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[casi] Life cheap at UN - 5 mins decides fate of 22 million+ souls


Nov 26, 2002 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) -- The Security
Council this evening decided to extend the "oil-for-food"
programme for Iraq. It did so by unanimously adopting
resolution 1443 (2002) and acting under Chapter VII of the
United Nations Charter, by which it extended the provisions of its
resolution 1409 (2002) until 4 December.

[By resolution 1409, adopted on 14 May, the Council approved a
list of revised sanctions, a revised Goods Review List
(document S/2002/515) and revised procedures (document S/
2002/532) as a basis for the humanitarian programme in Iraq,
known as the "oil-for-food" programme.]

The meeting, which started at 7:10 p.m., adjourned at 7:15 p.m.


The full text of this evening's resolution, proposed by Bulgaria
and the United Kingdom, reads, as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Recalling its previous relevant resolutions, including
resolutions 986 (1995) of 14 April 1995, 1284 (1999) of 17
December 1999, 1352 (2001) of 1 June 2001, 1360 (2001) of 3
July 2001, 1382 (2001) of 29 November 2001 and 1409 (2002)
of 14 May 2002, as they relate to the improvement of the
humanitarian programme for Iraq,

"Convinced of the need as a temporary measure to continue to
provide for the civilian needs of the Iraqi people until the
fulfilment by the Government of Iraq of the relevant resolutions,
including notably resolutions 687 (1991) of 3 April 1991 and
1284 (1999), allows the Council to take further action with regard
to the prohibitions referred to in resolution 661 (1990) of 6
August 1990 in accordance with the provisions of these

"Taking note of the Secretary-General's report S/2002/1239 of 12
November 2002,

"Determined to improve the humanitarian situation in Iraq,

"Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the
sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq,

"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

"1.Decides to extend the provisions of resolution 1409 (2002)
until 4 December 2002;

"2.Decides to remain seized of the matter."


When the Security Council met this evening, it had before it the
report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraphs 7 and 8
of Council resolution 1409 (2002) (document S/2002/1239)
concerning the "oil-for-food" programme implemented by the
Office of the Iraq Programme. By resolution 1409 (2002),
unanimously adopted on 14 May, the Council extended the "oil-
for-food" programme for another 180 days and adopted a Goods
Review List and revised procedures as a basis for the
humanitarian programme in Iraq (for more information, see
Press Release SC/7395 of 14 May).

According to the report, as at 31 October, the total value of the
humanitarian supplies and equipment delivered to Iraq under
the programme was just under $25 billion, including $1.5 billion
for the oil industry. Additional supplies with a total value of $10
billion under already approved contracts were in the delivery
process. In addition to improving the overall socio-economic
conditions of the Iraqi people, the programme has prevented the
further degradation of public services and infrastructure. In
several areas, the programme has stabilized and improved
access to humanitarian goods and services.

The report states that, at present, 72 per cent of the total
revenues received from Iraqi oil exported under the programme
are allocated for the purchase of humanitarian supplies,
equipment and services. As at 31 October, $31.12 billion had
been made available to the Government of Iraq for areas where
it is responsible for implementing the programme. About $7.2
billion, or 13 per cent, has been made available for programme
implementation by the United Nations in three northern

The report notes a significant shortfall in the programme's
funding, which adversely affected the benefits of revised
procedures. The shortfall was the result of a substantial
reduction in Iraqi oil exported under the programme. The
situation is further exacerbated by the cumulative revenue
shortfall from earlier phases. Factors contributing to the drop in
oil exports include: Iraq's periodic unilateral suspension of its oil
exports; the continued absence of an agreement between the
Government and the Security Council Committee established by
resolution 661 (1990) on the manner in which the price of crude
oil is set; and concerns by traders over supply reliability. The
Secretary-General recommended that the Government of Iraq be
forthcoming in order to resolve the disagreement over the pricing
issue and appealed to the Council and its Committee to take the
necessary action in response to any positive measures that Iraq
may take in that regard.

As many of the programme achievements will be compromised
unless the present situation is redressed, it is recommended
that the Government of Iraq take urgent steps to regularize its
recent efforts to prioritize funding of approved contracts and that
it keep the Office of Iraq informed in order to avoid unnecessary
delays in the utilization of the limited funds.

Because of revised procedures pursuant to resolution 1409
(2002), which have been implemented for four months, the
entire process has become transparent to all parties involved,
with predictable timeframes for each processing step. There
has been a considerable, but expected, increase in the number
of applications with the United Nations Monitoring, Verification
and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that are not compliant with the
Goods Review List due to the massive reprocessing of
applications on hold. Transparent, clearly-defined and
consistent dual-use criteria have been used based on the
Goods Review List, allowing for approval by the Secretariat of a
large number of items often previously placed on hold by the
Committee. There is also a better focus on the humanitarian
implications of the non-approval of items, rather than
considering their dual-use nature alone.

In conclusion, the report observes that the humanitarian
programme was never intended to be a substitute for normal
economic activity. As long as the comprehensive sanctions
remain in force, however, there is no alternative to the
programme for addressing the humanitarian situation in Iraq.

Despite its shortcomings, the programme has made a major
difference in the lives of ordinary Iraqis. The effectiveness of the
programme could be further enhanced if all parties concerned
took the necessary measures for removing difficulties faced in
implementation, including severe difficulties in connection with
the dire funding shortfall.

While the current discussions are focused on the resumption of
the weapons inspection regime, the Secretary-General appeals
to all concerned to also focus attention on the humanitarian
dimension and to spare no effort in meeting the dire
humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people.


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