The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] European Parliament resolution on Iraq

Yesterday, the European Parliament voted for a resolution on Iraq (see
notebook" entry:

The resolution is based on a "Report on the situation in Iraq eleven years
after the Gulf War" (2000/2329(INI)), by the Committee on Foreign Affairs,
Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy (Rapporteur: Baroness
Emma Nicholson).

The full text of report (document A5-0157/2002), including the resolution
adopted is at

On the whole it's quite disappointing with respect to sanctions, focusing
almost exclusively on human rights violations by the regime. So, while it
"urges the Commission to explore all the existing possibilities which
allow for a more active EU policy in favour of the Iraqi population" (para
12), it turns out this is "in particular by means of assistance to
displaced and uprooted people, rehabilitation operations and human

The report contains an explanatory statement which tends to summarise the
sanctions in a rather biased way; for example after noting when sanctions
were first imposed, it says "The Iraqi government used the sanctions to
justify not importing necessary food and medicine. Consequently in 1991
the UN Security Council offered an 'oil for food' programme".

The parts of the resolution which do have most relevance to sanctions are
paragraphs 14-18. Paragraph 14 calls for lifting "most restrictions on
non-military and non-dual use items" (with some caveats). Paragraph 15
uses better situation in northern governates as 'evidence' that Iraqi
government is to blame for shortages in south. Paragraph 17 is an
interesting one: it urges the UN to allocate part of the oil for food
revenues to provide for the Iraqi refugee population, and paragraph 18
adds that such relief should also be extended to various other groups
including "victims of terrorism" (of any kind!?), and suggests using
frozen Iraqi assets for the purpose. I've quote those five paragraphs in
full at the end of this message.

Also of relevence to the current situation is paragraph 7 in which it (The
European Parliament):

 "7.   unequivocally rejects any military action that is not covered by
  United Nations resolutions;"

Finally, I should mention that the Explanatory Statement attached to the
resolution notes that during a public hearing held by the Committee on
Foreign Affairs on 26 February 2001, "experts confirmed the perverse
effects of the economic sanctions, particularly harmful to the less
advantaged among the civilian population. Iraqi civilians had become
hostages to their government that manipulated rationing and distribution
of 'ration tickets' to sustain the system of oppression and terror."

Paragraphs 14-18 appear below as promised.

Best wishes,



14. urges the United Nations Security Council to lift with utmost
urgency most restrictions on non-military and non dual-use trade and
investments (generalised economic and trade sanctions), as long as it
does not lead to an increase of military expenditure, while mantaining
the arms embargo, in order to ameliorate the humanitarian crisis in
basic needs; and to tighten controls on Iraq's ability to import
weapons and weapons-related goods;

15.   notes that the "oil for food" programme has been effective only in
the three governates of north Iraq, where it has been directly managed by
the United Nations; thereby concluding that the lack of effective
implementation elsewhere in Iraq and the consequential shortages of food
and medical supplies have been largely the responsibility of the Iraqi

16.   insists, therefore, that the Iraqi government improves the
submission of applications for contracts, facilitates the work of
personnel of humanitarian NGOs, UN agencies and other international
organisations in Iraq and increases its co-operation on the identification
of minefields;

17.   urges the United Nations to make the decision to allocate part of
the "oil for food" programme funds or find other funds to provide
sustained and sufficient humanitarian relief to the 3 1/2 million Iraqi
refugee population ; calls on the Gulf Cooperation Council to assist
financially through the establishment of a special fund for UN

18.   considers that such relief should also be extended to displaced
persons, to victims of terrorism and biological and chemical attacks and
to their families, as well as to the families of missing persons; notes
that in these cases the assistance could also be financed by using the
revenues of Iraq's frozen assets.


Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]