Posted by andreas from dtm2-t7-2.mcbone.net (188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 at 4:53PM :
Denis Halliday slams Security Council
Halliday is a former head of the UN oil-for-food program and a
former UN Assistant Secretary General. Over the last few days he
has met with Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, Foreign Minister
Naji Sabri, and Trade Minister Mohammad Saleh, as well as the heads
of UNICEF and UNDP in Iraq, two Iraqi families and numerous shopkeepers
he knew from his earlier time in Baghdad.
Ex-UN official slams Security Council
Baghdad | By Shaker Al Taee and Hachem Kamel [Gulf News]| 10/01/2003
Denis Halliday, former United Nations Assistant Secretary General,
yesterday said that the sanctions imposed on Iraq since 1990 have
Halliday, who resigned as the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad
in 1998, told Gulf News in an exclusive interview here yesterday
that the Security Council "is a body out of control and corrupted
by the U.S." Here is the full text of the interview:
Do you think the forthcoming Blix report to the Security Council
on alleged Iraq's weapons of mass destruction will be a turning
point in the ongoing crisis?
I think if we are overly optimistic about this matter. He (Blix)
will give us an honest appraisal that hopefully will show that there
is no capacity of producing weapons of mass destruction capacity
in this country. However, I fear that many are going to be disappointed
if that does not put an end to the economic sanctions and return
of the Iraqi people to their ordinary life.
We cannot continue to punish the Iraqi people for the decisions
made by their government many years ago. This is outrageous. The
population of this country now is 16 per cent less than what it was
12 years ago.
Why are they punishing the children, who are not responsible for
what had happened to Kuwait or anything else? We have got to stop
If Blix does an honest job, we have got to make sure that the UN
respects his decision and the Security Council lifts the embargo,
and we fully welcome Iraq back to the international community.
In case an attack is launched, do you think that dropping food for
the Iraqi people would enough to save their lives?
I have no faith in the U.S. whatsoever in terms of the humanitarian
consequences of this unfair war. They supposedly provided foodstuff
to the Afghani refugees, but they ended up dropping military packages
on that country!
They don't seem to understand that the Iraqi government has been
feeding its 27 million people everyday for years. This is a huge
operation in the world, and nobody can do this, except the Iraqi
government. They are extremely efficient. The U.S. military has no
idea of what we are talking about. This is not something that
requires food drops.
This is a massive operation of international effort and the delivery
of food to this country should be done through ships every week
We are facing an absolute catastrophe if the U.S. goes ahead with
its war plans, and if there is a war and if food supplies ran out,
which of course they will in three of four months. We would have
starvation in this country very quickly. You know if they do destroy
the water systems like they did before, we will have outbreaks of
cholera, typhoid and dysentery, which are real killers, particularly
Do you still consider the oil- for-food-programme a "fiasco"?
I think we have treated the Iraqis as refugees in their own country,
feeding them with their own money. It is an outrageous thing. The
Iraqis have now sold, I believe, $60 billion worth of oil under
However, they have received less than $20 billion worth of food,
medicines, and basic equipment and utilities as water, agriculture,
education and healthcare.
Some $40 billion have disappeared. Where has all this amount gone?
It has gone into Kuwait, to compensation, to pay for Unscom, Unmovic,
and military inspections. It has gone to finance the UN presence
in this country with its 4,500 personnel. It is paying for the new
military inspections. It is paying for somebody's establishment in
New York, Paris and Rome. It is ridiculous!
The Iraqi people, who have great difficulties because of lack of
money for sophisticated drugs or equipment, are financing large
part of the UN system. It is a crime, a financial crime you might
say being imposed on the Iraqi people.
You have been quoted as saying that the Security Council is corrupt,
how do you see its role in the future?
I have said that the Security Council has been corrupted by its
permanent members particularly by the U.S. and Britain in connection
with Iraq. There are many other issues we can talk about. We have
resolutions in the council, which have impacts, and those impacts
are incompatible with the articles 1 and 2 of the UN Charter,
incompatible with human rights.
They are in fact incompatible with the Geneva Convention. Sanctions
themselves are designed to target civilians, though the Geneva
Conventions are designed to protect civilians. The whole thing is
wrong. We need massive reforms of the UN Security Council.
We need to remove the permanent membership issue, or at least expand
it so that the South as opposed to the North is properly represented.
I have a lot to say about the United Nations and its lost credibility.
But I think the Iraqi experience under UN auspices is so incredibly
bad, in my view genocidal, that the UN has done irreparable damage
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