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> Can anyone recall what actually happened with this? Were > pencils ever blocked or put on hold and if so what was the > reason? Hi Eric, I quote from Paul Conlon's excellent book, "United Nations Sanctions Management: A Case Study of the Iraq Sanctions Committee, 1990 - 1994" (Transnational Publishers, 2000). Conlon was a deputy secretary to that committee in its early years. His book is the most detailed account that I've seen so far of its functioning and, as a result, presents a very grim picture of it. When reading it I had in mind former US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles' comment that "the Security Council is a law unto itself". Here the opposite seems to apply: "the 661 Committee is a lawlessness unto itself". In any case, quoting from pp. 73-74: <quote begins> Heated arguments ensued over the years on one further criterion for P-3 [US, UK, France] objection practices: quantity. At an early point, sporadic requests were submitted where the items were banal but the quantities requested seemed exorbitant. For instance, in 1992, Vietnam requested clearance for 4 million pencils and 10 million pens (all in a single shipment); Jordan requested clearance for "school supplies," including 800,000 tons of duplicating paper; and Pakistan sought clearance for 36 tons of graphite for pencils and 40 million pencil sharpeners. The P-3 and Japan objected, not to the items but to the quantities. Ultimately, Japan, for reasons never explained, removed its block on the pencils and the pencil sharpeners on condition that each item be limited to a quantity of one million. It had not opposed the 10 million pens, on condition that no further quantities be authorized during the remainder of the year. The 800,000 tons of duplicating paper turned out to be an error and was corrected. The request for the graphite, submitted on behalf of a Jordanian entity called "The Al Wahad Center for Economic Studies" and the 40 million pencil sharpeners lapsed when the requesting countries never clarified the matter.[footnote 64; see below] The limited approval of pencils soon became the subject of gossip and jokes among the staff, and later became a perennial issue in Iraqi propaganda, ultimately being repeated by Eric Rouleau in the pages of <italics begin>Foreign Affairs<italics end>.[footnote 65; see below] The anti-sanctions states eventually developed the argument that the ISC [Iraq Sanctions Committee] was not competent to decide on quantities, since Iraq remained a sovereign state and alone was competent to judge its own needs for products.[footnote 66; see below] The objections to this criterion based on sovereignty, however, are not convincing; deciding on quantity is no greater infringement of sovereignty than deciding on the nature of an item, and the sanctions resolutions already allowed the latter. <quote ends> <footnotes begin> 64. Mr. Sumi (Japan) in CSR-70 and CSR-71 (S/AC.25/1992/COMM.308); chairman in CSR-80 (S/AC.25/1992/COMM.1125); see also U.N. DOCS. S/AC.25/1992/COMM.266 (1992) and S/AC.25/1992/COMM.1104 (1992) in 1992 Comms Log 139, 563 (on file with author). 65. Letter dated Feb. 14, 1995, from Iraq to the Secretary-General at 2, U.N. Doc S/AC.25/1995/COMM.1498 (1995) (on file with author). The letter claims, inaccurately, that the request was rejected at the 68th meeting. The amount was actually reduced at the 70th meeting. 66. Mr. Posso (Ecuador) in CSR-76 (S/AC.25/1992/COMM.661) and CSR-77 (S/AC.25/1992/COMM.878). <footnotes end> I hope that this helps, Colin Rowat |work| 269 Mercer Street, Room 710 | Department of Economics | New York University | New York, NY 10003, USA | (212) 998 8939 | http://homepages.nyu.edu/~cir2 | email@example.com |home| 274 Vanderbilt Ave., #2 | Brooklyn NY 11205, USA | firstname.lastname@example.org |tel/fax| (917) 517 5840 (mobile) | (707) 221 3672 (fax) | email@example.com (SMS) _________________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.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