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CASI put out the following press release this morning. All comments welcome. The on-line version, together with links to all the relevant documentation, is at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/casi/briefing/prscr1382.html ----------------------------------------- US/UK 'Smart Sanctions' Resolution May Double List of 'Dual Use' Iraq Exports 6 December 2001 Security Council Resolution 1382 (29/11/01), extending Iraq's 'oil for food' programme, contains a largely neglected annex that may double in length the list of 'dual use' items whose export to Iraq is controlled. If so, the US/UK 'smart sanctions' initiative could further block, rather than ease, legitimate civilian exports to Iraq, with potentially grave humanitarian consequences. The resolution, "decides that [the Council] will adopt" an annexed list of 'dual use' items "for implementation beginning on 30 May 2002", "subject to any refinements .. agreed by the Council". The British Foreign Office interprets this to mean that the annex has been adopted (30/11/01). Chinese and Russian commentaries imply a belief that further Council agreement is required to do so. The annexed list has three parts: (A) the existing list developed by the UN technical bodies charged with disarming Iraq's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and mid- to long-range missiles; (B) a document from the US mission to the UN, containing 149 pages of items based on the Wassenaar Arrangement, a 1996 export control regime that evolved from Cold War controls; and (C) eight pages of assorted items. Part C generally adds further controls to items in Part B. For example, Part B controls bathymetric survey systems with three sophisticated features; Part C controls those without such features. In some cases, the Part C controls do not merely add to the Part B controls, but appear to conflict with them. For example, Part B notes that controls on "optical fibre cables" do "not control standard civil telecommunications cables". Part C controls "optical fibre cables of more than 5 meters in length", without further qualification. Beyond outlining some general procedures, the resolution gives no clues as to how such conflicts might be interpreted. Even with a single list, Council members disagree with UN technical experts on whether $430 million worth of contracts contain 'dual use' items (S/2001/1089, para. 23, 19/11/01). Such disputes increase contracts on hold. The new lists will not resolve all these disputes: there are currently holds on bulldozers, water tankers, copper communication cables and compact water treatment units, none of which appear to be controlled under the existing or the new lists. To the contrary, the new lists' length and their ill-defined overlap will almost certainly increase such disputes, and thus the value of contracts on hold. Parts B and C differ from Part A by not being related directly to Iraq's proscribed weapons. If the resolution's procedures are adopted, the import restrictions on goods - one element of the sanctions - would be replaced by a technology transfer control regime. Nevertheless, the humanitarian effect of increased disputes and holds may be grave. Tun Myat, UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq, explained, "the biggest killer of children is not lack of food or medicine but of water and sanitation" (UN News Centre, 30/11/01). Infrastructural contracts, necessary to restore Iraq's water and sanitation, are already at high risk of holds. Expanded 'dual use' lists less directly related to Iraq's proscribed weapons threaten to increase this risk. Given the Security Council's longstanding lack of haste in redressing the civilian damage caused by its policies in Iraq, it must address these concerns about the humanitarian consequences of this resolution. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.