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Latest oil-for-food report (90 day report) and Iraqi non-cooperation

The latest oil-for-food report by the UN Secretary General to the Security
Council was published yesterday and is now available at

It seems to indicate that Iraq has taken new steps in refusing to
acknowledge the current arrangements of oil-for-food. Paragraph 12 says:

        "12. In response to the Council’s request in paragraph 18 of
        resolution 1302 (2000), I have selected and am in the process of
        appointing a group of independent experts to prepare a comprehensive
        report and analysis of the humanitarian situation in Iraq, including
        current needs arising from that situation, and recommendations to
        meet those needs. However, in discussions with the United Nations,
        the Government of Iraq has indicated that it does not intend to cooperate
with or issue visas to such experts."

Also, paragraph 11, on the issue of making arrangements to allow a cash
component of oil-for-food for the purchase of locally produced goods states

        " the Government of Iraq has, on two occasions, refused to issue
        visas to the experts selected by the Office [of the Iraq Programme
        ...] In addition, during the recent visit to Iraq of the Executive
        Director of the         Iraq Programme, the Government of Iraq declined to
        pursue discussions on such arrangements. Without the cooperation of
        the Government of Iraq on this issue, I am not currently in a
        position to submit to the Security Council finalized arrangements
        for the purposes described in paragraph 24 of resolution 1284 (1999"

The Secretary General seems to play down the importance of these
developments in paragraph 44:

        "44. The Government has generally met the requirements of the United
        Nations for entry visas for international staff involved in the
        implementation of resolution 986 (1995). There have, however, been
        isolated cases where the Government has denied approval of visas, as
        indicated in paragraph 11 above."

Nevertheless, this seems to indicate a new approach by the Iraqi government.
Paragraph 18 of resolution 1302 referred to in paragraph 12 above invites
experts to "prepare ... recommendations to meet [... humanitarian] needs,
within the framework of the existing resolutions;" and one can speculate
that a new Iraqi line of non-cooperation would intended to reject any
measures within this framework, including partial lifting or suspension of

Whichever way, this seems like worrying development for the anti-sanctions
movement. Independent UN reports have, after all, been the sources which
most effectively have enabled us way to rebut FCO/State Department claims
about sanctions.

Another aspect is that expressed by Bill Clinton at the recent UN summit,
that the reason for maintaining sanctions is that 'the credibility of the
UN' is at stake. While we might reply that on the contrary much of UN
credibility is being spent by the current tragedy in Iraq, the UK and US
Governments will be able to use these examples for their claims that the
suffering in Iraq stems from Baghdad's refusal to co-operate. As it seems
like the part of the UN establishment that support sanctions does so at
least partly in anger about the Iraqi refusal to co-operate in various
areas, this would seem to increase the difficulties in finding a way out of
the present impasse.

Does anyone have further information on the official Iraqi policy on these

As usual, the 90 day report also contains important information on many
other aspects of oil-for-food as well, and it would be useful if someone
could read it and prepare a one page (or so)  summary for soc-casi-discuss,

(i) the humanitarian situation;
(ii) suggestions about "fault" in the implementation of oil-for-food;
(iii) general conclusions.


Per Klevnäs

Research Coordinator, Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq        |        fax 0870 063 5022

Girton College, Cambridge CB3 0JG, England

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