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Hi again Tim, Thanks for your follow up e-mail. As before, I only have answers to some of your questions. You correctly note that the September 1997 Secretary-General's report merely anticipated the arrival of chlorine. The November 1997 report (available at http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/reports/1997/s1997935.htm, and in the list on the CASI website) mentions chlorine arriving by November (and possibly as early as September; paragraph 26 is not clear on this). Paragraph 52 mentions the operation of the chlorine monitoring mechanism. Paragraph 59 talks about the insufficiency of chlorine imports at that time. > a. How long did it take Iraq to convince the > Committee that imports should > be allowed or how long did it take the Committee to > decree the same? You're referring to chlorine imports here specifically? As they're being imported by Phase II of the programme, it means that they would most likely have been included in the Phase II distribution plan (the Iraqi government can also attempt to amend a distribution plan afterwards), approved by the UN Secretary General on 4 August 1997 (according to the OIP's chronology at http://www.un.org/Depts/oip/chron.html). Phase II itself officially began on 8 June, but the Iraqi government pumped no oil until 14 August 1997. As the OIP does not post the distribution plans for the early phases of "oil for food", I don't know whether the chlorine gas imports that we read about in Phase II refer to imports initiated under Phase I (and then only arriving during Phase II). I therefore don't know whether chlorine has been imported from the outset of not. > b. what has the Committee been doing since the end > of the Gulf War(circa > '91), if not deliberately preventing the import of > this and other life-saving supplies? Yes: no argument here. The sanctions, by design, restrict the flow of goods and services between Iraq and the rest of the world. This can be damaging in any society; it has been especially damaging given Iraq's heightened needs after the Gulf War. > How is it possible for UN agencies to do > genuine humanitarian > work in Iraq when at ahigher level there is > obviously a completely different agenda? Yes again: this is the tension. Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector, pointed out in one of his early speeches after resigning that he had a great deal of respect for people like Denis Halliday (the former UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator, who resigned at roughly the same time): they were trying to improve a situation that sanctions were designed to worsen. As to the "agenda" question, I had a conversation with someone in the Office of the Iraq Programme on the "holds" issue that shed some light on this for me. He explained that, for the most part, holds are placed by understaffed missions (the US and the UK) when the staff don't feel that they have enough information to make a clear decision immediately. Their hope is that by placing the hold, they'll buy some time to look at it more closely later. As they're understaffed, though, often "later" never comes and the hold remains until a lobby is generated against it (e.g. the child vaccines recently). Furthermore, as these staff know that one of the fastest ways to end your career is to allow "Saddam to get his hands on...", they tend to be very cautious. In the case of the US, there may be even more caution as the US is currently undergoing policy review: until they've got a new policy, the job is to sit tight. In some cases, though, there is a policy of political holds. This seemed to be the case for the telecommunications sector holds placed by the US. I'm sorry that I don't have a better understanding of the chlorine issue. I do hope that this helps, though. Best wishes and good courage, ===== Colin Rowat 274 Vanderbilt Ave., #2 Brooklyn NY 11205 USA (m) 917 517 5840 (f) 707 221 3672 __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Yahoo! Auctions - buy the things you want at great prices http://auctions.yahoo.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