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http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200001/cmhansrd/cm010122/text/10122w03.htm#10122w03.html_wqn0 Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the mandate is of the UN Security Council to endorse air-strikes over Iraq.  Mr. Hain: UK and US aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone over Iraq are not conducting a bombing campaign, as my hon. Friend implies. They only take action in 22 Jan 2001 : Column: 404W self-defence, as is their right under international law. We have no wish for this confrontation to continue: it could end tomorrow if Iraq stopped shooting at our aircraft. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of Turkey about the export of oil to Turkey from Iraq.  Mr. Hain: We have made the Turkish Government aware of our serious concerns about the trade in illegal oil through Turkey which we are keen to see stopped. The UN Sanctions Committee discusses Iraq's oil exports, both legal and illegal, on a regular basis. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss UN Resolution 1284 with the Governments of (a) France, (b) Russia, (c) China and (d) Malaysia.  Mr. Hain: We have held regular discussions with the Governments of France, Russia, China and Malaysia on Resolution 1284 in the context of wider discussions on Iraq in the Security Council, since the resolution was adopted. All Security Council members have made clear that they are working for the resolution to be implemented in full. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on placing on hold humanitarian flights to Iraq.  Mr. Hain: The UK has consistently approved humanitarian flights to Baghdad. We place flights on hold, and then usually only on a temporary basis, where cargo or passenger details are insufficient to ensure that UN sanctions are not being breached. These holds are lifted as soon as we are satisfied with the additional information provided. We encourage organisations to provide additional humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people--and called on them to do so in SCR 1284. We assist those who wish to do this by air with their applications for Sanctions Committee approval. However the resumption of scheduled commercial flights involving financial transactions with Iraq would be a clear contravention of the sanctions resolutions. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with UNICEF about the deaths of Iraqi children.  Mr. Hain: We share UNICEF's concern that the children of Iraq have suffered greatly at the hands of a dictator who cares nothing for their welfare. We, however, do care about them. Under SCR 1284, a UK initiative, the humanitarian programme in Iraq has grown eightfold since it began in 1997. With up to $16 billion available this year, there is no reason why Iraqi children should go short of food, medicine or other humanitarian supplies unless Saddam decides to deny them. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make an assessment of the capacity of the Iraqi oil industry to export oil.  Mr. Hain: We welcome recent statements by the Iraqi Oil Minister that Iraq is increasing oil production again to return to the pre-Gulf War levels reached last year. Iraq's decision to halt oil production in December 2000 denied the 22 Jan 2001 : Column: 405W Iraqi people over $650 million of humanitarian relief in December alone. We remain sceptical of Iraqi claims that they are unable to maintain production because of a shortage of oil spare parts when Iraq spent only 2 per cent. of the $600 million allocated to Iraq by the UN for oil spare parts during the last six months of 2000. Oil spare parts are also included in the UN's "fast-track" system which has already processed more than $3 billion worth of goods. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contracts have been blocked by the UK Government, which are clearly designed for humanitarian purposes.  Mr. Hain: Under the terms of United Nations Security Council resolution 1284, contracts clearly designed for humanitarian purposes for the supply of foodstuffs, medical, agricultural, educational, water and sanitation supplies and oil spare parts no longer require Sanctions Committee approval but only need to be notified to the UN Secretariat. Under Security Council resolution 1330 these lists of "fast-track" goods are being extended to include goods in the electricity and housing sectors also. This year alone, more than $3 billion worth of humanitarian goods have been "fast tracked" in this way to Iraq. The UK holds less than 2 per cent. of all other contracts, which are circulated to the UN Iraq Sanctions Committee, and only does so when there are serious concerns that the goods could be used in Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction programmes. Holds are generally placed temporarily until assurances have been received about the end-use or in-country monitoring of these goods. It is the Iraqi Government who place blocking holds on UN humanitarian supplies. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of UN stock reports on the distribution picture for food and medicines verified by UN observers.  Mr. Hain: We have seen no recent UN reports specifically on the distribution of food and medicine in Iraq. However, we note that in his most recent report the UN Secretary-General called on Iraq to improve its contracting, ordering and distribution of the food basket and called for more effort to ensure the timely distribution of supplies to address the nutritional needs of the Iraqi people. We also note the Secretary-General's comment that the lack of a cash component--which the Iraqi regime refuses to discuss with the UN--is hampering the transportation of supplies for the targeted nutrition programme in central and southern Iraq. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the operation of the "Oil for Food" programme in relation to Iraq.  Mr. Hain: The "Oil for Food" programme has grown eightfold since 1997. Providing billions of dollars of humanitarian relief to the Iraqi people again this year, "Oil for Food" remains the largest UN aid programme ever. "Fast-track" procedures introduced by the UN last year mean that more goods, including foodstuffs, medical, agricultural, educational, water and sanitation supplies and oil spare parts no longer require Sanctions Committee approval, thus reaching the Iraqi people more quickly. So far this year, more than $3 billion worth of goods have 22 Jan 2001 : Column: 406W been processed in this way. However, despite the programme's success, we remain concerned that a lack of cooperation from the Iraqi regime continues to hamper the delivery of this aid to the Iraqi people. _________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail 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://www.casi.org.uk