Centre for Research on Globalisation

ON 14 May 2002, the Security Council adopted resolution 1409 (2002) which revamps the Iraq sanctions. Its provisions constitute a mere continuation of the sanctions, albeit in some slightly reduced severity. Below is the text of the resolution as well as a preliminary analysis of its provisions by Elias Davidsson.  

It appears to me that the primary purpose of the present resolution is to maintain Iraq and its people impoverished.

The onslaught on the Iraqi people continues

by Elias Davidsson

Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG),  globalresearch.ca ,  15  May  2002

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The Security Council,

"Recalling its previous relevant resolutions, including resolutions 986 (1995) of 14 April 1995, 1284 (1999) of 17 December 1999, 1352 (2001) of 1 June 2001, 1360 (2001) of 3 July 2001, and 1382 (2001) of 29 November 2001, as they relate to the improvement of the humanitarian programme for Iraq,

"Convinced of the need as a temporary measure to continue to provide for the civilian needs of the Iraqi people until the fulfilment by the Government of Iraq of the relevant resolutions, including notably resolutions 687 (1991) of 3 April 1991 and 1284 (1999), 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 these resolutions,

"Recalling its decision in resolution 1382 (2001) to adopt the proposed Goods Review List and procedures for its application annexed to resolution 1382 (2001), subject to any refinements to them agreed by the Council in light of further consultations, for implementation beginning on 30 May 2002,

"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 the provisions of paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 to 13 of resolution 1360 (2001), and subject to paragraph 15 of resolution 1284 (1999) and the other provisions of this present resolution, shall remain in force for a new period of 180 days beginning at 0001 hours, Eastern Daylight Time, on 30 May 2002;

"2. Decides to adopt the revised Goods Review List (S/2002/515) and the revised attached procedures for its application for implementation beginning at 0001 hours, Eastern Daylight Time, on 30 May 2002 as a basis for the humanitarian programme in Iraq as referred to in resolution 986 (1995) and other relevant resolutions;

"3. Authorizes States, beginning at 0001 hours, Eastern Daylight Time, on 30 May 2002, to permit, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 3 of resolution 661 (1990) and subject to the procedures for the application of the Goods Review List (S/2002/515), the sale or supply of any commodities or products other than commodities or products referred to in paragraph 24 of resolution 687 (1991) as it relates to military commodities and products, or military-related commodities or products covered by the Goods Review List (S/2002/515) pursuant to paragraph 24 of resolution 687 (1991) whose sale or supply to Iraq has not been approved by the Committee established pursuant to resolution 661 (1990);

"4. Decides that, beginning at 0001 hours, Eastern Daylight Time, on 30 May 2002, the funds in the escrow account established pursuant to paragraph 7 of resolution 986 (1995) may also be used to finance the sale or supply to Iraq of those commodities or products that are authorized for sale or supply to Iraq under paragraph 3 above, provided that the conditions of paragraph 8 (a) of resolution 986 (1995) are met;

"5. Decides to conduct regularly thorough reviews of the Goods Review List and the procedures for its implementation and to consider any necessary adjustment and further decides that the first such review and consideration of necessary adjustment shall be conducted prior to the end of the 180-day period established pursuant to paragraph 1 above;

"6. Decides that, for the purposes of this resolution, references in resolution 1360 (2001) to the 150-day period established by that resolution shall be interpreted to refer to the 180-day period established pursuant to paragraph 1 above;

"7. Requests that the Secretary-General and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 661 (1990) submit at least two weeks prior to the end of the 180-day period the reports referred to in paragraphs 5 and 6 of resolution 1360 (2001);

"8. Requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with interested parties, to submit an assessment report on the implementation of the Goods Review List and its procedures by the end of the next period of implementation of resolution 986 (1995) beginning on 30 May 2002 and to include in the report recommendations on any necessary revision of the Goods Review List and its procedures, including the processing of contracts under paragraph 20 of resolution 687 (1991) and the utility of the Distribution Plan as referred to in paragraph 8 (a) (ii) of resolution 986 (1995);

"9. Decides to remain seized of the matter."

Analysis of SCR 1409 (2002) of 14 May 2002

by Elias Davidsson

1. We first note that the Council considers its action as a "temporary measure". The word "temporary" is generally understood as "short-term". The sanctions have been imposed in August 1990 and have lasted for 12 long years. A whole generation of young Iraqis does not know any other situation. The use of the term "temporary" is therefore deceitful and the members of the Council, by using this term, have breached their legal duty to act in "good faith".

2. The Preamble links the well-being of the Iraqi population with the "fulfilment by the Government of Iraq of the relevant resolutions". By that reasoning, the Council effectively tells the Iraqi people "If your dictator will behave as we want, your children will have a brighter future. If not, your children and grandchildren will continue to suffer".

3. The Preamble refers, further, to resolution 661 (1990), which was specifically adopted as as a response to the invasion and occupation of Kuwait. This invasion and occupation has long ended. Resolution 661 (1990) placed extremely harsh restrictions on the Iraqi people, even to the extent of prohibiting, for all practical purposes, food shipments to Iraq. It is not clear why that resolution is invoked here.

4. The Preamble expresses the determination of the Council to "improve the humanitarian situation in Iraq". Iraq does not need humanitarian assistance. It has never requested such assistance. It has resources and the will to build up its economy but is prevented from doing so by the Security Council.

5. The Preamble expresses the "commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq". The United States and the United Kingdom have repeatedly, for years, violated the territorial integrity of Iraq by conducting bombing attacks on Iraqi targets, without any UN mandate to do so. The United States government is, moreover, on record as planning to violently change the Iraqi government. This is a threat to the sovereignty of Iraq. The inclusion of this particular "commitment" without censoring the acts and declarations of the US and the UK against Iraq, is another example of the bad faith of the Security Council.

6. The Preamble says the Council is "acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations". It does not indicate, however, what specific provisions of Chapter VII are invoked and for what reason. It is thus eluding - for political purposes - to act in accordance with the specified procedure of the UN Charter, as laid down under Articles 39-42. Chapter VII deals with responses to "threats" or "breaches" of the peace, such as economic sanctions and the use of force. What specific, real and imminent "threat to the peace" did the Security Council discover in Iraq that warrants measures not imposed on any other country ? Presumably, the Council does not wish to discuss such matters because doing so, would expose the duplicity of the Council unwilling to address "imminent and real" threats to the peace in various corners of the world, including Palestine, Chechnya and other places.

7. The operative paragraphs lay down a new procedure of how the UN is going to "rule" Iraq. The UN Charter has not empowered the Security Council or the Secretary-General to take over the governance of sovereign States. The mechanism established under the "oil-for-food" programme in 1995 and continued under this Resolution, constitutes little else than a form of UN governance over the Iraqi people, without their consultation. This constitutes a violation of the Iraqi people's right to self-determination. The fact that the Iraqi people live under dictatorship does not give other States or the UN the right to act in lieu of that people.

8. The implementation of the current resolution will not permit the speedy reconstruction of the public health infrastructure of Iraq nor the revival of the Iraqi economy. It does not permit foreign investment in the Iraqi economy nor the possibility by Iraq to obtain credits for investment. It does permit Iraq to export only oil, not other products, such as dates or industrial products. This means that Iraq is to be maintained as a commodity exporter, unable to diversify its economy and prevented from producing consumer items at home: It is forced to import everything. The aim is to keep Iraq at par with poor third world countries.

9. According to Mr. Tun Myat, the current UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (30 Nov. 2001), "no matter how much was brought in, Iraq still did not have a functioning economy, without which it was not realistic to significantly improve the situation there" (UN Press Briefing). His conclusion corroborates that of the Humanitarian Panel, established by the Security Council, who concluded in March 1999 that "[t]he humanitarian situation in Iraq will continue to be a dire one in the absence of a sustained revival of the Iraqi economy." The Economist of 26 May 2001 wrote: "[A]lthough [Iraq] would be able to import more [under 'smart sanctions'], it would still be denied the free movement of labour and capital that it desperately needs... Iraq needs massive investment to rebuild its industry, its power grids and its schools, and needs cash in hand to pay its engineers, doctors and teachers. None of this looks likely to happen under smart sanctions."

10. Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, let the cat out of the bag: "Sanctions and the pressure of sanctions are part of a strategy of regime change" (Financial Times, 14 February 2002, p. 18).

This analysis is partly based on that provided by Voices in the Wilderness, UK to which the author is much indebted

Elias Davidsson, [email protected]    15 May 2002.

Voices in the Wilderness UK www.vitw.org   email  [email protected]

Elias Davidsson - Post Box 1760 - 121 Reykjavik - Iceland Tel. (00354)-552-6444 or (mobile phone) 863-6444 Fax: (00354)-552-6579 Email: [email protected] URL: http://www.juscogens.org

Copyright Elias Davidsson 2002. For fair use only

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