The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Norwegian 'smart sanctions' proposal

Hello all,

Scandinavian press yesterday reported about a Norwegian proposal in the
Security Council to lift restrictions on civilian goods to Iraq.  I have
been unable to find any references to this in British or US press and
therefore summarise the proposal as reported below.

Norway holds the chairmanship in the (661) Sanctions Committee, and its
Foreign Ministry is reported to have gone through all goods which have
been denied entry to the Iraq over the last few months.  The proposal is
that '80% of those goods which currently are prohibited for export be
allowed to enter Iraq'.  The aim to allow civilian goods to enter, while
having tighter controls on 'dual use' and military goods.  The proposal is
reported to have been well received by the UK, US, France, and Russia, and
will form the basis for discussions in the Security Council next week
about possible changes in the sanctions regime on Iraq.  Apparently, the
proposal was discussed when the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Thorbjørn
Jagland, met with Colin Powell in New York last week.

This seems to be the first hint of what might lie behind the US and UK
talk of 're-energisíng' or 'refining' sanctions.  However, it seems very
confused.  Above all, there is no list of prohibited goods from which 80%
could be removed.  Every contract submission is considered individually by
the sanctions committee, except those which are pre-approved by appearing
on the 'fast-track' lists.  These lists, however, aim to contain 100% of
all goods which have already been approved for import.  Is the proposal an
attempt to increase the use of the 'fast-track' mechanism?  Or does it
pertain to items which previously have been classified as 'dual use'
(notably on the 1051 lists) and which now will be allowed to enter the
country even if there is no monitoring of their use?

Alarmingly, there is no mention in the press about the definition of 'dual
use'.  Arguably, the biggest problem with the current sanctions regime is
that it disallows industrial and infrastructural reconstruction, and
therefore serious inhibits reinflation of the Iraqi economy.  Unless the
Norwegian proposal addresses this issue, it seems unlikely to contribute
significantly to improving the humanitarian situation in Iraq.

If anyone finds more information about this Norwegian or other concrete
'smart sanctions' proposals please do forward it to the list.  So far, I
have not seen any concrete proposals relating to tighter border controls,
financial sanctions, targeting the elite's personal possessions, or other
possible 'targeted sanctions'.  Mostly, there has been talk of tinkering
with the present approval mechanisms under 'oil for food'.  If there is
any substance in the recent talk about imminent changes the nature of
sanctions, we will have to very carefully analyse the potential effects
these might have.


Per Klevnäs

Research Co-ordinator, Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq                  fax 0870 063 5022

Girton College,           
Cambridge CB3                     t: +44 (0)79 905 01 905
England                           f: +44 (0)87 016 96 390

This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]