking for needed international drought
>relief assistance, it obtained the resources needed to drain
>the southern Amarah and Hammar marshes, causing
>environmental damage of historic proportions and destroying
>entire villages. Saddam Hussein was able to build the
>private lakes around his palaces and build amusement parks
>for the elite. We have an example in visual aid 2, which is
>a photograph of the Abu Ghuray'b Presidential Grounds. We
>can see the water devoted to that particular
>installation--not to mention the palace itself.
>The warehousing of supplies, the willful neglect of specific
>humanitarian sectors, such as the food basket, the
>under-ordering of medicines and nutritional supplements, the
>siphoning off of goods to agents of the regime, the illegal
>re-exportation of humanitarian supplies, the establishment
>of front companies, the payment of kickbacks to manipulate
>and gain from oil-for-food contracts--these and other
>practices are well documented. Such abuses ebb and flow at
>the whim of Iraq's leadership.
>Many of our friends have privately complained about Iraq's
>subtle and not-so-subtle intimidation of companies that have
>filed claims with the Compensation Commission. Agents of the
>regime have pressured them to drop those claims in order to
>be considered for contracts in the oil-for-food programme.
>An informal system metes out economic reward and punishment,
>both inside Iraq and out, to companies and nations in
>exchange for perceived political support.
>Iraq is not fulfilling its responsibilities. It is hard to
>measure the impact of Iraqi obstruction on the broadest
>scale, For example, the fact that the Government of Iraq
>refuses to divulge or make transparent financial figures and
>statistics makes it difficult, if not impossible, to judge
>the country's general economic situation. Iraq's tendency to
>keep printing currency to finance its budget deficits fuels
>the rise in local prices for staple foods.
>The United Nations and others have documented three ongoing
>Iraqi Government tactics that, to say the least, have a
>negative impact on the population: the indiscriminate
>bombardment of civilian settlements and arbitrary killings;
>the arbitrary arrest and detention of suspected criminals
>and so-called traitors; and forced displacement. The no-fly
>zones were established to alleviate the most egregious
>examples of attacks on the vulnerable population groups in
>the north and south. While no-fly zone patrols cannot
>prevent every depredation against Iraqi minorities, their
>enforcement has prevented wholesale genocide. In terms of
>arbitrary arrest, the human fights Rapporteur points out
>that in Iraq there is no freedom of speech or action, since
>the mere suggestion that someone is not a supporter of the
>President carries the prospect of the death penalty. This
>should be kept in mind when we are confronted in United
>Nations reports with statistics whose main source is the
>Finally, Iraq remains the country with the highest number of
>disappearances reported to the Working Group on Enforced or
>Involuntary Disappearances. Moreover, persons displaced by
>the regime are deprived of needed humanitarian relief on the
>grounds that they are "temporary residents" of the places to
>which they have been banished.
>The key areas I have just cited are directly mentioned in
>paragraph 27 of Security Council resolution 1284 (1999).
>That paragraph outlines specific tasks Iraq must perform to
>do its part to assuage the suffering of the Iraqi people. My
>delegation would like more information on what Iraq has or
>has not done in this regard, since the Secretary-General's
>report did not detail this needed area of implementation.
>Let us be clear. Sanctions by themselves are not the
>problem. The sanctions on Iraq have never targeted the Iraqi
>people and have not limited the import of food and medicine.
>Where there has been deprivation in Iraq, the Iraqi regime
>is responsible, due to both its failure to meet its
>obligations under Security Council resolutions and its
>cynical manipulation of civilian suffering in an effort to
>obtain the lifting of sanctions without compliance.
>I have already mentioned the concerns addressed by two of
>the special assessment Panels created by the Council early
>last year, and this is a good time to mention the third--the
>people of Kuwait. If our humanitarian regard is genuine, we
>must not forget or neglect the families of those who remain
>missing since Iraq's invasion and occupation of their
>country. We must not forget that the Iraqi regime is
>accountable for those innocent civilians and has failed
>utterly to meet its obligation to account for them.
>Similarly, we must not forget that the victims of Iraqi
>aggression were not only Kuwaitis. Thousands of individuals
>from Egypt, Jordan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and a score of
>other nations lost property, savings or livelihood. They are
>justly recouping a share of their losses through the
>objective and efficient mechanism of the United Nations
>Compensation Commission. More than 5 billion dollars has
>been disbursed to date to claimants in dozens of countries.
>Let me discuss for a moment the efforts to improve oil-for-
>food and north versus south, Had the Government of Iraq not
>waited years to decide to accept the oil-for-food agreement
>proposed as early as 1991, millions of innocent people would
>have avoided serious and prolonged suffering. We should
>recall that the first shipment under oil-for-food did not
>take place until March of 1997. Even when Baghdad accepted
>the oil-for-food programme, it cut off the flow of oil on
>several occasions, taking millions of dollars away from the
>programme, most recently in December of 1999. We trust Iraq
>will not wait five years to accept resolution 1284 (1999),
>with its important means to expand humanitarian support. But
>there is also little we can do about Iraq's cynical
>manipulation of its oil exports and its people. Our
>challenge here in this Council is how to improve the
>humanitarian situation despite Iraqi obstruction.
>The oil-for-food programme is the largest humanitarian
>programme in United Nations history. While there have been
>growing pains, look at the notable successes in its three
>years of existence: 13 million tons of food have been
>delivered to the Iraqi people, and food imports are now
>nearly reaching pre-war levels, as can be seen in the graph
>in visual aid 3. Successful veterinary vaccination
>programmes have controlled livestock epidemics and expanded
>production of poultry and eggs. One billion dollars' worth
>of health commodities have been approved by the Committee
>established by resolution 661 (1990), and 90% of the drug
>needs of hospital patients arc being met.
>Over $1 billion worth of inputs to other sectors have
>already arrived in Iraq. An additional $1.5 billion worth of
>goods have been approved by the Committee but have not yet
>arrived. These numbers will continue to rise.
>These numbers are, of course, composite figures for the
>whole country. Although all of Iraq is under the same
>sanctions regime and uses the same oil-for-food programme,
>the Secretary-General's report highlights some unfortunate
>differences in the humanitarian situation in the north and
>in the rest of Iraq. Where Baghdad is in charge of
>distribution, the full benefits of oil-for-food are not
>being achieved. Perhaps there are lessons to be learned
>Everyone is familiar with the recent United Nations
>Children's Fund (UNICEF) study which found that child
>mortality was below pre-war levels in the north, while in
>the rest of Iraq the figures were tragically higher. The
>Secretary-General's report notes that in the north, the
>beneficiaries of supplementary feeding programmes have
>dropped from a quarter of a million to about 80,000, as the
>result of the effectiveness of that programme. When the
>UNICEF report was published, Baghdad, stung by criticism of
>its long-standing refusal to order nutritional supplements,
>finally relented and ordered them. We are grateful that the
>Secretary-General has now highlighted Baghdad's refusal to
>operate supplementary feeding programmes which the United
>Nations has been advocating for years. We hope all those
>expressing concerns about the people of Iraq will join us in
>pressing the Government of Iraq to provide these critically
>needed programmes.
>In the north, full courses of drug treatment are now being
>provided to those suffering from chronic illness. In the
>rest of Iraq, citizens with these diseases are not being
>properly treated because of erratic, uncoordinated arrivals
>of needed medications. The Government of Iraq should remedy
>this immediately.
>In the area of vaccinations, there has just been an
>overwhelmingly successful polio vaccination campaign in the
>north. Where the Government of Iraq has been in charge,
>there is poorer coverage in certain vaccination categories
>than in 1994.
>We have heard the theory in this Council that conditions in
>the north are better than in the Government-controlled areas
>of the south because the north receives more assistance per
>capita than the south and more attention from non-government
>organizations. But the three northern governorates,
>throughout the rule of Saddam Hussein, have been the victims
>of Government policies ranging from systematic neglect to
>systematic efforts at genocide, At the close of the Gulf
>War, a campaign by Saddam Hussein's military forces
>displaced approximately 1 million citizens in the north.
>Surely some in this room will recall the horrific ordeal of
>tens of thousands, including women, children and the infirm,
>clinging to barren mountainsides in the dead of winter. In
>short, the north had a long way to go when the United
>Nations arrived. And if there is more non-governmental
>organization activity in the north, it is because
>non-governmental organizations are welcome to operate in the
>north, unlike in southern and central Iraq, where the
>Government is openly hostile to extensive non-governmental
>organization operations.
>Therefore, my delegation would like to offer the following
>proposal: if the Government of Iraq is unable to manage
>oil-for-food for the maximum benefit, we believe that United
>Nations agencies active in the north should be empowered to
>undertake similar programmes in the south and centre.
>The bottom line is that the oil-for-food programme, while
>not perfect, works for the Iraqi people, and the Government
>of Iraq does not, The United Nations works for the Iraqi
>people. The Government does not. Non-governmental
>organizations work for the Iraqi people. The Government does
>I would like now to address for a moment the oil sector. I
>would like to comment on the findings of the
>Secretary-General. The Council is responsible for balancing
>the needs of the Iraqi oil sector against the needs in other
>sectors, such as food and medicine.
>We observe with some disappointment that the
>Secretary-General's report did not follow more closely the
>pattern laid out in his February 1998 report, which outlined
>needs across various sectors and the funding necessary to
>meet these needs. On the basis of such an approach, the
>Council asked the Secretary- General to instruct Saybolt to
>lay out a comprehensive, multi-phase plan for attaining
>needed revenues. The plan more than succeeded in the last
>phase of oil-for-food, when the $5.2 billion cap was
>exceeded. The Office of the Iraq Programme, Saybolt and the
>Council should recognize that effort as a job well done. We
>should not lose sight of the fact that Iraqi oil exports are
>at about the pre-war level, a tremendous increase from where
>they were less than a year ago. If Council members will look
>at visual aid 4 they will see that trend--how export
>revenues have essentially returned to pre-war levels.
>Unfortunately, a comprehensive plan for the future is not
>outlined in the current report. The report does recommend,
>however, an additional $300 million allocation for the oil
>sector in phases VI and VII, and we support that
>recommendation. In fact, the United States today introduced
>a draft resolution that would do just that, and we look
>forward to its early enactment.
>I have another brief observation relating to the oil sector:
>clearly Baghdad does not want the embarrassing facts of the
>extent of its gas oil smuggling laid bare. A simple Saybolt
>analysis of refinery production, which Iraq refuses, would
>show the extent to which Iraq is keeping revenues from the
>oil-for-food programme.
>As Council delegations heard in the Multinational
>Interception Force briefing to the sanctions Committee
>yesterday, hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of gas oil
>are being smuggled out of Iraq, with the proceeds going not
>for oil-for-food humanitarian imports but to the regime and
>its cronies. The regime is also spending the revenue under
>its control to fund terrorist activities. As the United
>States State Department spokesman will detail later today,
>the Government of Iraq has constructed a new headquarters in
>Iraq for the terrorist group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq.
>No one has seen evidence that any of this money has been
>spent for humanitarian relief. Quite the contrary, smuggling
>steals money from the oil-for-food programme and puts it to
>illicit purposes. If Council members will look at visual aid
>5, they will find a chart that demonstrates the dramatic
>rise in illegal Iraqi oil exports since September.
>Smuggling is at historic levels. We believe the Council
>should act to designate authorized routes for refined
>product. We propose that Al Faw, an export facility in the
>Gulf about to become operational, and Abu Flus, a facility
>currently used for smuggling oil and capable of exporting at
>least 100,000 barrels of oil per day, be designated for
>United Nations-monitored export of refined product. Such a
>step would have the additional value of restricting any
>potential use of these facilities for smuggling. As we have
>consistently proposed in the past, it is time to bring all
>of Iraq's petroleum and petroleum product revenues under the
>oil-for-food programme so that the full potential of the
>programme can be realized, Another $500 million to $800
>million annually added to the escrow account would provide
>an even more robust programme in all sectors.
>Now I would like to say a few words about holds. The United
>States was the original sponsor of the oil-for-food
>programme, just as we were an early supporter what was then
>called "the comprehensive resolution," which became
>resolution 1284 (1999). Even as we insist on compliance, we
>continue to support oil-for-food and have played a key role
>in its implementation since its inception. The oil-for-food
>programme works, and works admirably, despite manipulation
>by the Iraqi regime. The great majority of goods
>requested--about 90% over the life of the programme so
>far--are approved.
>There is always room for improvement, however. We will work
>in the Security Council and the Committee established by
>resolution 661 (1990) to put into action what works best. We
>have a number of ideas on which we are already working, and
>some we will suggest today.
>I want to thank the Office of the Iraq Programme for the
>work it has done both to improve the quality of contract
>submissions and to highlight holds of particular concern, as
>was done during the drought and with regard to
>foot-and-mouth disease. As a result, the United States
>released a number of holds in both areas. In his report the
>Secretary-General called for the removal of a hold on a
>critical dredging contract for the port of Umm Qasr; and we
>have done so.
>I want to describe our policy, on reviewing and approving
>oil-for-food contracts. The United States review of
>contracts is guided by two principles that are fundamental
>to the Security Council's consideration of Iraq: preventing
>Iraq from acquiring the means to again threaten regional
>stability and improving the Iraqi people's humanitarian
>situation. Maintaining a judicious balance between these two
>objectives is a very serious responsibility from which the
>United States will not shrink.
>In fact, the great preponderance of all goods requested has
>been approved since the oil-for-food programme began.
>Complaints about United States holds are focused on a small
>percentage of contracts presented to the sanctions
>Our responsibility to the Security Council and to the region
>leads us to take this process very seriously. Decisions on
>contract holds and releases of holds by the United States
>are taken after careful, technical scrutiny. Political
>priorities play no role. While we recognize that not all
>Member States have the resources to assess thoroughly all
>contracts, it is clear, I regret to say, that some Member
>States that could do a thorough review have not.
>Let us take a clear look at the holds the United States has.
>We have about 1,000 contracts on hold out of the more than
>10,000 contracts received by the Secretariat. For more than
>one third of these contracts, we are awaiting requested
>information from the supplier about either the goods, the
>end use or the end user. As the Executive Director of the
>Office of the Iraq Programme noted in its recent paper on
>holds, "some 50 percent of holds could either be avoided
>entirely, or the amount of time involved substantially
>reduced, if all concerned put more effort into the provision
>of appropriate and timely information." These are called "US
>holds," but they are really holds caused by the failure to
>prepare an adequate submission.
>We ask all Member States that are presenting contracts to
>the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) to ensure
>that contract information is as complete as possible when
>the contract is originally submitted. For example, if one of
>your firms wants to sell pumps to Iraq you should be aware
>that some pumps are on the list stemming from resolution
>1051 (1996)--that is, the Security Council's agreed list of
>dual-use products. We have to know the materials used in
>their construction to determine whether they are dual-use.
>If that information is not in the contract, we have to put
>the contract on hold while the question is being answered.
>Vague terms, such as "spare parts and accessories" or
>"laboratory equipment" will again draw questions. Therefore,
>it would expedite the process and be much easier for
>everyone if we had the information in the original contract
>submission. So let us put those holds--more than one third
>of the total--off to the side.
>There are nearly 400 holds on contracts which pose
>resolution 1051 (1996) or other dual-use concerns. On
>dual-use items that do not fall under the provisions of that
>resolution, many times the concerns of our experts can be
>satisfied through additional information or monitoring
>arrangements. But we are not prepared to act imprudently in
>providing items related to weapons of mass destruction,
>particularly in the absence of monitoring and disarmament in
>We place a heavy emphasis on ensuring that dual-use items,
>such as those on the resolution 1051 (1996) list, are not
>permitted into Iraq. Until the United Nations Monitoring,
>Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the
>International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are able to resume
>their responsibilities in Iraq, including monitoring of such
>goods, it would be inappropriate and, indeed, dangerous to
>approve contracts for most such goods. We believe that every
>member of the Council should hold on such goods,
>particularly now that contracts are being marked as
>containing resolution 1051 (1996) items.
>The Council agreed that items on the resolution 1051 (1996)
>list were serious enough inputs into weapons of mass
>destruction to require monitoring by the United Nations
>Special Committee (UNSCOM) or the IAEA if exported to Iraq.
>Yet some members are not only approving these contracts, but
>complaining about United States holds on such items. We
>would appreciate an explanation from other members,
>particularly those most critical of our holds on dual-use
>goods, providing information about their own criteria for
>reviewing and approving contracts on resolution 1051 (1996)
>items and other dual-use items--items which could enhance
>the Government of Iraq's ability to obtain, make or utilize
>weapons of mass destruction. We are surprised that the
>Secretary-General's report did not comment favourably on the
>Council's decision that weapons inspectors monitor
>resolution 1051 (1996) items.
>Where we can improve? At the moment, the United States has
>339 contracts on hold because we have not reviewed
>additional information that we have received. For these, the
>ball is clearly in our court. This category is constantly in
>flux, as holds are cleared out on the basis of additional
>information and new contracts are placed on hold because of
>inadequate information. Our staffing of these reviews has
>not kept pace with the recent sharp increase in the number
>of contracts presented and the new requirement to review
>contracts within a target of two days. We admit that it is
>inappropriate to keep contractors waiting for lengthy
>periods for responses to their additional information, and
>we are tightening our procedures with a goal of much quicker
>response times.
>We are also examining our review criteria with the goal of
>concentrating our holds on the items of most serious
>concern. We began a process this week to reexamine contracts
>on hold against these criteria. About 90 contracts were
>reviewed. Of these, about 70 will be taken off hold today.
>This is a large percentage of the contracts for which
>complete information is available and resolution 1051 (1996)
>items are not involved. While I must admit that we began
>this process by looking at holds which we found the most
>questionable under our current standards, and that future
>meetings may not yield such a high percentage of holds
>removed, we are re-evaluating our holds in the light of
>current circumstances. I will be talking more later about
>monitoring of oil-for-food goods, and how this can also help
>reduce holds.
>There are other categories of holds, too. We have on hold 14
>oil-for-food contracts containing items destined for the
>unauthorized export facility at Khor al-Amaya. When there
>are so many urgent needs in Iraq, it is unconscionable for
>the Government of Iraq to divert precious resources to a
>facility which the Council has not decided that Iraq may
>use. We have repeatedly urged the Office of the Iraq
>Programme to withdraw these contracts in order to release
>funds for needed oil spare parts and equipment.
>We are also holding 55 contracts for goods destined for the
>Basrah refinery, from which Iraq produces gas oil which it
>smuggles out of Iraq in violation of sanctions. The profits
>from this illicit trade are used by the Government of Iraq
>to procure items prohibited by sanctions, including luxuries
>for members of Saddam's inner circle. The Multinational
>Interception Force reported yesterday to the Committee the
>facts on Gulf smuggling.
>We have 166 contracts on hold because they are linked to
>companies that have operated or are operating in violation
>of sanctions. Some of these companies are Iraqi fronts,
>operating illegally, which funnel oil-for-food programme
>revenues directly to the highest levels of the Iraqi regime.
>Information about our concerns is provided to the country
>capitals submitting these contracts. We ask submitting
>States to make every effort to ensure that all companies
>submitting contracts to the Committee established under
>resolution 661 (1990) are abiding by sanctions.
>Finally, a small number of contracts--16 of them--with
>irregular financial terms have been placed on hold. We
>regret that, to date, the sanctions Committee has been
>unable to reach consensus on the appropriateness of these
>The Council anticipated Iraqi attempts to abuse the
>humanitarian programme, and it wisely mandated a rigorous
>review process. A relatively small number of problematic
>contracts have not been implemented, but the vast majority
>have been approved. As the Secretariat reported in its
>analysis of holds, in most sectors, holds have caused
>relatively minor shortages.
>In reviewing oil-for-food contracts, the United States has
>acted, and will continue to act, strictly and objectively in
>accordance with the arms-control policies defined by the
>Council in its resolutions. Our holds are not politically
>motivated, nor are they driven by calculations of commercial
>prospect or gain. Not all critics of our holds policy can
>say the same.
>I should like to say a word about United Nations monitoring
>and reporting. The best way to reduce the number of holds is
>to provide some sort of guarantee that contracted goods go
>to approved purposes, and the best way to achieve this is
>through better monitoring arrangements, building on
>arrangements already in place. Of course, the absence of
>UNMOVIC and IAEA monitors significantly complicates the
>monitoring picture. But let us for a moment focus on other
>aspects of United Nations monitoring.
>When the oil-for-food programme began, revenue per phase was
>about $2 billion and most purchases were of food and
>medicine. During the most recent six-month phase, revenues
>were over $7 billion, and most likely they will be still
>higher in the current phase. The growth in oil-for-food
>purchases has not been in food and medicine but in sectors
>such as electricity, water and sanitation and oil
>production. While food and medicine generally do not raise
>dual-use concerns, these other sectors may.
>Despite this enormous growth, the number of United Nations
>monitors in Iraq has remained the same, with the exception
>of Saybolt and Cotecna monitors, since the programme began.
>We applaud the diligence of the monitors in Iraq, but
>increased United Nations monitoring clearly is essential to
>keep pace with programme growth. While we welcome any
>suggestions in this regard, we point to the Saybolt model as
>one which bears examining. The United Nations has contracted
>with Saybolt to do assessments of the Iraqi oil sector and
>to provide monitors with sectoral expertise. We think this
>model could be used in other sectors, such as electricity,
>and we want to explore this possibility with the Office of
>the Iraq Programme and other Member States.
>In addition to being concerned about the number of monitors,
>we are concerned about technical expertise and a better
>balance between technical experts and humanitarian workers
>in the monitoring staff.
>A third area of concern is reporting back to the Committee.
>Again, we call attention to the Saybolt model. The Committee
>should receive more information on a regular basis.
>The United States is already consulting with the Office of
>the Iraq Programme on the measures outlined above, and we
>ask others in the Council to lend support. If there were
>more monitors, with stronger technical qualifications,
>reporting more frequently and in greater detail to the
>Committee, the United States would be placing fewer holds on
>items because it would have greater assurance concerning the
>proper monitoring of oil-for-food inputs. So let us do this
>We view resolution 1284 (1999) as a vehicle for a robust
>improvement of the humanitarian situation in Iraq, and we
>want to see all aspects of it implemented as rapidly as
>possible. All of the humanitarian provisions requiring
>action, by the Council or Committee have been completed or
>are in progress. I note in particular that the sanctions
>Committee and the Office of the Iraq Programme have
>completed work on the initial lists of pre-approved items
>for food, food handling, health supplies, education and
>agriculture. We expect these lists to be dynamic, not
>static, as new items are added.
>Furthermore, as called for in paragraph 26 of the
>resolution, the Council approved a plan to allow Iraqi
>pilgrims to perform the Hajj. Baghdad's refusal to accept
>this plan was inexplicable and extremely disappointing.
>The sanctions Committee has also made substantial progress
>on implementation of paragraph 18, which would set up a
>panel of oil experts. We expect this paragraph to be
>operational very soon.
>What is ironic about this discussion is that, while the
>Council and the sanctions Committee have worked diligently,
>the Government of Iraq has done nothing but speak of
>rejection and non-cooperation. While today's discussion is
>about the humanitarian situation, we must also note that
>there are other critical aspects of resolution 1284 (1999)
>that are also humanitarian in nature, including disarmament
>and the issues of Kuwaiti prisoners of war and property. The
>Council must remain united in its efforts to persuade Iraq
>to accept all aspects of resolution 1284 (1999).
>In concluding this long review, it cannot be overemphasized
>that the Government of Iraq bears the primary responsibility
>for the welfare of its people. I must frankly state my
>disappointment that the Secretary-General, in his reports,
>has not reported in detail on Iraqi progress in meeting its
>obligations under paragraph 27 of resolution 1284 (1999). I
>would like to ask the Secretary- General and whomever he
>will appoint to head United Nations programmes in Iraq -- an
>appointment which we hope is coming soon -- to be much more
>vigorous in reminding the Government of Iraq of its
>obligations and to report regularly to the Council.
>We would now like to see what the Government of Iraq is
>contributing to the education of its children and to the
>better health of its citizens. We are constantly told by
>Baghdad that oil-for-food is not doing enough, but what has
>the regime done?
>Another task for the new head of the United Nations
>programme should be to draw up a plan for assisting
>vulnerable groups, perhaps in consultation with the
>International Committee of the Red Cross. This plan should
>include an invitation to humanitarian organizations to
>describe projects they would be willing to undertake in
>southern and central Iraq. In northern Iraq, United Nations
>agencies and non-governmental organizations arc improving
>the lives of ordinary Iraqis. There is no reason Iraqis
>throughout the country should not have access to such
>Reporting on distribution of supplies by sector is greatly
>appreciated. These reports continue to show that critical
>oil-for-food inputs are not being distributed in a timely
>manner. We request that the new head of the United Nations
>Programme in Iraq, as one of his or her first tasks, be
>charged with drafting a comprehensive plan for eliminating
>backlogs in distribution across all sectors, just as we are
>doing on holds.
>We support the efforts of the Secretary-General to ensure
>that contracts are submitted by Iraq at a smooth pace, not
>bunched together at the end of a phase. We would also
>support more clarity in the distribution plan. I would also
>ask the Secretariat to inform the Council of the date it
>should expect to receive the prioritized list of
>humanitarian applications called for in resolution 1284
>I also note that we have no information that Iraq has
>dropped the requirement that the involuntarily displaced
>establish six months' residence before receiving assistance.
>We would welcome reporting on this matter.
>Finally, my delegation would like to know what the prospect
>is for initiating de-mining in other parts of Iraq.
>To sum up, we hope that all of our constructive suggestions
>can and will be put into effect. We call on Iraq to
>implement the recommendations made by the Secretary-General
>in his report. The Government of Iraq must immediately use a
>project-based approach to contracts; share baseline data or
>collaborate with the Office of the Iraq Programme to collect
>it where none is available; share data on the northern
>electrical grid; consider employing pre-shipment inspection
>agents and use better suppliers; strengthen cooperation with
>monitors; ensure regular distribution of a full food basket;
>implement a supplementary feeding programme; and, until it
>can be surpassed, meet the target calories per day.
>The last chart we have distributed clearly demonstrates the
>positive impact of the oil-for-food programme on improving
>the food basket. It also shows that Iraq, right now,
>could--though it has chosen not to--put together a food
>basket that would dramatically improve the nutritional
>status of the Iraqi people. Iraq should also establish
>efficient distribution networks for targeted nutrition and
>supplementary feeding programmes; ensure adequate funding
>for basic public health care; and improve delivery and
>administration of drugs for chronic illnesses.
>With regard to the Secretary-General's recommendations for
>the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990), we
>welcome further discussion on contract payment mechanisms
>and oil overseers. As I noted earlier, we are working to
>make our contract review procedures more rapid and
>We believe that resolution 1284 (1999) holds the key to
>realizing more fully the potential of the oil-for-food
>programme. This is the first time such a massive programme
>has been undertaken by the United Nations and the successes
>of the programme to date are an enormous tribute to the
>hard-working men and women of the United Nations, whose
>vision, determination and dedication have made the programme
>the success it is today. We look forward to an even better
>programme as resolution 1284 (1999) is implemented.

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