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Security Council and campaigns

Hi all,
I've been looking through the recent debates at the Security Council, to
gain an idea of how far the UK/US proposals are likely to go when they
come around again, and to where our campaigns can best be directed. The
current system will last for only 150 days from 3 July, which means that
the discussion on "smart sanctions" will start up again by November at the
latest. This means that the current 15 members of the Security Council
will still be there, and we know all their current positions.

At present, there's only six countries in the SC who seem to fully accept
the UK proposals: that is, UK, US, Colombia, Mauritius, Singapore, and
Jamaica. A resolution would need the support of nine members - that means,
the UK/US will need to win around another 3 countries at least. Also, of
course, it'll have to persuade Russia, China and France to abstain at
least. From what I've heard from the UN, China and Russia - despite their
misgivings about UK proposals - would not have opposed the resolution. The
States in the SC who made clear their actual opposition to the UK draft
were Russia, Tunisia, and Bangladesh.

The "waverers", then, are as follows. I guess these should be the States
to whom we direct our main attention next time around (as well as to
making as sure as we can that the "opponents" at least abstain)?

1. France - supports allowing foreign investment into Iraq, strongly in
favour of immediate introduction of a cash component:
"Easing restrictions on trade with Iraq cannot by itself enable the
economy to recover sufficiently to respond to the humanitarian crisis.
That recovery requires the return of normal economic conditions. That is
why France has proposed that foreign investment be authorized, as proposed
by the panel chaired two years ago by Ambassador Celso Amorim. That is why
we propose that services be approved without delay. That is why we request
that local expenditures for the petroleum industry - the cash component -
be accepted, as the Secretary-General proposes in his 6 June report, and
as had already been agreed in resolution 1284 (1999)."
(statement at SC of 26 June)

2. China: supports authorising foreign investment into Iraq:
"Iraq's normal, civilian interactions with other countries - for example,
trade and investment - should not have been subjected to sanctions.... In
particular, in order to motivate Iraq to resume its cooperation with the
United Nations, there is a need to clearly define the criteria for
terminating the sanctions against Iraq."
(statement at SC of 26 June)

3. Ireland: supports authorising foreign investment into Iraq:
"the people of Iraq will never achieve the level of development and
prosperity to which the natural wealth of their country entitles them
without access to foreign investment. The longer they must do without the
resources and expertise that foreign investment can make available, the
longer development in real terms will be put off."
(statement at SC of 26 June)

4. Norway: supports rapid introduction of a cash component:
"Norway attaches great importance to a humanitarian cash component under
the humanitarian programme in order to allow for the purchase of locally
produced goods and thus stimulate development of local resources."
(statement at SC of 26 June)

5. Ukraine: supports a cash component and foreign investment into Iraq:
"We also think it necessary to create appropriate conditions for the
economic restoration of the country that can provide a basis for
self-reliant development and generate additional resources needed
primarily to meet civilian needs of the Iraqi people. In this regard, we
support the provisions that would make it possible to attract foreign
investments, primarily in the oil sector of the country's economy
... Besides, utilization of the so-called 'cash component' in all
sectors in Iraq in accordance with the resolution 1330 (2000) will also
contribute to drastically changing the humanitarian situation and
revitalizing the national economy."
(statement at SC of 26 June)

6. Mali: opposes the contniuation of the escrow account, supports a cash
component and foreign investment into Iraq:
"in our view there are several shortcomings in the new regime. The first
relates to United Nations control of Iraq's resources through the
maintenance of the escrow account ... we support injecting cash from oil
sales into the local economy - the "cash component". Beyond the oil
sector, the cash component ought to be extended to other sectors in Iraq.
To ensure the economic reconstruction of the country, the draft
resolution should cover services and investments, which are essential to
economic recovery and to rebuilding the country's entire infrastructure."

I think it's important we quote each of these country's words back to them
when it comes to the November debates. My guess is that Norway and Ireland
will slip into the US/UK fold, but that's still only 8 States and they
need 9.. .

There's lots more quotable points from the SC debates. I've put together
some excerpts on the CASI website at:

The full debates are at:

Here's some of the other highlights:

"We feel that the adoption of the proposed draft resolution on smart
sanctions would be detrimental to averting the humanitarian catastrophe,
devastate the Iraqi economy and work against a post-conflict settlement in
the Gulf region. Taking account of all these factors, we cannot agree to
this draft resolution, which seems unadoptable."

"During these past six years, the nature of the oil-for-food programme has
changed, even though the name has not. But a better name today would be
'oil for development', because such a term would more accurately reflect
the fact that even today the Iraqi regime could redevelop the country
using the oil-for-food programme, if it chose to do so."

"Because of the many different sanctions imposed on the country - indeed,
the most extensive and the harshest ever imposed by the United Nations on
a country - Iraq's economy is devastated, its society is crumbling, and
the humanitarian situation of the Iraqi people is on the brink of utter

"This type of collective punishment, the most severe in the history of the
United Nations, did not achieve its declared purposes of consolidating
peace and security. On the contrary, those sanctions created conditions
that in the long run may endanger the future of the whole region. ...We
believe that the only way out of the current crisis lies in the lifting of
sanctions imposed against Iraq by the Council, thereby extricating Iraq
from this dilemma, and by reviving a comprehensive dialogue between
Baghdad and the United Nations...."

Saudi Arabia:
"We also called for an overhaul of this regime to put an end to the
suffering of the Iraqi people by enabling Iraq to import all its basic
humanitarian needs, medical supplies, foodstuffs and educational material,
without requiring the prior consent of the Council. ... Sanctions should
be restricted to the acquisition of arms, military equipment and dual-use
materials as stipulated in relevant Security Council resolutions..".

"The fact remains that a decade of the most comprehensive and punitive
sanctions ever imposed on a society has decimated Iraq as a modern State,
effectively forcing that country's economy back to a pre-industrial age
and making it ever so dependent on the United Nations humanitarian
programme for basic survival. That is beyond dispute".

"W]e believe that sanctions must be immediately lifted without delay when
the reasons for their imposition are eliminated. We believe that sanctions
run counter to human rights. They are a violation of the right to life,
the right to freedom from hunger and the right to education, health care
and development.  ... The sanctions imposed by the Security Council
against Iraq have become a crime of genocide against the
Iraqi people. The States that object to the lifting of those sanctions are
guilty of that crime. ... Whether the sanctions imposed against Iraq are
strong or weak, smart or dumb, they are in fact aimed against the present
and future of an entire people."

"India has always opposed sanctions that have a humanitarian impact... .
We have repeatedly called for these sanctions to be lifted in tandem with
Iraq's compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions. ...We
hope the Council will act urgently to end the long nightmare of the
people of Iraq."

"...[C]ontinuing the blockade against Iraq will pose a threat to peace and
stability in the region for many years to come. How could it be otherwise
when an entire generation of Iraqis live a life of misery, which breeds
indignation and hatred and sows the seeds of future crisis? ...The
comprehensive embargo imposed on Iraq 10 years ago continues ceaselessly
to crush the Iraqi people. ... Indeed, life has come to an end for
hundreds of thousands of children felled by disease and epidemic in the
wake of a comprehensive blockade imposed by military force."

The Arab League:
"The League of Arab States calls for the lifting of the sanctions against
Iraq and for an end to the blockade."

The speeches of the Northern European States - especially Netherlands
("it was Iraq itself that, by its actions, moved into the position of
outcast. At the root of the present situation lies the 1990 invasion of
Kuwait by Iraq") - are particularly disappointing for their sheer
absurdity and the poverty of their arguments. Jordan, Malaysia, India and
Yemen, especially, have much to teach European countries about how to
reason in a humane way with regard to Iraq.


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