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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Voices in the Wilderness UK News Release 18th May 2002 08454560282/ 07947839992 Senior UN official 'would resign today' if it would end economic sanctions against Iraq. With the UN poised The day before the UN passed UNSCR resolution 1409 modifying the sanctions on Iraq, the most senior UN aid official working in the country, UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator Tun Myat, has told a delegation of physicians and campaigners  that he would 'resign today' if it would end the embargo. According to UNICEF the economic sanctions against Iraq have contributed to the deaths of at least 500,000 children since their imposition in August 1990. 'If by my resigning today sanctions would be lifted tomorrow I would be very happy do so' said Mr Myat, whose two predecessors, Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, both resigned in protest over the impact that sanctions have had on Iraq's civilian population. Asked about the new resolution, Mr Myat said that 'meaningful progress in the overall humanitarian situation' in Iraq can only happen with the resumption of normal economic activity. Asked if the new resolution could lead to such a resumption Mr Myat said 'no, I think that's fairly obvious as far as I'm concerned.' According to Myat the existing humanitarian programme 'can never be a substitute for normal economic activity. No matter how much you try and modify [the existing UN humanitarian programme] it is not designed for - and it will never be - a substitute for normal economic activity.' Asked about the wide range of goods available in the markets in Baghdad Mr Myat said 'The markets are quite full of things, the problem is whether or not there are people who have the puchasing power to buy them. Until such time as people can reasonably afford to buy and live naturally everything else you will see will only be superficial.' One of the delegates at the meeting Gabriel Carlyle (27) of Oxford, UK said 'Tun Myat confirmed what I'd already seen with my own eyes. A few days ago in Basrah we met a family who, prior to the 1991 Gulf War, owned two cars and had a comfortable lifestyle with a freezer full of food. This family have now sold almost all of their possessions and are living in squalid conditions, dependent upon a food ration distributed by the Government." "The new UN resolution will do little or nothing to help this family or millions of other like it. It will not restore their livelihoods and allow them to earn a living wage. " Voices delegates return Sunday 19 May 15:45 on flight RJ111. Call 07947839992 or 07980 929763 to speak to them on their return. Or call them in Jordan at the al Monzer Hotel on 00962-6-4639469 before Sunday 12pm NOTES  Mr Myat met with members of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Voices in the Wilderness US/UK and Veterans for Peace at the UN compound in Baghdad. Last week the Voices delegation symbolically broke the sanctions by importing medical supplies and textbooks into Iraq without export licences, risking heavy jail sentences and / or fines. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk