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These written answers were given to the House of Commons yesterday: Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of the revenue from sales of Iraqi oil was allocated by the UN for humanitarian supplies to Iraq in each of the last two years.  Mr. Hain: 67 per cent. of Iraq's oil revenue is allocated to the UN "oil for food" humanitarian programme. With Iraq once again among the world's five largest oil producers, and since the passage of resolution 1284, able to export unlimited amounts of oil under this programme, a potential $10 billion will be available this year for the humanitarian programme. Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the capacity of the Iraqi oil industry to pump the quantity of oil permitted by the UN Security Council.  Mr. Hain: The passage of UN SCR 1284 in December 1999 removed the ceiling on Iraq's exports under the "oil for food" programme. Together with the recent recovery in world oil prices, this has boosted Iraq's oil exports back to--if not above--their peak historical level of around $15 billion per annum, seen only briefly in 1980. Iraq's Oil Minister has also recently announced that Iraq is planning to increase further its oil exports by about 700,000 barrels per day which would put Iraq among the world's top five oil exporters. This means that an estimated $10 billion should be available for the humanitarian programme in Iraq this year. 18 May 2000 : Column: 222W The Iraqi oil industry needs spare parts in order to be able to sustain this level of production. The Security Council doubled to $600 million the allocation from "oil for food" for the purchase of oil spare parts earlier this year in line with the UN Secretary-General's recommendation. Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what is the Government's policy on delaying shipments of humanitarian supplies to Iraq by the UN Sanctions Committee;  (2) what steps he is taking to help expedite those shipments of humanitarian supplies for Iraq that are being delayed by the UN Sanctions Committee.  Mr. Hain: We expedite the supply of humanitarian goods to Iraq. We take very seriously our responsibility as a member of the Sanctions Committee, and scrutinise closely all applications. The Committee plays a vital role in ensuring that Iraq does not acquire prohibited goods (such as arms and weapons of mass destruction) and that Iraq spends "oil for food" money for the benefit of the Iraqi people and not the Iraqi regime. Some contracts cannot be processed because of insufficient information: lack of end-user details, or even no description of the goods to be supplied. Others are put on hold because there are dual-use concerns or because the goods in question are not humanitarian in nature. In total, we put only a tiny percentage of "oil for foods" contracts on hold (about 1 per cent. overall). Under Security Council resolution 1284, which Britain piloted through the Council last year, Sanctions Committee procedures for approving humanitarian contracts have been streamlined to ensure that contracts are processed even more quickly than before. The Committee now reviews all "oil for food" contracts within two (instead of five) working days, and it has agreed lists of foodstuffs, medical, agricultural and educational goods which no longer need to be referred to the Committee but simply notified to the UN Secretariat. Working procedures for an expert group to approve oil spare parts contracts more speedily have also now been agreed. Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the conclusion of former UNSCOM officials that Iraq has been disarmed of its weapons of mass destruction.  Mr. Hain: Up until its withdrawal from Iraq in December 1998, UNSCOM consistently reported to the United Nations Security Council that serious gaps remained in Iraq's declarations on chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles. In March 1999, the United Nations Disarmament Panel confirmed UNSCOM's analysis. We therefore believe it is essential that Iraq allows United Nations weapons inspectors to resume their work. Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the value of humanitarian supplies for Iraq on hold at the UN Sanctions Committee.  Mr. Hain: As at 31 March, 12,225 contracts under the 'Oil for Food' programme, with a value of almost $15 billion had been received by the United Nations 18 May 2000 : Column: 223W Sanctions Committee. Of these, 1,180, with a value of $1.7 billion had been placed on hold. The UK placed holds on only about 1 per cent. of contracts received. The UK's policy is to expedite the supply of humanitarian goods to Iraq. We scrutinise all contracts to ensure that Iraq does not acquire prohibited goods (such as arms and weapons of mass destruction), and that it spends 'Oil for Food' money for the benefit of the Iraqi people and not the Iraqi regime. Some contracts are put on hold because there are dual-use concerns or because they lack crucial information, such as end-user details or even a description of the goods to be supplied. The vast majority of holds are released once further information or assurances about end-use are provided. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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