The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Hello again to all the Voices letter-writers. Thankyou for all your feedback, and for keeping going through the Election, despite the fact that it seems only tax and Europe have been on the agenda for the last couple of months. There may be some opportunities in the coming weeks to respond to press coverage of so called "smart" sanctions currently being discussed in the Security Council, and which are, predictably, not very smart at all. This month's letter notes suggest that you ask your new/ re-elected MP to table a parliamentary question. (If you have already seen this in the current Voices nesletter, apologies for the duplication). We have tried this before, but with some problems. Group member Richard Greaves sent his MP some parliamentary questions suggested in the last letter notes and newsletter. His MP, Pal Keetch (LD) replied that the PQs couldn't be tabled because 'questions must not offer or seek expressions of opinion, nor must a minister be asked to comment upon a report or rumour for which (s)he has no responsibility'. So, after congratulating your MP and perhaps lobbing in a few well chosen anti-sanctions quotes (eg humanitarian panel, FAO etc) you may wish to ask them to ask teh new Foreign Secretary one or more of the following PQs: 1) Re-inflating the economy PQ: Is the government pursuing the goal of allowing the re-inflation of the Iraqi economy? If not, why not? You may like to make a number of points to your MP here, perhaps using quotes from the last Voices newsletter/ Quotesheet/ CASI website. 2) Humanitarian Panel PQ: Could the minister explain why the draft resolution on sanctions on Iraq currently being discussed at the Security Council DOES NOT PERMIT local purchasing of food for oil-for-food rations; DOES NOT REDUCE the proportion of Iraqi oil revenues diverted to compensation payments; DOES NOT ALLOW foreign companies responsibility for reconstruction and infrastructure rehabilitiation; and DOES NOT PERMIT private foreign investment in the oil and other industries? These were recommendations of the report of the UN Security Council's Humanitarian Panel, 31st March 1999, and not adopted in the draft resolution. Report available at www.un.org/Depts/oip 3) Compensation PQ: Could the minister explain why the reduction in Iraqi oil revenue diverted to the Compensation Fund adopted in phase 9 of oil-for-food was not continued in the draft resolution Britain has put before the Security Council? The proportion of revenue for the compensation fund was lowered from 30% to 25% in the last 6-month phase of oil-for-food. But in the supposedly humane British 'smart sanctios' resolution, the percentage going to compensation has risen back to 30%. Send to your MP at House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. Thanks once again for all your efforts. All the best, Glenn. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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