Former UN officials launch ad campaign to end sanctions on Iraq

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 08:01:54 -0000

PARIS (AFP) — Two former UN humanitarian coordinators who resigned from
their jobs because of the sanctions on Iraq placed a full-page
advertisement in Wednesday's International Herald Tribune newspaper to
highlight the country's plight. 
Under the title “No more economic sanctions. The Iraqi people have
suffered enough!” and a picture of a little Iraqi girl, the page counted
more than 200 names of people who supported the cause, including many
prominent politicians, priests, journalists and leaders of rights
groups. 

Among the signatures were: US Professor Noam Chomsky, South African
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny
Primakov, former Irish Foreign Minister David Andrews, British
journalist John Pilger and British playwright Harold Pinter. 

Former UN officials Denis Halliday and Hans van Sponeck, who resigned
their posts as humanitarian coordinators for Iraq in 1998 and 2000
respectively because of the suffering they saw as a result of the
sanctions, are heading up the campaign. 

“We, the undersigned, representing a wide international consensus,
demand the immediate lifting of economic sanctions against Iraq,” the
text of the page read. 

The sanctions were described as “one of the greatest injustices of our
time” and “a violation of internationally recognised human rights and
humanitarian standards” for their effect of sharply increasing the
number of infant Iraqi deaths and the general suffering on the
population they imposed. 

It also took to task the so-called “smart sanctions” Britain and the
United States have unsuccessfully tried to bring to bear, saying “they
do not allow the economic revival so desperately needed.” 

It added: “The proposed `smart sanctions' are not the solution to the
economic and social catastrophe facing ordinary Iraqi citizens, but a
grim perpetuation of a failed policy.” 

The United Nations, at Washington's behest, imposed the wide-ranging
economic coercive measures against Iraq in 1990 because of its invasion
of Kuwait. 

They have remained in place, even after a US-led coalition the following
year beat the Iraqi forces back into their own country. Currently, only
a small amount of exchanges are allowed under a UN oil-for-food
programme which allows Iraq to import limited amounts of food, medicines
and other goods needed for the country's shattered infrastructure. 

Source:  Agence France Presse

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