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Re: [casi] Weekly Summary of IPO Activity

At first glance I thought that this referred to the INTERNATIONAL
PROGRESS ORGANIZATION . When I saw the amount of
media access I realised that it must be that newly created UK-based
Iraqi opposition group, the Iraqi Prospect Organisation. Needless to
say, they are in sanctions denial! The media aren't interested in
anti-sanctions views or even anti-war groups.

This was written by Dr Hans Koechler a year ago but is still
pertinent today:



addressed to the President of the General Assembly and to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations on the humanitarian emergency
and threat to peace resulting from the Security Council’s sanctions
policy vis-à-vis Iraq, on the efforts to establish a régime of so-
called "smart sanctions," on the continued violation of Iraqi
sovereignty by permanent members of the Security Council, on the
unilateral threat of the use of force against Iraq, and on the
special responsibility of the international community to uphold the
principles of the United Nations Charter and to avert armed
aggression against Iraq

Vienna, 18 February 2002/P/RE/17478

(german translation / dt. Übersetzung)

 The International Progress Organization (I.P.O.) presents its
compliments to the President of the General Assembly and to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations and submits the following
Memorandum concerning the international crisis resulting from the
ongoing comprehensive sanctions against the people of Iraq and the
threat of the use of force against Iraq. The I.P.O. addresses this
Memorandum specifically to the General Assembly of the United Nations
because the threat of the use of force emanates from a permanent
member of the Security Council, which – because of the provisions of
Art. 27 (3) of the Charter –prevents the Council de facto from
exercising its responsibilities under Art. 24 (1) of the Charter for
the maintenance of international peace and security on behalf of all
United Nations member states.

We would like to draw Your attention to the following facts and grave
dangers for global peace in connection with the situation caused by
the punitive sanctions imposed on Iraq and as a result of the dispute
between Iraq and the United States in particular:

The comprehensive sanctions enforced by the Security Council since
1990 constitute a measure of collective punishment of the civilian
population of Iraq that is in open contradiction to the basic
provisions of human rights which are part of jus cogens of general
international law. Such a policy constitutes not only a violation of
international law, it has proven to increase tensions and to endanger
a lasting peaceful settlement of the dispute between Security Council
Members and Iraq. In conformity with Art. 54 (1) of the First
Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, starvation of
civilians is strictly prohibited. As stated by many scholars of
international law, this principle is to be applied not only in times
of war but also in regard to coercive measures in accordance with
Chapter VII of the Charter. In regard to the human rights problems of
the Security Council’s sanctions régime, we reiterate the concerns
expressed by our organization as early as 1991 at the session of the
United Nations Commission on Human Rights – Sub-commission on
Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (Document
E/CN.4/Sub.2/1991/SR.10, 20 August 1991). We further reiterate what
we stated in Par. 6 of the Memorandum of 28 September 1990 addressed
to the President of the Security Council concerning resolution 661
(1990): "The present enforcement measures … do not justify the
starvation of the entire population[s] of Iraq … Collective
punishment of the civilian population is not admissible under any
pretext whatsoever." In this regard, we also refer to the research
publication by Hans Koechler on "The United Nations Sanctions Policy
& International Law" (Penang / Malaysia: Just World Trust, 1995) and
to the working paper prepared for the UN Commission on Human Rights
by Mr. Marc Bossuyt on "The Adverse Consequences of Economic
Sanctions on the Enjoyment of Human Rights" (Doc.
Because of the voting behaviour particularly of the United States in
the Security Council’s Sanctions Committee operating under the terms
of resolution 661 (1990), the sanctions régime has been implemented
in such a way that the delivery of medicine and health supplies
(which are generally exempt from the sanctions regulations) and of
vital foodstuffs (that fall under the provisions for humanitarian
exemptions under resolution 661 [1990], Par. 3 [c] and resolution 687
[1991], Par. 20) has frequently been prevented or blocked
indefinitely. This has caused unbearable suffering and death to many
Iraqi citizens, particularly children, the sick and elderly. This
policy of effective "sabotage" of the work of the Sanctions Committee
in regard to granting humanitarian exemptions clearly indicates the
political intentions aimed at the destabilization of the political
order in Iraq. Such a policy is inhumane and has to be condemned by
all people of good will.
The arms inspection and monitoring régime established pursuant to
Security Council resolution 687 (1991) has not been carried out in
good faith and has been abused for intelligence purposes on behalf of
at least one permanent member of the Security Council. The facts are
well documented, among others, by statements of former UNSCOM
inspector Scott Ritter from the United States. This has not only
rendered the sanctions regulations under the existing provisions
inconsistent and even inoperative, it has seriously undermined the
credibility of the Security Council in its policies vis-à-vis Iraq.
Repeated unilateral statements by the United States have made it
clear that, whatever measures Iraq undertakes to bring about the
lifting of the sanctions under Paragraphs 21 and 22 of resolution 687
(1991), this will have no effect on the actual lifting of the
punitive measures by the Sanctions Committee where the United States
exercise their veto power. The United States administration has made
it plain that only a régime change in Iraq will make it agree to the
lifting of the sanctions. In this context and after the failure of
UNSCOM, it has become obvious that resolution 1284 (1999) providing
for the establishment of a "United Nations Monitoring, Verification
and Inspection Commission" (UNMOVIC) cannot be the basis for a
continued monitoring régime under the original provisions of
resolution 687 (1991). Paragraph 33 of the resolution falls back even
behind the earlier resolution – by only vaguely offering the prospect
of suspending sanctions instead of lifting them as provided for in
Paragraphs 21 and 22 of resolution 687 (1991). This new resolution
has deliberately obscured what is required of Iraq even for the mere
suspension of sanctions.
In light of the experience with the inspection and monitoring régime
as exercised by the failed UNSCOM, the UK draft resolution of 20 June
2001 concerning the establishment of so-called "smart sanctions" does
not seem to be a viable alternative. Entrusting UNMOVIC, the
successor of UNSCOM, with a far-reaching monitoring and verification
authority in regard to Iraq’s industry means putting Iraq effectively
under a kind of trusteeship under the direct control of her main
adversary in the Security Council, namely the United States. It is
obvious to any international observer that the provisions for the
functioning of UNMOVIC make it impossible for this controlling body
to act in a balanced and independent manner. The proposal for a so-
called "smart sanctions" régime, in connection with the rules of
engagement for UNMOVIC, negates the sovereignty of Iraq as a member
state of the United Nations and jeopardizes its political
The existing sanctions régime exercised by the Security Council’s
Sanctions Committee violates international law in another basic
respect, namely by arbitrarily banning civilian flights into and out
of Iraq. Passenger traffic – whether by land, sea or air – is not
covered by the sanctions resolutions 661 (1990) and 687 (1991). Those
resolutions prohibit the import and export of commercial goods into
and out of Iraq but not the traffic of passengers. The embargo on
civilian flights in and out of Iraq is totally illegal and
constitutes an arbitrary unilateral measure in abuse of Security
Council resolutions. In strictly legal terms, the Sanctions Committee
of the Security Council has no authority whatsoever to "grant
permission" for civilian flights – in the same way as it has no
authority to restrict passenger traffic by land or sea. The
arrogation of powers it does not possess under existing Security
Council resolutions, by the Sanctions Committee, demonstrates again
the lack of good faith and the absence of an unequivocal commitment
to the rule of law on the part of the Committee.
Apart from the international anarchy brought about by the arbitrary
mode of action of the Security Council’s Sanctions Committee, an even
more serious breach of international law has been committed through
the imposition of the so-called "no-fly zones" in the northern and
southern regions of Iraq. This unilateral measure by the governments
of the United States and the United Kingdom has no basis whatsoever
in Security Council resolutions. The continued attacks by aircraft of
those countries constitute a breach of the peace and are acts of
aggression according to Art. 39 of the United Nations Charter. They
endanger security and stability in the entire region of the Middle
East. Because these acts are committed by permanent members of the
Security Council, the Council is incapacitated in the exercise of its
collective responsibility for the maintenance of international peace
and security under the provisions Articles 41 and 42 of the Charter.
The measures of disarmament enforced vis-à-vis Iraq lack consistency
and legitimacy in one additional basic respect. Par. 14 of resolution
687 (1991) defines Iraq’s disarmament obligations as "steps towards
the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons
of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery …" This
solemn commitment was reiterated by the Security Council in the
Preamble to resolution 1284 (1999) providing for the establishment of
UNMOVIC. In spite of these declarations, no steps have ever been
undertaken in the more than ten years that have elapsed since the
resolution establishing the arms monitoring régime in Iraq towards
the implementation of this commitment in regard to the occupying
power in Palestine that possesses a huge arsenal of weapons of mass
destruction. A disarmament policy vis-à-vis Iraq based on binding
resolutions according to Chapter VII of the UN Charter will not be
seen as legitimate by the large majority of nations in the region as
long as double standards are applied in regard to Arab states and the
occupying power in Palestine.
Since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 in New York,
Washington DC and Pennsylvania, the United States has repeatedly
threatened the unilateral use of force against Iraq. In his State of
the Union Address, the President of the United States has included
Iraq as part of a self-declared "axis of evil." The International
Progress Organization would like to state unambiguously that no
evidence at all has ever related Iraq to the terrorist acts of 11
September 2001. While the United States, like any other state, enjoys
the inherent right of self-defense according to Art. 51 of the United
Nations Charter, it has absolutely no right to threaten the use of
force against a country not involved in the perpetration of these
terrorist acts. By its behaviour the United States administration
blatantly violates its obligations under Art. 2 (4) of the United
Nations Charter according to which "all Members shall refrain in
their international relations from the threat or use of force against
the territorial integrity or political independence of any state."
While unequivocally condemning the terrorist acts committed against
innocent people in the United States, the International Progress
Organization calls upon the member states of the United Nations
General Assembly to stand up against the threat of force by the
United States against Iraq. The unilateral action by the United
States seriously undermines the international rule of law to which
all UN member states are committed.
In this regard, we would like to reiterate the views expressed in the
message dated 12 February 1998 to the Secretary-General of the United
Nations. The United States’ threats against Iraq and the eventual
preparations for all-out war constitute a flagrant violation of the
basic purposes and principles of the United Nations as outlined in
Art. 1 (1) of the Charter. The US actions constitute a "threat to the
peace" according to Art. 39 of the UN Charter. According to the
Charter, the Security Council would be called upon to immediately
deal with this issue. In this regard, the Secretary-General may
himself make use of the provision in Art. 99 of the Charter to place
this issue on the agenda of the Council.
However, the United States, enjoying the status of permanent member
in the Security Council with the related voting privilege as defined
in Art. 27 (3), will effectively be in a position to prevent the
Security Council from exercising its collective responsibility under
the Charter. Because of the de facto paralysis of the Council in all
matters related to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and
acts of aggression committed by a permanent member, the General
Assembly of the United Nations may consider emergency action under
the provisions of resolution 377 A (V) of 3 November 1950 ("Uniting
for Peace Resolution"). We would like to recall that this resolution
stipulates that "if the Security Council, because of the lack of
unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary
responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and
security …, the General Assembly shall consider the matter
immediately with a view to making appropriate recommendations to
Members for collective measures … to maintain or restore
international peace or security."
The further existence of the United Nations Organization as an entity
of multilateral action, for the sake of collective security and
peace, is in jeopardy if the unilateral use of force by its most
powerful member state remains unopposed. What the peoples of the
world – solemnly referred to in the Preamble of the United Nations
Charter – need most, and indeed deserve, at this juncture of history,
is personal courage and a strong and unequivocal commitment to peace
on the part of the holders of high office in the United Nations

The International Progress Organization solemnly appeals to the
President of the General Assembly and to the Secretary-General of the
United Nations to exercise their responsibility under the United
Nations Charter and asks the President of the General Assembly to
circulate the present Memorandum among the Member states.

The International Progress Organization avails itself of this
opportunity to renew to the President of the General Assembly and to
the Secretary-General of the United Nations the assurances of its
highest consideration.

Dr Hans Koechler


Source: International Progress Organization I.P.O

> Weekly Summary of IPO Activity
> February 15th - February 21st
> Saturday 15th February
> Radio: BBC London
> Ahmed Shames (Chairman) interview on the anti-war march.
> TV: Sky News
> Sama Hadad (Spokesperson) live interview at the anti-war march.
> TV: Channel 5 News
> Sama Hadad (Spokesperson) interview at the anti-war march.

Mark Parkinson

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