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PRESS QUOTE December 1: 2000 was the first anniversary of UN Resolution 1284, which was offered by the security council as a step towards resolving outstanding disarmament and arms-monitoring issues as a precondition for the suspension of comprehensive economic sanctions against Iraq. As many feared, including myself, this resolution was. a still?born creation [for which] the people of Iraq continue to pay dearly, and daily. The European public is increasingly unwilling to accept such a policy. There is deep concern, because of the suffering of innocent civilians and the irrefutable evidence of violations of international law by the security council. Without a transparent political agenda ... I do not see an end to this costly human tragedy. ? Your speech of November 7 at Chatham House has not helped. Let me single out your main points: ?' Our air crews risk their lives patrolling the skies above southern Iraq' The public does not know that you do this without a mandate from the security council. It is in your hands to stop endangering your pilots by withdrawing them. It angered your office that I introduced reporting of air strikes for 1999. I did so as the UN secretary general's official for security, because of the dangers [faced by] UN observers on the roads of Iraq. The report showed that out of 132 [air strikes], UN staff. witnessed 28. The public does not know that in the "no-fly zones" you .established to protect the population, 144 civilians have died and 446 have been wounded by UK/US air forces. The Foreign office classified these reports as "Iraqi propaganda with a UN imprimatur"; even though much of it was collected and verified by UN staff. ?' Our sailors are involved in activities to curb the illegal export of Iraqi oil.' You are silent about the UK-condoned export of illegal oil from Iraq into Turkey Your silence is understandable... [Anglo?US] concurrence in this illegal export is in exchange for Turkish government agreement to the use of Incirlik airbase for allied sorties into the northern no-fly zone. ?."I firmly believe that [Saddam Hussein] remains determined to develop his nuclear, chemical and biological weapons capacity." You offer no evidence. What I "firmly believe" is that you want to keep a picture of Iraq alive even though it no longer reflects the realities. This is not surprising. Without it the case for sanctions would be over. ?.The resolution "represents the collective will of the security council and has the full force of international law." You know how deceptive this assertion is. Three out of five permanent [security council] members and Malaysia did not support this resolution. You are aware, no doubt, of the increasing numbers of serious objections by international legal experts to the continued application of these laws. The evidence is overwhelming that these "acts" have become illegal. ?"Resolution 128 removed the ceiling on the amount of oil Iraq is allowed to export." This is a political ploy. Your government knows well from annual UN reports on the state of the Iraqi oil industry that it cannot pump more oil unless the security council allows a complete overhaul of the industry. You mention recent increases in production. Why, when you know that Iraqi oil output has not risen at all...? ?"With this large amount of revenue available, one cannot help but ask why we still see pictures of malnourished and sick children?" Unicef has repeatedly pointed out that such a reality is only going to change with a normal functioning economy. More often than not, it is the blocking of contracts by the US/UK which has created huge problems in implementing the oil-for-food programme. The present volume of blocked items amounts to $2.3bn, the highest ever. ? "It is an outrage that the Iraqi government wilfully denies food and medicine..." Please forgive me if I say that it is an outrage that against your better knowledge you repeat truly fabricated and self-serving disinformation. Why do you ignore UN stock reports which give you the monthly distribution situation and which, verified by UN observers, show for food, medicines and other humanitarian supplies an average of over 90% distributed per month. ? "There are those who are undermining sanctions and challenging UN authority." Yes, this is true, and it includes me. Do accept that I do so with the utmost discomfort. I am fully aware that this weakens the very machinery set up to deal with conflicts like this one. However, I see no alternative when the fundamentals of human rights and international law are applied in a biased and lopsided manner. Hans von Sponeck, former humanitarian coordinator for Iraq _____________________________________________________________ Email your boss can't read - sign up for free disinfo.net email at http://www.disinfo.com, your gateway to the underground -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk