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>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 >subject. > >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 >regime. > >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 >there. > >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 >not. > >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 >Committee. > >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 >Iraq. > >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 >terms. > >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 >quickly. > >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 >assistance. > >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 >(1999). > >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 >transparent. > >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. > >### ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi