Leila Richards, MD, MPH
Richards L. Economic Sanctions and Embargoes. Ann Intern Med. 2000;133:309. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-133-4-200008150-00021
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2000;133(4):309.
TO THE EDITOR:
Madeleine Albright (1) ignores recommendations from recent United Nations agency reports (2-4) and simply restates State Department policy. Surely we can expect initiatives from the U.S. government that go beyond the demonization and denunciation of Iraq's political leadership. Iraq's humanitarian budget comes from sale of its oil, the proceeds of which are placed in a United Nations escrow account. Each contract submitted by the Iraqi government must be approved by the United Nations Sanctions Committee, which consists of representatives of Security Council member states. If a single member questions a contract, it is placed on “hold.” It is not surprising that most holds are placed by the United States. As of 15 November 1999, the value of contracts on hold exceeded $1 billion (5). This figure had not substantially changed as of 5 June 2000 according to the United Nations Office of the Iraq Programme.
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