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(1) Security Council Resolution 1293 doubles Iraq's oil spare parts allowance; (2) new "green lists" approved

Two pieces of news:

1. SCR 1293 doubles Iraq's oil spare parts allowance
2. new "green lists" have been approved                 

1. SCR 1293 doubles Iraq's oil spare parts allowance

On Friday 31 March the UN Security Council unanimously passed SCR 1293. 
The announcement of the resolutions' passage can be found at

It authorises a doubling in value to $600 million of the oil spare parts
that Iraq is allowed to import.  This $600 million expenditure is allowed
every 180 day Phase (Phase VII began on 11/12/1999).

The recommended doubling dates back to a 12 October 1999 letter from Kofi
Annan to the President of the Security Council
( in which he writes:

        I recommend that the Security Council approve the request to
        increase by $300 million the allocation for oil spare parts and
        equipment, bringing the total allocation to $600 million, during
        the current phase.

He has repeated this recommendation in his subsequent reports to the
Security Council, notably in S/2000/208
( or, which contained a
report from the 2000 oil experts visit.

In a 2 July 1999 letter to the President of the Security Council
( he had noted that the
Government of Iraq intended to contract for $600 million of oil spare
parts, even though they were only allowed $300 million.  But he implicitly
endorsed this by noting that:

        As indicated by the group of experts, while the estimated value of
        the list of spare parts and equipment submitted by the Government
        of Iraq is twice the amount approved by the Council in resolution
        1242 (1999), the amount indicated by the Government of Iraq is
        considered to be commensurate with the production levels achieved
        and predicted, particularly given the emphasis placed on major
        projects and investment in safety, control of pollution and
        environmental damage. 

Previous documents (c.f., dating back to the
passage of SCR 1175 (19 June 1998), when the Security Council first
approved the purchase of $300 million of oil spare parts per phase,
indicate that there have been concerned about "the slow pace of approval" 
for parts since these imports began.  A doubling in what Iraq is allowed
to contract for is therefore a good step but needs to be accompanied by
increases in what Iraq actually receives.

SCR 1293 was drafted by the US mission to the UN.  The BBC World Service
1am (GMT) news bulletin this morning (1/4/00) reported that this had been
a response to widespread pressure from other members of the Security
Council who were concerned by the US' hard line towards Iraq.

2. new "green lists" have been approved

Two more "green lists" are now available on the Office of the Iraq
Programme's website at  These are the lists of items
that Iraq can import without going through the sanctions committee (it
still needs to show the contract to the Office of the Iraq Programme). The
lists were established by SCR 1284, paragraph 17, which was passed on 17
December 1999.  The new lists, for agricultural and health supplies, are
now added to the first two, for food and educational materials.

The health list runs to 103 pages and includes: 1800 pharmaceuticals, 41
immunological products, 182 contrast media, chemicals and miscellaneous
items, 33 targetted nutrition elements, 861 medical supplies, 46 pieces of
hospital furniture, an eight page description of ambulance components, 354
raw materials for the domestic production of medicines and 6 pieces of
basic equipment or instruments.

I suspect that these lists are significant for a number of reasons.
First, it seems to me that they offer the possibility of improvements in
the humanitarian situation in Iraq.  Without infrastructural improvements
these green lists can only offer limited benefits, though.

Second, their adoption seems possibly also to indicate various political
shifts.  The US will now be under less pressure, and perhaps the
Government of Iraq under more, as it has slightly loosened the sanctions
regime.  Furthermore, the US will probably be able to do this without the
appearance of weakening.  I don't know whether this is simply a fortunate
tactical move, then, or whether it reflects a deeper commitment in the US
administration to easing sanctions.

Third, I think that the green lists make the humanitarian situation in 
Iraq more complicated.  The relative importance of infrastructure and
green list items are unknown: no one knows to what extent pre-sanctions
levels of health can be restored through measures like those in the green
list.  This means that the environment in which we find ourselves has also
become more complicated.

Finally, these lists represent an incredible time commitment by the staff
in the Office of the Iraq Programme.  Recent reports by the Secretary
General have made it very clear that they face a growing burden of work
with professionalism.

Colin Rowat

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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