Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq


For information on Iraq since May 2003, please visit

12 actions for 12 years of sanctions

[Back to the Index of 12 actions]

7 - Call for a humanitarian assessment

Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1302, passed in June 2000, called for the UN Secretary-General to "appoint independent experts to prepare by 26 November 2000 a comprehensive report and analysis of the humanitarian situation in Iraq, including the current humanitarian needs arising from that situation and recommendations to meet those needs, within the framework of the existing resolutions".

The Iraqi government, perhaps reflecting fears that an independent assessment would reveal its failure to make use of all opportunities available to it, would not give visas to the experts who would have carried out the analysis. Yet the UN made little attempt to pursue the matter, with the Secretary-General only appointing former Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorvald Stoltenberg to head the mission on 30 October 2000, less than a month before the report was due.

Two years on, no assessment has yet taken place. Politics appear to have taken priority over humanitarian needs.


Please write to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, United Nations, New York, NY 10017, USA.

* Express your concern that the "comprehensive report and analysis of the humanitarian situation" called for by paragraph 18 of SCR 1302 has not been produced.

* Point out that the previous Humanitarian Panel Report commissioned by the Security Council in 1999 identified severe suffering associated with sanctions, and succeeded in identifying areas for much-needed reform of the sanctions regime.

* Express your concern that the latest reform to sanctions, in SCR 1409 (so called ‘smart sanctions’) did not rest on any such assessment of the needs of the Iraqi people.

* State the injustice of a needs assessment of the Iraqi people being impeded by political wrangling over which they have no influence.

* Call on the Secretary-General to ensure that the humanitarian assessment is completed, as was mandated in SCR 1302. This should happen whether or not the experts can enter Iraq, as there is plenty of UN personnel in Iraq to assist with information.


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