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Yesterday, the European Parliament voted for a resolution on Iraq (see notebook" entry: http://www2.europarl.eu.int/omk/OM-Europarl?PROG=PRESS-DAILYNB&L=EN&PUBREF=-//EP//TEXT+PRESS-DAILYNB+DN-20020516-1+0+DOC+SGML+V0//EN&LEVEL=1&REFERER=X&NAV=X#SECTION5 ) The resolution is based on a "Report on the situation in Iraq eleven years after the Gulf War" (2000/2329(INI)), by the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy (Rapporteur: Baroness Emma Nicholson). The full text of report (document A5-0157/2002), including the resolution adopted is at http://www2.europarl.eu.int/omk/OM-Europarl?PROG=REPORT&L=EN&PUBREF=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A5-2002-0157+0+DOC+SGML+V0//EN&LEVEL=3&NAV=S On the whole it's quite disappointing with respect to sanctions, focusing almost exclusively on human rights violations by the regime. So, while it "urges the Commission to explore all the existing possibilities which allow for a more active EU policy in favour of the Iraqi population" (para 12), it turns out this is "in particular by means of assistance to displaced and uprooted people, rehabilitation operations and human rights". The report contains an explanatory statement which tends to summarise the sanctions in a rather biased way; for example after noting when sanctions were first imposed, it says "The Iraqi government used the sanctions to justify not importing necessary food and medicine. Consequently in 1991 the UN Security Council offered an 'oil for food' programme". The parts of the resolution which do have most relevance to sanctions are paragraphs 14-18. Paragraph 14 calls for lifting "most restrictions on non-military and non-dual use items" (with some caveats). Paragraph 15 uses better situation in northern governates as 'evidence' that Iraqi government is to blame for shortages in south. Paragraph 17 is an interesting one: it urges the UN to allocate part of the oil for food revenues to provide for the Iraqi refugee population, and paragraph 18 adds that such relief should also be extended to various other groups including "victims of terrorism" (of any kind!?), and suggests using frozen Iraqi assets for the purpose. I've quote those five paragraphs in full at the end of this message. Also of relevence to the current situation is paragraph 7 in which it (The European Parliament): "7. unequivocally rejects any military action that is not covered by United Nations resolutions;" Finally, I should mention that the Explanatory Statement attached to the resolution notes that during a public hearing held by the Committee on Foreign Affairs on 26 February 2001, "experts confirmed the perverse effects of the economic sanctions, particularly harmful to the less advantaged among the civilian population. Iraqi civilians had become hostages to their government that manipulated rationing and distribution of 'ration tickets' to sustain the system of oppression and terror." Paragraphs 14-18 appear below as promised. Best wishes, Seb <<BEGIN QUOTATION>> 14. urges the United Nations Security Council to lift with utmost urgency most restrictions on non-military and non dual-use trade and investments (generalised economic and trade sanctions), as long as it does not lead to an increase of military expenditure, while mantaining the arms embargo, in order to ameliorate the humanitarian crisis in basic needs; and to tighten controls on Iraq's ability to import weapons and weapons-related goods; 15. notes that the "oil for food" programme has been effective only in the three governates of north Iraq, where it has been directly managed by the United Nations; thereby concluding that the lack of effective implementation elsewhere in Iraq and the consequential shortages of food and medical supplies have been largely the responsibility of the Iraqi government; 16. insists, therefore, that the Iraqi government improves the submission of applications for contracts, facilitates the work of personnel of humanitarian NGOs, UN agencies and other international organisations in Iraq and increases its co-operation on the identification of minefields; 17. urges the United Nations to make the decision to allocate part of the "oil for food" programme funds or find other funds to provide sustained and sufficient humanitarian relief to the 3 1/2 million Iraqi refugee population ; calls on the Gulf Cooperation Council to assist financially through the establishment of a special fund for UN administration; 18. considers that such relief should also be extended to displaced persons, to victims of terrorism and biological and chemical attacks and to their families, as well as to the families of missing persons; notes that in these cases the assistance could also be financed by using the revenues of Iraq's frozen assets. <<<END QUOTATION>>> _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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