UN Security Council extends oil-for-food program
Iraq-UN, Politics, 5/22/1999
The United Nations Security Council has extended the current phase of the oil-for-food program with Iraq for 180 days, during which Iraq will be able to sell up to $5.26 billion total for the current phase of petroleum and petroleum products.
Up to $300 million of the total can be used to purchase parts and equipment to be used in producing oil to help Iraq meet its quota. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will submit by June 30 a list of the parts and equipment Iraq needs to reach its production allotment.
The Security Council will review the implementation of the resolution, which takes effect on May 25, 90 days after the extension begins to assess Iraq's distribution of humanitarian supplies. Annan will submit a report at that time "on whether Iraq has ensured the equitable distribution of medicine, health supplies, foodstuffs, and materials and supplies for essential civilian needs" and on whether the amount allotted by the Security Council is sufficient to meet Iraqi humanitarian needs.
According to a report submitted by Annan, there is a three-month delay between submitting requests for medicines and medical equipment to a warehouse in Kimadia where the supplies are stored and the fulfillment of the requests. "However, as the amount of drugs, supplies and equipment remaining in warehouses has risen to almost $300 million, concern about the efficiency of distribution has increased," the report said.
The report noted several reasons for the delays, including a "the decline in professional competence and motivation," as well as problems with technical capability of the staff, poor inventory management, and the erratic arrival of goods.
Security Council representative Andrei Granovsky of Russia criticized the current humanitarian program as being unable to guarantee the survival of the Iraqi population. He also condemned the US and British attacks against Iraq in the no-fly zone as illegal, adding that they had caused the death of numerous Iraqi civilians. He said the sanctions must be lifted to solve the humanitarian problems in Iraq and characterized the lifting of the sanctions as a very important matter for the Security Council.
US representative Peter Burleigh said that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein bears the primary responsibility for the humanitarian problems in Iraq. He called on Iraq to cooperate in implementation of the program.
Chinese representative Qin Huasun blamed the US and UK air strikes in the no-fly zones for worsening the humanitarian situation in Iraq, calling for an immediate halt to military operations against Iraq.
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