Posted by Sadie from ? (126.96.36.199) on Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 3:39PM :
EPIC Welcomes End of UN Sanctions on Iraq, Yet Questions Circumstances
After nearly 13 years of economic sanctions on Iraq, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1483 yesterday, which will lift the crippling embargo. With Syria absent, the 15 member Security Council passed the U.S.-sponsored resolution by a vote of 14-0.
Under this resolution, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is to appoint a special representative to work with American and British powers in forming a new government (New York Times 5/22/03). It also establishes a U.S./UK-controlled Development Fund for Iraq that will be funded by Iraqi oil revenues. Stripped of decision-making power over the use of this fund, the world body will only be able to monitor and counsel the powers on the use of these funds. The UN will become part of an advisory board that includes representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development and the World Bank.
Resolution 1483 grants the U.S. and UK broad authority over the management of Iraq, the formation of a new Iraqi government and Iraq’s oil revenues. After the vote, U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Negroponte stated, "It is time for the Iraqi people to benefit from their natural resources." (CNN 5/22/03)
Given the diminished credibility of Negroponte’s statements, EPIC is unconvinced and will be closely observing how the occupying powers manage Iraq’s oil resources. And there are additional concerns. “Ending the 13-year economic embargo of Iraq can help revitalize Iraq’s economy, but only if security is restored,” said EPIC Director Erik Gustafson.
Gustafson continued: “We never fully believed that Washington would allow sanctions to be lifted as long as Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq. The welfare of the Iraqi people was never enough of a factor to compel either the Clinton or Bush administration to find less destructive ways of confronting the tyranny of Saddam’s regime or to address U.S. and international security concerns.”
Today, however, does not mark the end of EPIC’s work. The same political climate in Washington that allowed economic sanctions against Iraq to continue, even after UN agencies revealed the extent to which sanctions had contributed to the excess deaths of half a million of children, persists to this day.
EPIC will continue to be a watchdog of U.S. policy toward Iraq. Alongside OxFam, Amnesty International, Voices in the Wilderness and other coalition partners, EPIC will closely monitor the occupation, political transition and reconstruction of Iraq. “As long as Iraqi soil is occupied by a foreign military presence, the Iraqi people are not free. An absence of security means the risk of a humanitarian crisis will continue. Without democracy, there will be no human rights in Iraq,” said Gustafson.
Help ensure peace and security and support democracy in Iraq by attending EPIC’s 2003 Iraq Forum and Lobby Days from June 14-17 in Washington DC. Join policy experts, human rights advocates, concerned citizens and activists in learning more about the post-war situation in Iraq and how you can work to improve it. Visit our website at www.epic-usa.org for more information.
Read the full text of the resolution which lifted sanctions on Iraq
Read more on what the lifting of sanctions means
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