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Dear all, http://www.un.org/Depts/oip/reports/S2001_186.pdf Secretary-General's latest report http://www.un.org/Depts/oip/latest/BVS8March01.htm Sevan's introduction A) Summary of S-G report of 5 March 2001 B) Notes from Sevan's introductory statement ***************************************** A) Summary of S-G report of 5 March 2001 Once again, lack of data on childhood malnutrition. Lots of emphasis on holds. Some interesting technical stuff demonstrating US/UK lack of humanitarian concern (commercial contract protection for OFF imports, for example). Reiteration of Tun Myat's explanation for Iraqi under-ordering recently (because of disarray caused by new law banning contracting through intermediaries - in part because of lack of commercial contract protection for OFF imports). Quite a few small positive gains of OFF reported. Perhaps due to problems caused by Iraq imposing the surcharge, Iraq shipped much less oil in the last few months, losing over $2bn worth of revenue. 1) Humanitarian Situation South/central Iraq: 'While chronic malnutrition has decreased in urban areas, it has increased in rural areas.' (para 6) Period under study not clear, perhaps the lifetime of the programme 1997-2001. 'health conditions in Baghdad and throughout the country have improved [since 1997] but remain precarious'. (para 7) Over 75 per cent of school buildings 'considered to be in such a poor state that they failed to provide a safe teaching and learning environment for students and teachers'. (para 116) A gender assessment of OFF in the north is being carried out this month. (para 150) 2) Holds Note: It is the position of Voices (and CASI, I believe) that the lifting of holds by itself would not solve the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, and that a sole focus on this issue does not advance the cause of ordinary people in Iraq. However, the holds are of course important in indicating the moral level of US/UK policy, and they have significant humanitarian costs. The S-G reports holds on vaccines (para 87); on equipment needed to land food at Umm Qasr (78, 79); on trains and train safety equipment (80); on water treatment materials and lab supplies (98); on agriculture (holds have more than doubled) (106); on irrigation and other agricultural goods (107, 147); on power generation supplies (112); on computers for education (120); on telecommunications (123); on goods for the North! (39); on $10m worth of items subsequently placed on the green list! (55). This last is amazing. The director of OIP had to point out that there were holds on contracts which were entirely composed of goods on the green lists. This puts paid to the notion spread around by some UN officials that the green lists have had no humanitarian impact and are simply a matter of saving on photocopying. The S-G regretted that the Sanctions Committee had not reviewed holds as urged to do by the Security Council (159) and enlarged on his previous recommendation that all sectors should have green lists. He now wants _all_ civilian goods except those on the 1051 weapons of mass destruction/dual-use list to be put on pre-approved green lists (160). He wants the Sanctions Committee to deal with applications in an 'expeditious manner' and to decrease 'drastically' the level of applications placed on hold. (164) (About to get his wish, I would say...) 3) Dual-use: US rejects technical experts' view on dual-use goods A bizarre bizarre bizarre turn of events. There is a list of goods attached to UNSCR 1051 detailing what Iraq may not have under dual-use/WMD considerations. Washington uses a wider definition of 'dual use' meaning whatever it likes. When it looks like a contract might contain material falling within the ambit of 1051, it goes to 1051 technical experts who decide whether or not it is in the list. They recently decided that items in 207 applications (value $429m) did _not_ fall within the range of the 1051 list. That means they were okay to import. The Sanctions Committee (ie the US, in my reading) rejected their finding! A report on the revision and updating of the 1051 list will be circulated to the Security Council soon. (50) 4) Commercial protection Over 1500 contracts have been rejected by Iraq on delivery for poor quality etc. over the past year. (59) S-G says it is 'essential' to provide legitimate commercial protection to Iraqi buyers of goods. And asks for 'highest priority' to protect the South/Central account (now 59 per cent) 'against commercial malpractice of occasional fraudulent practices'. (62) Sanctions Committee has been dragging its feet on 'informal discussions' on the matter - S-G refers to 'resumption, albeit with much delay' of these talks. (62) ***************************************** B) Notes from Sevan's introductory statement 1) Sevan reports that uncommitted funds in the UN escrow account as at 2 March 2001 were $2.865bn and E1.542bn (euros) which I believe is in the order of $4.4bn. Contrary to lots of much larger claims made by the US and UK. 2) 'Some items to be provided under applications placed on hold, such as the kind of computers which are utlized in our offices in New York, are readily available in the markets of Baghdad or elsewhere in Iraq. The same applies to a variety of other items. In such cases, what in fact is being place on hold is authorization to utilize funds under the escrow account to purchase such items under the programme.' 3) Proposed green lists now 'thousands upon thousands of items under all the sectors... except for telecommunications'. 4) MONITORING (v. important in my view) 'We have the capacity and the necessary monitoring and observation mechanisms in place to monitor oil spare parts and humanitarian supplies arriving in Iraq toprovide the assurances to the [Security] Council and its [Sanctions] Commmittee that supplies arriving in Iraq under the programme are indeed being utilized for authorized purposes.... In considering applications for approval, the Committee should place more faith in our observation capacity.' Sevan hints that the Sanctions Committee makes requests for information which 'may fall outside our purview'. Don't know what this means. 5) Sevan notes 'growing resentment' in Iraqi government regarding discriminatory treatment of north, which has holds of only 0.027 per cent, and has local contracting and cash component. Hence visas processed very slowly for UN staff going north. 6) Sevan notes that Kurdish local authorities reject technical experts from South/Central even when they are Kurds. And they even reject staff from the other bits of Kurdistan - Dahuk and Erbil reject folk from Sulaymaniyah and vice versa! Cheers Milan Rai Milan Rai Joint Coordinator Voices in the Wilderness UK National Office 16B Cherwell St, Oxford OX4 1BG http://welcome.to/voicesuk Personal contact details 29 Gensing Road, St Leonards-on-sea TN38 0HE firstname.lastname@example.org ph 0845 458 9571 (local rate) pager 07623 746 462 -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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