Dáil Éireann - Volume 535 - 09 May, 2001
Written Answers - UN Sanctions Against Iraq.
Mr. M. Higgins Mr. M. Higgins
68. Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the progress which has been made on achieving an alternative to resolution 1284 of the UN in relation to Iraq; the further progress he has made in having sanctions on urgently needed  equipment lifted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12911/01]
Mrs. Owen Mrs. Owen
81. Mrs. Owen asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he raised the issue of sanctions against Iraq at the most recent meeting of the Security Council; and if so, the nature of his intervention or any intervention on his behalf. [13015/01]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): I propose to take Questions Nos. 68 and 81 together.
The Government's policy concerning the situation in Iraq was set out in full in the statement which I made to the House on 22 March. On the specific issue of the impact of sanctions, I stated that Ireland would play an active and constructive role in the Security Council, in particular through the council's Iraqi sanctions committee. I also stated that we would support the implementation of the additional measures recommended by the UN Secretary General and others to ease the suffering of the people of Iraq by greatly reducing and eliminating the holds placed on applications for goods for humanitarian and essential civilian use.
The sanctions committee is currently reviewing its activities in specific sectors. Ireland made a strong intervention at the most recent of these discussions on the unacceptable number of holds placed by the committee on core supplies required for key infrastructural sectors in Iraq. We restated our position that the economic and development needs of the Iraqi people do not have to be put on hold pending full compliance by Iraq with the Security Council resolutions and that we wished to see the system operate so as to allow these needs to be met fully within the constraints required to ensure that Iraq does not further develop weapons of mass destruction or threaten its neighbours.
A full review of the sanctions regime will take place in the Security Council following the publication of the Secretary General's report expected on 28 May. This will be the first occasion in which Iraq has been formally debated since Ireland joined the Security Council and it will afford us the opportunity to set out our views on the lack of progress in a number of areas. Specifically, we will be calling for the rapid implementation of secretariat recommendations under Security Council resolutions 1284 and 1330 which would result in a major reduction and elimination in the number of contracts placed on hold.
The Government continues to support a comprehensive re-evaluation of the sanctions regime on Iraq. This remains one of the main objectives of our discussions with the other members of the Security Council. From these discussions, and from my own high-level meetings in Washington, Moscow, Paris and New York, I believe that the members of the Security Council are now closer to developing a new approach to the implementation of sanctions.
At the same time, the Security Council cannot  ignore the other aspects of the current humanitarian crisis in Iraq, in particular the increasing action of the Iraqi Government to limit and obstruct the provision and delivery of assistance to its own people.
We call on Iraq to co-operate with the United Nations in administering the oil-for-food programme and to use the means available to it to alleviate the suffering of its own people as well as to help bring about the circumstances which would permit the complete lifting of the sanctions.
Question No. 69 answered with Question No. 50.
Dáil Éireann 535 Written Answers UN Sanctions Against Iraq.