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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Dear list members, Earlier in the week, CASI released a press release about the new Security Council resolution on Iraq, 1382 (available at http://www.casi.org.uk/briefing/prscr1382.html). The release focused on the likelihood that the new resolution would considerably expand the length of the `dual use' lists which currently filter exports to Iraq. Another important aspect of the resolution that the press release did not address is the interpretation of operative paragraph two of the resolution. I'm writing this e-mail to bring this aspect of the resolution to the list's attention and to discuss the implications of the resolution. Paragraph two reads: <quote begins> Notes the proposed Goods Review List (as contained in Annex 1 to this resolution) and the procedures for its application (as contained in Annex 2 to this resolution) and decides that it will adopt the List and the procedures, subject to any refinements to them agreed by the Council in light of further consultations, for implementation beginning on 30 May 2002; <quote ends> Thus, the paragraph seems susceptible to two very different interpretations: 1. the Council has adopted Annexes I and II, and these Annexes will come into effect on 30 May 2002. If the Council modifies them in a further resolution before that date, then the modified annexes will be the ones coming into effect. In this case, the resolution represents a major reform to the sanctions. 2. the Council will adopt a goods review list and a set of procedures in a future resolution before 30 May 2002. The starting point for discussions on the list and procedures will be Annexes I and II. In this case, the resolution represents little more than a routine rollover. The words "notes" and "proposed" suggest a tentativeness that favour the second interpretation. The typos in the list of items in Annex I also suggest to me that this is still provisional. But "decides that it will adopt the List and the procedures" does suggest a decision that has occurred now (e.g. I decide to have lunch with someone next week). That the resolution was unanimously adopted strengthens, in my view, the "routine rollover" interpretation. Further, I think that this is generally how it is being interpreted. The British statement (http://www.fco.gov.uk/news/newstext.asp?5619) allows the "major reform" interpretation, but it's still not clear (to my mind, at least). If anyone noticed any clues in the other official versions, please do let us know. I suspect that the English version will be the most important, given that the US and UK will be working from it, but it would be interesting to know whether the same level of ambiguity is sustained in the others. They are available at: Arabic: [not yet online, but should be at http://www.un.org/arabic/docs/SCouncil/SC_Res/S_RES_1382.pdf] Chinese: http://www.un.org/chinese/aboutun/prinorgs/sc/sres/01/s1382.htm English: http://www.un.org/Docs/scres/2001/res1382e.pdf French: http://www.un.org/french/docs/sc/2001/res1382f.pdf Russian: http://www.un.org/russian/documen/scresol/res2001/res1382.pdf Spanish: http://www.un.org/spanish/docs/sc01/sres1382.pdf The second aspect of the resolution that I wanted to discuss was its potential implication for Iraq's population. The CASI press release addressed a number of concerns associated with it, principally the possibility that it could double the length of the `dual use' lists. Some of the items on the proposed lists are clearly problematic. Most obviously, from my point of view, were the fibre optic cables with length over five metres in the Part C list (does the note in the Part B mention of fibre optic cables, noting that this does not control civilian telecommmunications override Part C?). While I suspect that there will be many such examples, it is significant that the proposed lists are drawn from technology transfer control arrangements. This is significant for two reasons. First, the existing `dual use' lists (the 1051 lists) are organised according to categories of prohibited weapons (nuclear, chemical, biological, missiles with > 150 km range). These are not. Second, other countries are subject to export controls similar to those proposed by the new lists. China, for example, is subject to technology transfer controls under the Wassenaar Arrangement, from which the bulk of the new lists are taken. I have not heard it argued that China's economic development has suffered as a result. China is not a perfect analogy: it's much larger, has not suffered the same recent harm as has Iraq, and the transfer controls are only applicable to the 33 members of Wassenaar, not to the whole world (as they would be under a Security Council resolution). Nevertheless, my non-expert impression is that Wassenaar-style controls would probably not be too harmful to Iraq's civilian economy. I'd appreciate others' assessments. The second Annex, containing the list of procedures is also, I think, a step forward. It appears to give control for imports to Iraq to technical experts - taking them out of the hands of Member States. Only if the technical experts believed there to be a contract containing `dual use' items would the Sanctions Committee of Member States become involved. Thus, opportunities for Member states to block contracts are reduced to those contracts containing items that the technical experts deem to be `dual use'. Who will the technical experts be? Will it be possible to manipulate them? Possibly. At the same time, I hear that the US and UK want to remove themselves from contract vetting: some holds can bring them very bad publicity. Secretly manipulating technical experts may allow the best of both worlds: one still retains control over contracts, but is easier to deny. One could also `encourage' companies to not make shipments. The other significant aspect of 1382 and its annexes is that they do not mention border controls. This was one of the main concerns that I had with the earlier versions: smuggling benefits Iraqis as well as the Iraqi regime; clamping down on it would hurt them too. Against this generally positive assessment of 1382, I should stress that it is only a small step towards removing the sanctions' constraints on normal civilian economic activity in Iraq. For a long time, the sanctions have not prevented civilian goods' flow across the borders; smuggling has been rampant. Large infrastructural contracts are harder to smuggle than Britney Spears posters, so 1382 may allow things in that haven't been able to enter by smuggling. Other major sources of sanctions' harm that would not be addressed by 1382 include the prohibitions on foreign investment, Compensation Commission deductions, impediments on using oil revenues to pay for services (including wages) inside Iraq and prohibition of non-oil exports. I outlined some of these issues in a Press Information Note that was posted to the list in August; a newer version is available at www.merip.org/pins/pin65.html. Best, Colin Rowat work | Room 406, Department of Economics | The University of Birmingham | Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK | (+44/0) 121 414 3754 | (+44/0) 121 414 7377 (fax) | firstname.lastname@example.org personal | (+44/0) 7768 056 984 (mobile) | (+44/0) 7092 378 517 (fax) | (707) 221 3672 (US fax) | email@example.com -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.