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Hi all, Food for thought, Peter, thanks. May I expand this point: " To break the sanctions regime 'illegally', however, would mean radically challenging the existing system of 'international law'"? As noted in another post, the "legal" sanctions regime depended on the political will of countries not to defy the US/UK. There was every possibility to declare the sanctions illegal at the the International Court of Justice,or the General Assembly (where there was never even a debate, as far as I know). There could have been use of the veto at the Security Council. As this list knows, nongovernmental activists (Karen Parker, myself, Dr Beatrice Boctor, WILPF, Women for Mutual Security, Bridges to Baghdad etc etc) went to the UN SubCommission on the Protection and the Promotion of Human Rights, and got rulings that the sanctions were indeed illegal, the most forceful was the Bossyet report in 2000. After 2000, many more countries were flying into Iraq, and the sanctions were in a much more precarious position. We also got similar rulings on DU (thanks also to Felicity and Damacia Lopez). These decisions were copied by other UN human rights bodies, saying the same things, all this being closely watched by the US and UK (whose delegates did everything to stop us...another story!) --but we had gained a beachhead, and personally I think the US knew the writing was on the wall in the legal sense. If countries had wanted to, they could have pursued this avenue to the max. Certainly the US and Uk knew the value of the anti-sanctions and anti-DU resolutions and kept them out of public view -- but what was puzzling, was why so few organizations in the anti-sanctions movement used them in their campaigns or supported the legal initiative that challenged the Security Council within the UN itself. The UN is built on a hierarchical system, but it's not homogeneous. I agree that the whole system needs, desperately, to be reformed or another constructed. As we think of that, I would like to make a distinction between the system through which the law is delivered (ie the UN Charter), political will, and international treaties, laws etc, resolutions, decisions, the latter of which can be in our favor, but not unless we use them more energetically. UN bodies are the only places where NGOs and countries can meet, raise issues together that challenge the US. Many native american, indigenous peoples use this avenue, attend UN human rights sessions etc, considering it worthwhile with "the seventh generation" ahead of them in mind. Can we dismiss their wisdom so lightly? Philippa Winkler _______________________________________________ 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