UN's Delay on Sanctions Hurts Only Iraqi PeopleExcerpted from the Saturday, July 7, 2001 Irish Times
Unicef estimates that about 4,500 children die each month as a result of the blanket embargo on Iraq. On July 3rd, the United Nations Security Council postponed a critical vote that could end or prolong the suffering of millions of Iraqi people for years to come.
"Sanctions are a Mortal Sin
Confession before 1st Communion, Basrah, Iraq"
As a result of sanctions against Iraq,
one in five children die before they reach
the age of this young boy.
-photo by Alan Pogue, 1998
Unicef estimates that about 4,500 children die each month as a result of the blanket embargo on Iraq. Multiply that by five and you have 22,500 children who will not be alive in December, 2001, to learn of the decisions made by the UN concerning the fate of their nation.
The UK and the US, who have repeatedly used their veto to prevent previous proposals for the termination of sanctions, appeared to have publicly accepted the failure of the sanctions.
Almost since their inception in 1990, the embargo against Iraq proved useless in its attempts to undermine Saddam Hussein. Instead, the sanctions were having an horrific and inexcusable impact on the social and economic welfare of the civilian population.
It is impossible to tell how many people have died since their imposition but estimates, backed up by UNICEF and other organizations, indicate that at least 1.5 million people, mostly children, have died as a result of the damage caused to a previously well-developed and functioning society.
Attempts by the security council to undermine the abusive regime of Saddam Hussein have failed. The wrong people have suffered and this damage must be undone.
What is needed now is serious commitment to re-build the health and well-being of the Iraqi population and its civil society. This cannot be achieved without the immediate suspension of the current economic embargo.
© 2001 ireland.com