SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS IRAQ "OIL-FOR-FOOD" PROGRAMME FOR FURTHER 180 DAYS

8 June 2000
SC/6872

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS IRAQ "OIL-FOR-FOOD" PROGRAMME FOR FURTHER 180 DAYS

8 June 2000

Press ReleaseSC/6872

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS IRAQ ‘OIL-FOR-FOOD’ PROGRAMME FOR FURTHER 180 DAYS

20000608

Resolution 1302 (2000) Adopted Unanimously

The Security Council decided tonight to extend the Iraq “oil-for-food” programme for a further 180-day period beginning tomorrow.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1302 (2000), which was submitted by France and the United Kingdom, the Council further decided that from the proceeds of Iraqi exports of petroleum, petroleum products, as well as related financial and other essential transactions, the amount recommended by the Secretary-General for the food/nutrition and health sectors should continue to be allocated on a priority basis in the context of Secretariat activities, of which 13 per cent of the sum produced would be used for the purposes referred to in resolution 986 (1995).

Convinced of the need for equitable distribution of humanitarian supplies to all segments of the Iraqi population, and determined to improve Iraq’s humanitarian situation, the Council appealed to all States to continue to cooperate in the timely submission of applications and the expeditious issue of export licences, facilitating the transit of humanitarian supplies, and to take all appropriate measures to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian supplies reach the Iraqi people as rapidly as possible.

The Council also decided that from the funds produced pursuant to the present resolution in the escrow account established by resolution 986 (1995), up to $600 million may be used to meet any reasonable expenses, other than those payable in Iraq, which follow directly from contracts approved in accordance with that and other previous resolutions.

By further terms of the text, the Council invited the Secretary-General to appoint independent experts to prepare by 26 November a comprehensive report and analysis of the humanitarian situation in Iraq, including the current humanitarian needs arising from that situation and recommendations to meet them within the framework of existing resolutions.

Statements after adoption of the text were made by the representatives of Tunisia, China, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Netherlands and the United States.

Tonight's meeting began at 11.30 p.m. and adjourned at 12:06 a.m.

Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6872 4152nd Meeting (Night) 8 June 2000

Council Work Programme

When the Security Council met this afternoon, it had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the Iraq oil-for-food programme (document S/2000/520), which provides information on the distribution of humanitarian supplies throughout Iraq up to 30 April. It also discusses the implementation of the United Nations Inter-Agency Humanitarian Programme in the three northern governorates of Dahuk, Erbil and Sulaymaniya, and describes recent implementation of that programme.

The Secretary-General reports that the nature of the humanitarian programme has evolved significantly over the past three-and-a-half years. The mechanism was initially instituted as an exception to sanctions, allowing Iraq to generate a limited amount of funds through the sale of oil, to buy food and basic medicines. Iraq is now authorized to export unlimited amounts of oil and to import a wide range of goods to meet humanitarian needs and rehabilitate its civilian infrastructure.

According to the report, revenues earned from oil exports during Phase VII of the Programme are expected to reach some $8.4 billion, which, after deductions pursuant to relevant Security Council resolutions, would leave about $5.64 billion available for the programme.

The education, nutritional and health status of the Iraqi people is a major concern, the report continues. Now that increased revenues are available, the Government of Iraq is in a position to reduce malnutrition levels and to improve health. However, until Iraq's infrastructure for electricity, water and sanitation has been sufficiently rehabilitated, the Iraqi people will continue to be vulnerable to disease and hardship. Contracts aimed at rehabilitating this infrastructure must be approved immediately.

Greater effort is needed to reverse the current level of deterioration of education, the Secretary-General notes, recommending that the Iraqi Government increase resources allocated to education, and undertake planning and distribution of education inputs supplied under the United Nations Inter-Agency Humanitarian Programme.

The report notes that from December 1996 to 30 April 2000, some $16.676 billion was available to implement the humanitarian programme and that goods worth some $8.071 billion, including 14 million tons of food and about $900 million in health supplies, have been delivered.

Proposing ways to improve use of available resources, the report notes, for example, that some $5.1 million of funds authorized under Phase I of the "oil-for- food" programme have not been used. The Secretary-General recommends that the Council authorize a review and approve requests by the Office of the Iraq Programme to use excess funds from earlier phases to fund humanitarian supplies under subsequent phases. That would help address problems in implementing Phases IV and V, for which some $589.1 million is still needed.

To address the deterioration of Iraq's oil industry, the Secretary-General asks the Council to increase allocations for equipment and spare parts in Phase VIII to $600 million, from the current $300 million.

The report welcomes the efforts of the Council's 661 Committee on Iraq sanctions to improve its procedures, which have already resulted in fewer contracts being placed on hold. Whereas some $2 billion worth of contracts were on hold at the end of April, under new procedures, that had been reduced to $1.6 billion by the end of May.

Urging the Committee to take further steps to drastically reduce the number of holds, the Secretary-General notes that urgently needed repair and maintenance work on water and sanitation systems have been delayed because of holds on contracts. That impacts negatively on health-care service delivery.

The Secretary-General reiterates his recommendation that the Council reconsider its requirement for reports every 90 days, noting that reduced reporting requirements would allow staff more time to concentrate on implementation of the programme.

In conclusion, the report states that despite constraints and difficulties, the Inter-Agency Programme has succeeded in providing substantial assistance to address Iraq's pressing humanitarian needs through the large-scale importation of civilian goods. While the Programme was never intended as a substitute for resumption of normal economic activity, and cannot address all needs of the Iraqi population, it remains essential to seek ways to maximize its efficiency for the benefit of the civilian population.

The Council also had before it a draft resolution (document S/2000/544) by which the Council would decide that the Iraq “oil-for-food” programme would remain in force for a further 180 days beginning tomorrow, 9 June. The draft is sponsored by the United Kingdom.

By that text, the Council would further decide that from the proceeds of Iraqi exports of petroleum, petroleum products as well as related financial and other essential transactions, the amount recommended by the Secretary-General for the food/nutrition and health sectors should continue to be allocated on a priority basis.

The Council would, by other terms of the draft, appeal to all States to continue to cooperate in the timely submission of applications and the expeditious issue of export licences, facilitating the transit of humanitarian supplies and to take all appropriate measures to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian supplies reach the Iraqi people as rapidly as possible.

Action on Resolution

At the outset of the meeting, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1302 (2000), which was contained in document S/2000/544.

The full text of the resolution reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Recalling its previous relevant resolutions and in particular its resolutions 986 (1995) of 14 April 1995, 1111 (1997) of 4 June 1997, 1129 (1997) of 12 September 1997, 1143 (1997) of 4 December 1997, 1153 (1998) of 20 February 1998, 1175 (1998) of 19 June 1998, 1210 (1998) of 24 November 1998, 1242 (1999) of 21 May 1999, 1266 (1999) of 4 October 1999, 1275 (1999) of 19 November 1999, 1280 (1999) of 3 December 1999, 1281 (1999) of 10 December 1999, 1284 (1999) of 17 December 1999 and 1293 (2000) of 31 March 2000,

“Convinced of the need as a temporary measure to continue to provide for the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people until the fulfilment by the Government of Iraq of the relevant resolutions, including notably resolution 687 (1991) of 3 April 1991, allows the Council to take further action with regard to the prohibitions referred to in resolution 661 (1990) of 6 August 1990, in accordance with the provisions of those resolutions,

“Convinced also of the need for equitable distribution of humanitarian supplies to all segments of the Iraqi population throughout the country,

“Determined to improve the humanitarian situation in Iraq,

“Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq,

“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1. Decides that the provisions of resolution 986 (1995), except those contained in paragraphs 4, 11 and 12 and subject to paragraph 15 of resolution 1284 (1999), shall remain in force for a new period of 180 days beginning at 00.01 hours, Eastern Daylight Time, on 9 June 2000;

“2. Further decides that from the sum produced from the import by States of petroleum and petroleum products originating in Iraq, including financial and other essential transactions related thereto, in the 180-day period referred to in paragraph 1 above, the amounts recommended by the Secretary-General in his report of 1 February 1998 (S/1998/90) for the food/nutrition and health sectors should continue to be allocated on a priority basis in the context of the activities of the Secretariat, of which 13 per cent of the sum produced in the period referred to above shall be used for the purposes referred to in paragraph 8 (b) of resolution 986 (1995);

“3. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take the actions necessary to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of this resolution, and to continue to enhance as necessary the United Nations observation process in Iraq in such a way as to provide the required assurances to the Council that the goods produced in accordance with this resolution are distributed equitably and that all supplies authorized for procurement, including dual usage items and spare parts, are utilized for the purpose for which they have been authorized;

“4. Further decides to conduct a thorough review of all aspects of the implementation of this resolution 90 days after the entry into force of paragraph 1 above and again prior to the end of the 180-day period, and expresses its intention, prior to the end of that period, to consider favourably renewal of the provisions of this resolution as appropriate, provided that the reviews indicate that those provisions are being satisfactorily implemented;

“5. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council 90 days after the entry into force of this resolution on its implementation, and further requests the Secretary-General to report prior to the end of the 180-day period, on the basis of observations of United Nations personnel in Iraq, and of consultations with the Government of Iraq, on whether Iraq has ensured the equitable distribution of medicine, health supplies, foodstuffs, and materials and supplies for essential civilian needs, financed in accordance with paragraph 8 (a) of resolution 986 (1995), including in his briefing and report any observations which he may have on the adequacy of the revenues to meet Iraq's humanitarian needs;

“6. Requests the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990), in close coordination with the Secretary-General, to report to the Council after the entry into force of paragraph 1 above and prior to the end of the 180-day period on the implementation of the arrangements in paragraphs 1, 2, 6, 8, 9 and 10 of resolution 986 (1995);

“7. Requests the Secretary-General to appoint, in consultation with the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990), no later than 10 August 2000, the additional Overseers necessary to approve petroleum and petroleum product export contracts in accordance with paragraph 1 of resolution 986 (1995) and the procedures of the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990);

“8. Requests the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) to approve, after 30 days, on the basis of proposals from the Secretary-General, lists of basic water and sanitation supplies, decides, notwithstanding paragraph 3 of resolution 661 (1990) and paragraph 20 of resolution 687 (1991), that supplies of these items will not be submitted for approval of that Committee, except for items subject to the provisions of resolution 1051 (1996), and will be notified to the Secretary-General and financed in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 8 (a) and 8 (b) of resolution 986 (1995), and requests the Secretary- General to inform the Committee in a timely manner of all such notifications received and actions taken;

“9. Decides that from the funds produced pursuant to this resolution in the escrow account established by paragraph 7 of resolution 986 (1995), up to a total of 600 million US dollars may be used to meet any reasonable expenses, other than expenses payable in Iraq, which follow directly from the contracts approved in accordance with paragraph 2 of resolution 1175 (1998) and paragraph 18 of resolution 1284 (1999), and expresses its intention to consider favourably the renewal of this measure;

“10. Decides that the funds in the escrow account which resulted from the suspension in accordance with paragraph 20 of resolution 1284 (1999) shall be used for the purposes set out in paragraph 8 (a) of resolution 986 (1995), and further decides that paragraph 20 of resolution 1284 (1999) shall remain in force and shall apply to the new 180-day period referred to in paragraph 1 above and shall not be subject to further renewal;

“11. Welcomes the efforts of the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) to review applications expeditiously, and encourages the Committee to make further efforts in that regard;

“12. Calls upon the Government of Iraq to take all additional steps necessary to implement paragraph 27 of resolution 1284 (1999), and further requests the Secretary-General regularly to review and report on the implementation of these measures;

“13. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) recommendations regarding the implementation of paragraphs 1 (a) and 6 of resolution 986 (1995) to minimize the delay in the payment of the full amount of each purchase of Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products into the escrow account established by paragraph 7 of resolution 986 (1995);

“14. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) recommendations regarding the utilization of excess funds drawn from the account created by paragraph 8 (d) of resolution 986 (1995), in particular for the purposes set out in paragraphs 8 (a) and 8 (b) of that resolution;

“15. Urges all States, and in particular the Government of Iraq, to provide their full cooperation in the effective implementation of this resolution;

“16. Appeals to all States to continue to cooperate in the timely submission of applications and the expeditious issue of export licences, facilitating the transit of humanitarian supplies authorized by the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990), and to take all other appropriate measures within their competence in order to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian supplies reach the Iraqi people as rapidly as possible;

“17. Stresses the need to continue to ensure respect for the security and safety of all persons directly involved in the implementation of this resolution in Iraq;

“18. Invites the 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;

“19. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

Statements

SAID BEN MUSTAPHA (Tunisia) said he had voted in favour of the resolution despite the fact that some elements in it did not command his complete support. Tunisia had wanted the resolution to meet the needs of all international and regional partners and international humanitarian organizations, so they could give full attention to the suffering of the Iraqi people and contribute to putting an end to the humanitarian crisis that had gone on too long. This crisis was a direct result of 10 years of sanctions. Thus, he had hoped the resolution would contain a clear request for an evaluation of the sanctions and their effect on the Iraqi people. Such an evaluation might have helped the Council to play its proper role.

However, he said, that had not been the case and he accepted it. In spite of those reservations, Tunisia was committed to a continuation of the “oil-for- food” programme to help alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people, and therefore had not disrupted the consensus on the text.

SHEN GUOFANG (China) said it had been more than three years since the “oil- for-food” programme had been implemented to ease the suffering of Iraq’s civilian population. They had been neither lifted nor suspended. However, his country took a positive attitude towards the resolution and had proposed amendments, some of which were reflected in the text.

China had made some compromises to help achieve a consensus, he said, but was not completely satisfied with the resolution’s provisions, especially operative paragraph 18, which did not reflect the position favoured by most Member States, including China.

He stressed the need for the group of experts to produce an objective, comprehensive and consolidated report. The suffering of the Iraqi population was mainly a result of the sanctions. A key issue was the evasive nature of the assessment contained in the report. While China favoured the appointment of the experts, their mandate was vague. The United Nations must conduct a comprehensive assessment as early as possible.

SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said he had voted in favour of the continuation of the Iraq humanitarian programme. It was of importance that the resolution set the level of resources available to restore Iraq’s oil sector at some $600 million, and that it create a notification regime for water, sanitation and medicine contracts. However, he regretted that other important proposals to ease the humanitarian crisis were not reflected in the text, including the restoration of civilian air communications and the payment of debt to other countries.

While he agreed that there was a need for a fundamental analysis of the effect of economic sanctions, the formulation in the resolution was a bit vague and detracted from that specific goal. He would have preferred that this provision -- as had been initially intended -- call for the experts to focus on the negative impact of sanctions and bring them to light. Instead, the paragraph was formulated rather generally, and the experts were asked to deal with consequences of sanctions.

If things that did not directly relate to sanctions were to be considered, he said, then the examination must look at the situation as a whole without any exceptions, and must include an analysis of the negative impact of the bombings by the United States and the United Kingdom against civilian targets and economic infrastructure.

He also had problems with operative paragraph 2 of the resolution, he said, which unjustifiably gave priority to food and medicines. These were very important, but equally important were the oil, energy and transport infrastructures. Unless the crises in those areas were also addressed, one could not hope for improvement in the supply of food and medicine to the Iraqi people. He noted that the paragraph had eventually been balanced, and thus the Russian Federation had agreed to join the Council's consensus.

With the adoption of this resolution the humanitarian crisis would not be overcome, he said. The measures in the “oil-for-food” programme were meaningful and necessary, but they could not radically change the situation. The only way to radically improve the humanitarian situation was to lift the sanctions. For that reason, the Council must conduct a comprehensive consideration of the Iraq situation, including what impeded the implementation of resolution 1284 (1999), particularly regarding disarmament and monitoring. He hoped the Council would do that in the not too distant future.

Sir JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) said he fully understood the reservations expressed by some representatives. Compromises were necessary for subjects as complex as the Iraq situation and the Council was grateful for the consensus, which had sent an important signal for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1284 (2000).

Nevertheless, he said, the Secretary-General would be guided by the resolution and not by national statements made after the adoption of the text, which the Council had formally adopted together.

Regarding the Russian representative's references to the "no-fly zone", he stressed that at no time had the United Kingdom bombed Iraq's civilian infrastructure. Actions in that zone had been taken to protect the population from repression by the Government of Iraq and in response to more than 650 attacks on coalition aircraft.

ARNOLD PETER VAN WALSUM (Netherlands) said he supported the request to appoint a panel of independent experts to analyse and report on the humanitarian situation in Iraq. He did not expect the outcome of the examination to contain any great surprises because everyone knew the sanctions had a negative effect.

But independent analysis could also shed light on certain seemingly inexplicable actions on the part of the Iraqi authorities, he said. He was puzzled by the adoption of measures by the Iraqi Government that harmed the Iraqi people. They initially seemed irrational, but they made some sense in the light of an attempt to convince the international community that the only way to improve the situation was to lift the sanctions altogether. A second motive might be to register disapproval of any country that was trying to help Iraq within the scope of the Security Council's resolutions.

It seemed that the Iraqi Government only wanted to deal with those States that had shown their disapproval of resolution 1284 (1999) by abstaining, he said. It had gone to surprising lengths to make a point. Non-governmental organizations were prevented from supplying humanitarian goods to Iraqis because they were based in the Netherlands.

One non-governmental organization based in the Netherlands had tried to ship 72 tonnes of dry skim milk to Iraq, he said. It was asked by Iraqi authorities to have the manufacturer change the indicated shelf-life of the product from two years to one year. A sample of the milk was taken into Iraq for testing. Six months later, the Iraqi authorities rejected the milk. Counter checks in the Netherlands showed that there was nothing wrong with the powder, but Iraq did not change its position. Because of the shortened shelf-life indication, relocation of the dry skim milk was not an option, so presumably it had been destroyed.

The Netherlands was not in a position to tell the non-governmental organizations seeking to aid Iraq to give up or to persevere, he said. His guess was that they would keep trying, because everyone agreed that the Iraqi people should not be made to suffer for the behaviour of their leaders. For that reason the Security Council, the Secretariat and the staff of the Office of the Iraq Programme were working hard to make resolution 1284 (1999) succeed, and to help the Iraqi Government accept that resolution.

JAMES B. CUNNINGHAM (United States) said the United States was concerned at the difficult position the Iraqi people found themselves in as a result of the refusal of the Iraqi Government to comply with Security Council resolutions.

He associated himself with the statement made by the representative of the United Kingdom. It was disingenuous to suggest that the defensive responses of United States and United Kingdom aircraft affected the Iraqi humanitarian situation.

Mr. LAVROV (Russian Federation) said that such issues as Iraq's alleged refusal to approve contracts for goods originating in certain countries were important and should be discussed openly and honestly, even in front of non- Council members. A comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of the situation was needed. The Council should be told about non-governmental organizations operating in Iraqi Kurdistan and certain diplomats who had crossed the border into northern Iraq without visas issued by the Government.

He said that just today, the Council had been informed of attacks on Iraqi territory, yet did not discuss such issues, which were a reality. The Secretariat should carry out a comprehensive analysis of what was happening with regard to implementation of Council resolutions, as well as what was happening inside Iraq. Which specific resolution actually mentioned a no-fly zone or stated that force could be used? The Council was trying to treat the symptoms of the disease but was not dealing with the crux of the problem.

Mr. SHEN (China) said his country's opposition to the no-fly zone was well known to all. China had never recognized it. The report of the independent experts should be exhaustive and should include the impact of the bombing. Whether deliberate or not, it was a reality that the bombing had caused suffering to the civilian population of Iraq and that factor must be taken into consideration. While China had voted in favour of the resolution, that did not mean it would abandon its position.

Sir JEREMY (United Kingdom) said that, rather than further disturb the Council's beauty sleep, he would simply refer to his delegation’s previous statements in the Council. He had had no statement to make to the Secretariat on matters that were more correctly national concerns.

Mr. LAVROV (Russian Federation) said that when he had referred to an examination of Council approval for the use of force, he had asked the United Nations Secretariat to provide a legal opinion, not for a response from any national delegation.

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For information media. Not an official record.