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The latest oil-for-food report by the UN Secretary General to the Security Council was published yesterday and is now available at http://www.un.org/Depts/oip/reports/phase890.html It seems to indicate that Iraq has taken new steps in refusing to acknowledge the current arrangements of oil-for-food. Paragraph 12 says: "12. In response to the Council’s request in paragraph 18 of resolution 1302 (2000), I have selected and am in the process of appointing a group of independent experts to prepare a comprehensive report and analysis of the humanitarian situation in Iraq, including current needs arising from that situation, and recommendations to meet those needs. However, in discussions with the United Nations, the Government of Iraq has indicated that it does not intend to cooperate with or issue visas to such experts." Also, paragraph 11, on the issue of making arrangements to allow a cash component of oil-for-food for the purchase of locally produced goods states that: " the Government of Iraq has, on two occasions, refused to issue visas to the experts selected by the Office [of the Iraq Programme ...] In addition, during the recent visit to Iraq of the Executive Director of the Iraq Programme, the Government of Iraq declined to pursue discussions on such arrangements. Without the cooperation of the Government of Iraq on this issue, I am not currently in a position to submit to the Security Council finalized arrangements for the purposes described in paragraph 24 of resolution 1284 (1999" The Secretary General seems to play down the importance of these developments in paragraph 44: "44. The Government has generally met the requirements of the United Nations for entry visas for international staff involved in the implementation of resolution 986 (1995). There have, however, been isolated cases where the Government has denied approval of visas, as indicated in paragraph 11 above." Nevertheless, this seems to indicate a new approach by the Iraqi government. Paragraph 18 of resolution 1302 referred to in paragraph 12 above invites experts to "prepare ... recommendations to meet [... humanitarian] needs, within the framework of the existing resolutions;" and one can speculate that a new Iraqi line of non-cooperation would intended to reject any measures within this framework, including partial lifting or suspension of sanctions. Whichever way, this seems like worrying development for the anti-sanctions movement. Independent UN reports have, after all, been the sources which most effectively have enabled us way to rebut FCO/State Department claims about sanctions. Another aspect is that expressed by Bill Clinton at the recent UN summit, that the reason for maintaining sanctions is that 'the credibility of the UN' is at stake. While we might reply that on the contrary much of UN credibility is being spent by the current tragedy in Iraq, the UK and US Governments will be able to use these examples for their claims that the suffering in Iraq stems from Baghdad's refusal to co-operate. As it seems like the part of the UN establishment that support sanctions does so at least partly in anger about the Iraqi refusal to co-operate in various areas, this would seem to increase the difficulties in finding a way out of the present impasse. Does anyone have further information on the official Iraqi policy on these matters? As usual, the 90 day report also contains important information on many other aspects of oil-for-food as well, and it would be useful if someone could read it and prepare a one page (or so) summary for soc-casi-discuss, noting: (i) the humanitarian situation; (ii) suggestions about "fault" in the implementation of oil-for-food; (iii) general conclusions. Thanks, Per Klevnäs -- Research Coordinator, Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq http://www.casi.org.uk | fax 0870 063 5022 Girton College, Cambridge CB3 0JG, England -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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://www.casi.org.uk