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Iraq: UN Security Council Ends Economic Sanctions


U.N. Security Council Ends Economic Sanctions on Iraq

(Sets up development fund, phases out Oil-for-Food program)

The U.N. Security Council May 22 adopted resolution 1483 ending economic sanctions on Iraq, setting out the responsibilities of the United Nations in Iraq, and supporting the establishment of a transitional administration run by Iraqis.

By a vote of 14 to 0, the 15-member council (Syria was absent from the meeting)adopted the resolution under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter. The council asked the U.N. secretary general to appoint a special representative for Iraq with "independent responsibilities" to coordinate U.N. activities and assist the Iraqi people. It outlined seven areas of responsibility, including coordination of humanitarian and reconstruction assistance, safe return of refugees and displaced persons, human rights, and legal and judicial reform.

The seven-page resolution sets up a "Development Fund for Iraq" to be held in the Central Bank of Iraq, audited by independent public accountants, and overseen by an international advisory and monitoring board that includes representatives of the IMF, World Bank, and the Unite Nations. The fund is to be used for humanitarian needs, economic reconstruction, repair of Iraq's infrastructure, disarmament activities, and civilian administration. The revenues of all oil sales are to be deposited in the fund.

Until December 31, 2007, Iraqi's oil products shall be immune from legal proceedings, garnishment, or any form of attachment, the resolution says.

The phasing out of the Oil-for-Food program, which is to take place within six months, is delineated in a six-part approach that allows the program to coordinate shipments and delivery of goods with the authority, requires the program to review the contracts already funded with the authority, asks for an operating budget to be submitted within 21 days, and allows the program to fulfill the contracts entered into prior to the war. The resolution also ends the U.N. monitoring of Iraq's oil exports.

According to the resolution, $1 billion from the Oil-for-Food program is to be transferred immediately to the Development Fund for Iraq with the remaining money going into the fund when the program ends.

Any Iraqi assets frozen by nations under previous resolutions as well as funds or other assets of Saddam Hussein and other senior Iraqi officials are to be transferred to the Development Fund for Iraq, the resolution states.

With the exception of military sales, "all prohibitions related to trade with Iraq and the provision of financial or economic resources to Iraq ... shall no longer apply," the resolution says.

The resolution "supports the formation, by the people of Iraq with the help of the Authority [the United States and the United Kingdom] and working with the Special Representative, of an Iraqi interim administration as a transitional administration run by Iraqis, until an internationally recognized, representative government is established by the people of Iraq and assumes the responsibilities of the Authority."

The council also called upon nations to respond to humanitarian appeals, to deny safe haven to the members of Saddam Hussein's regime who are alleged to be responsible for crimes and atrocities, and to take steps to facilitate the return of Iraqi cultural property.

The United States and United Kingdom sent letters to the council accepting the responsibilities of occupying powers in Iraq. In the resolution they are referred to as the authority.

Click here for the full text of this UN Security Council resolution…

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