submitted by the International Progress Organization to the United Nations Security Council

Vienna, 14 November 1997

  1. The monitoring regime of UNSCOM should be carried out on the basis of scientific objectivity and political neutrality. It goes without saying that this implies that the weapons inspectors should come from neutral countries, i.e. from countries that did not participate in the armed confrontation in 1991. The credibility of the whole United Nations monitoring system is at stake if the Security Council allows this instrument to be used for purposes other than stated in the cease-fire resolution of 1991. The I.P.O. suggests that the monitoring team will be reconstituted on the basis of objectivity and neutrality as soon as possible.
  2. As Security Council resolution 687 (1991) in operative paragraph 22 de facto makes the Councilís agreement on a final report of the weapons inspectors conditional for the lifting of the oil embargo imposed on Iraq, the Security Council should set a clear and precise framework for the remaining inspection measures in regard to their scope and timing. The fate of millions of Iraqi citizens depends on the work of the UNSCOM inspection team.
  3. The comprehensive sanctions regime, as applied by the Security Councilís Sanctions Committee since 1990, has brought about an intolerable situation for the population of Iraq in terms of basic human rights. As documented in many reports of intergovernmental agencies and humanitarian organizations, the sanctions have caused a serious food and health crisis in Iraq leading to the death of many children, sick and elderly people. The basic human right to life, to adequate nutrition and healthcare is being negated by the present sanctions regime. Neither the United Nations Organization nor any other intergovernmental organization or group of states has the right to suspend the basic human rights of a whole people. Those rights form part of the jus cogens of general international law.
  4. In conformity with Art. 54 (1) of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, starvation of civilians is strictly prohibited. As stated by many scholars of international law, this principle is to be applied not only in times of war but also in regard to coercive measures in accordance with Chapter VII of the Charter. In conformity with Art. 65 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, an advisory opinion should be sought from the Court on this important matter. As early as 1899 the Preamble to the Second Hague Convention stated that the civilian population remains "under the protections and the rule of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity, and the dictates of public conscience." In its treatment of the population of Iraq, the Security Council should not fall behind those long-recognized humanitarian standards.
  5. The International Progress Organization holds the view that the Security Councilís statutory aim, on the basis of Art. 24 of the Charter, of maintaining peace and security cannot be realized unless all states of the region are subjected to the same standards of international law. The legitimacy of the United Nations enforcement system is at stake if the Security Council tolerates continued occupation in Palestine and if only one countryís arms capabilities are dismantled while another state in the region still possesses huge stockpiles of arms of mass destruction including nuclear arms.