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Hi all, please find below 2 excerpts from the House of Commons' doc entitled "Preparing the Humanitarian Consequences of Possible Military Action Against Iraq" published on 12 March 2003 1) Conclusions 2) LIST OF MAIN CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The full full text is downloadable as PDF file from http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmselect/cmintdev/444/444 .pdf This message is being sent at March 18, 2003 at 6:03 pm MET. When will it pass the admin test and will reach the list? Best andreas ---------------------------------- House of Commons International Development Committee PREPARING FOR THE HUMANITARIAN CONSEQUENCES OF POSSIBLE MILITARY ACTION AGAINST IRAQ Fourth Report of Session 2002 –03 Volume I: Report and Proceedings of the Committee Ordered by The House of Commons to be printed 10 March 2003 HC 444 –I Published on 12 March 2003 by authority of the House of Commons [...] Conclusions 42.It is essential that the same emphasis should be placed on the humanitarian implications of war against Iraq as on the military planning.It would appear that the military have gone ahead with their planning on the assumption that someone else will come along to clear up afterwards.We do not believe it is acceptable to wait until the war is over before turning to face the humanitarian consequences.Military planning must seek to minimise the damage to civilian infrastructure.Health,sanitation,irrigation and vital food distribution networks will suffer if Iraq ’s already dilapidated infrastructure is destroyed.Despite USAID ’s claims that food distribution will continue through oil-for-food,statements of intent are insufficient without acceptance of the financial and legal implications.The lack of funding that is immediately available has affected the ability of the UN to prepare.The international system may not have the capacity to cover the costs of delivering food up to 15 million people and reconstructing Iraq ’s infrastructure. 43.The role of the UN in coordination is central to the humanitarian effort.The current lack of coordinated leadership in dealing with the humanitarian issues,and poor information-sharing,has hampered effective planning and preparation.Military action against Iraq will have major humanitarian consequences and may involve the use of chemical,biological and even nuclear weapons.There is a risk of ethnic conflict and state fragmentation in the immediate post-war period.We are concerned about how these issues would be managed in the absence of immediate post-war UN leadership.We recognise that some NGOs may perceive their neutral humanitarian position as being compromised if they operated under a military occupation.The military may inevitably have to play the primary role in providing humanitarian assistance during the conflict and will undoubtedly be present after it ends.A lead role planned for the UN in the immediate aftermath of hostilities may protect humanitarian space and facilitate cooperation between the military and humanitarian agencies without compromising the latter ’s impartial position. -------------------------- LIST OF MAIN CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS (a)We recommend that DFID immediately issues a statement outlining its basic humanitarian contingency plans.This would be a useful source of information for humanitarian actors and would also provide reassurance that adequate importance has been attached to the humanitarian consequences of military action (paragraph 8). (b)Notwithstanding the difference of opinion between UN and NGOs,and understanding the need for confidentiality,we urge DFID and the UN,where possible,as a principle to provide confidential briefings to NGOs to facilitate effective planning (paragraph 10). (c)There is a pressing need for a mechanism for coordinating the UK humanitarian response so that UK NGOs can be connected with the UN,the military and local NGOs to facilitate information sharing between all relevant actors.(paragraph 11). (d)It is clear is that the scale of funds needed will be massive,given the dependency of the majority of the Iraqi population on the OFF programme which delivers $5 billion worth of commodities into the country in each six month phase,the food element of which costs $250 million a month to maintain.(paragraph 12). (e)If delivery of food through OFF does breakdown it will affect the 60%of Iraqis to whom the programme currently delivers,two-thirds of whom have no other source of food.Even in northern Iraq,where the WFP have trebled the ration to allow stockpiling,a food crisis would spread to northern Iraq within three months and would be severely worsened by a likely influx of internally displaced persons.Humanitarian contingency planning must take account of the serious risk that at least 40%of the population will be without any source of food in the absence of OFF rations.(paragraph 14). (f)A new Resolution on OFF is needed to allow the UN Secretary General to take executive control as soon as hostilities begin (paragraph 16). (g)It is to be noted that the current mandate for OFF ends on June 3 rd 2003 (paragraph 16). (h)As we have already commented,there may be problems with the delivery of existing Government of Iraq contracts.Detailed planning around how a replacement supply of food to OFF can be provided is necessary as is consideration of how such a supply can be channelled through existing delivery mechanisms.Consideration has also to be given to alternative food distribution options,given the risk that local delivery outlets may not be operational (paragraph 20). (i)Planning for sites for IDP and refugee camps must include planning for the provision of water,sanitation,and health care.Food and non-food items such as tents should be pre-positioned at camp sites.Camp planning must also take careful consideration of the risk of injury from unexploded ordnance and landmines.(paragraph 23). (j)Military planning should seek to minimise humanitarian consequences. However,it is inevitable that there will be damage to Iraq ’s infrastructure.It is therefore essential that sufficient medical supplies are available to deal with any outbreak in disease.Vaccination programmes should be carried out now to minimise casualties.Provision must also be made to address the potential lack of clean drinking water and sanitation services (paragraph 25). (k)In preparing to prevent the outbreak of ethnic conflict in Iraq the UK Government should remember the experience of Afghanistan where an initial “my enemy ’s enemy is my friend ” approach led the US to support regional power holders,thereby fuelling warlords and creating barriers to security and stability.The best case scenario for military action would involve Iraqi surrender with central authority structures remaining intact.However,it is essential that in planning for the possible humanitarian consequences of military action the worst case scenario,involving ethnic conflict,is considered. Safe havens could be a useful mechanism for preventing ethnic conflict but it essential that there is clear identification of who will be safe inside havens and how they will be protected.(paragraph 28). (l)Ideally,international and Iraqi health workers would be trained in how to deal with the human impact of chemical or biological weapons and would receive the same immunisations against biological weapons that are offered to military personnel.The UN has discarded the option of providing protective suits for its staff because they will be impractical.In any case UN staff would be withdrawn at the outset of any chemical or biological attack.Specialist clothing and equipment are prohibitively expensive,putting them beyond the reach of most agencies.Every effort must be made to ensure that information on the supply of protective clothing is provided.Giving information on weapons capability is an extremely difficult area for the military but it is one where there needs to be serious cooperation between the military and UN agencies and NGOs (paragraph 29). (m)Even without a further UN Security Council Resolution authorising military action,the UN will still be able to operate in Iraq under its humanitarian mandate (paragraph 30). (n)It is important that the UN should have the lead role in a post-conflict Iraq as soon as possible.There is a real danger that donors and NGOs would not play a full part in the post-conflict reconstruction of Iraq if the country were administered by a military governor (paragraph 31). (o)A second Security Council Resolution has been proposed but it is designed mainly to reinforce Resolution 1441.The draft makes no provision for humanitarian relief.We believe that the Resolution should take account of the likely humanitarian consequences of military action.Subsequent to any armed conflict,a further Resolution will be needed to make provision for changes to the OFF programme to allow for its continuation during and after a conflict. It should also set down what the UN ’s role will be after a conflict.In Afghanistan we saw the importance of the role played,in the early days,by the UN Special Representative in balancing different interests and championing and safeguarding the rights of civilians before,during and after military action.Iraq will also benefit from a Special UN Representative.We believe that an appointment should be made immediately,regardless of the plans of the US military for the post-conflict stage (paragraph 32). (p)We believe that one area in which the military could play an important role is policing and protection.We urge the military to develop plans to provide such protection,where requested,for humanitarian work if they have not already done so .There have been reports of a plan which will include the deployment of UN peace keeping forces,or monitors.We endorse this proposal. (paragraph 35). (q)Military/humanitarian cooperation is an extremely difficult area.But the difficulties have to be resolved now before any fighting begins (paragraph 36). (r)This underlines the case for having a lead role for the UN planned for the aftermath of hostilities.(paragraph 36). (s)Based on the evidence we heard,the scale of the humanitarian need may well exceed the capacity of the international system.(paragraph 37). (t)Despite pledges being made to a UN emergency fund at a conference in Geneva on 15 –16 February,the indication is that the scale of humanitarian need will drastically outweigh the funds available and that there is a severe lack of funds available immediately for planning and preparation.(paragraph 38). (u)We are concerned that the international system lacks the financial and resource ability to cope with multiple crises around the world and echo the statement made by CARE International that:"We are,as the Secretary of State ’s written evidence pointed out,very,very worried about the loss of publicity of very serious humanitarian disasters which are in place at the moment in Southern Africa,in East Africa and we now have West Africa with the disruption in Côte d ’Ivoire".(paragraph 39). (v)We call on the UN to clarify with Iraq ’s neighbours their attitude to accepting refugees in the event of armed conflict,whether or not they have signed the refugee convention.(paragraph 40). (w)Although Clare Short told us that humanitarian considerations must be paramount,there are still concerns that this will not be the case.Christian Aid ’s Roger Riddell said:"I am worried about a line of questioning which suggests we do the war and then worry about the humanitarian consequences afterwards.The Geneva Conventions require that those who engage in military activity focus on civilians right from the start".Clare Short told the House that the:“simplistic view that we should get on with the war,after which my Department and a few people can clean up,is ill-informed.I and my Department have been fully engaged in trying to get the world to face the humanitarian risks and make preparations ”.The Prime Minister told the House that there needs to be:“a humanitarian plan that is every bit as viable and well worked out as a military plan ”.We fully concur,but have yet to be convinced that this is the case (paragraph 41). _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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