I have the honour to inform you and, through you, the members of the
Security Council that, pursuant to paragraph 8 (a) (ii) of Council resolution
986 (1995), the Iraqi Government has submitted to me its plan for the purchase
and distribution of humanitarian supplies during the additional period specified
in Security Council resolution 1143 (1997). The Iraqi Government was informed
today that I had approved that plan on the understanding that its implementation
would be governed by resolutions 986 (1995) and 1143 (1997) and the memorandum
of understanding, and would be without prejudice to the procedures followed by
the Security Council Committee established by resolution 661 (1990).
A copy of the list of supplies and goods accompanying the distribution will
be made available to the Committee. This list has been scrutinized by experts
of the United Nations Special Commission, who have noted that some of the items
appearing on it would be subject to notification under the mechanism for
monitoring exports and imports that was adopted by the Council in its resolution
1051 (1996). The list of items in question is also being forwarded to the
Committee. The distribution plan and the letter conveying my acceptance of the
plan are attached.
(Signed) Kofi A. ANNAN
On behalf of the Secretary-General, I wish to acknowledge receipt, under
cover of your letter dated 5 January 1998 addressed to the Secretary-General, of
the revised distribution plan submitted by your Government for the third phase,
and would like to inform you that I have been authorized by the Secretary-General to convey in this respect the following.
Security Council resolutions 986 (1995) and 1143 (1997) require that Iraq
shall guarantee, on the basis of a plan submitted and approved by the Secretary-General, equitable distribution of medicine, health supplies, foodstuffs, and
materials and supplies for essential civilian needs (humanitarian supplies)
exported to Iraq under the conditions defined by those resolutions. The
memorandum of understanding concluded on 20 May 1996 between the United Nations
Secretariat and the Government of Iraq for the implementation of resolution
986 (1995) provides that the Government of Iraq shall prepare a distribution
plan describing in detail the procedures to be followed by the competent Iraqi
authorities with a view to ensuring equitable distribution of humanitarian
supplies and submit such plan to the Secretary-General for approval. The
memorandum states in this regard that if the Secretary-General is satisfied that
the plan adequately ensures equitable distribution of humanitarian supplies to
the Iraqi population throughout the country, he will so inform the Government of
I have the honour to inform the Government of Iraq through you that, having
examined the distribution plan, the Secretary-General has come to the conclusion
that the distribution plan for the third phase as finally submitted on
5 January 1998, if properly implemented, should meet the requirements of
equitable distribution of humanitarian goods to the Iraqi population throughout
the country. The distribution plan is, therefore, approved with the following
The approval of the distribution plan is subject to the condition that its
implementation is governed by the relevant provisions of Security Council
resolutions 986 (1995) and 1143 (1997) and the memorandum of understanding and
that, in case of inconsistency between the particular provisions of the plan, on
the one hand, and the resolutions and the memorandum of understanding, on the
other, the provisions of the latter documents shall prevail.
As to the needs of the vulnerable groups referred to in the report of the
Secretary-General of 2 June 1997 (S/1997/419), pursuant to the responsibilities
of the Secretary-General under Security Council resolutions 986 (1995) and
1143 (1997) to determine and report on the adequacy of resources to meet the
humanitarian needs of the Iraqi population, the United Nations will continue to
observe the situation of such groups in the light of the assurances of your
Government contained in the letter from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of
Iraq, dated 30 July 1997, that the needs of such groups will be met by the
Government outside the framework of the relevant Security Council resolutions.
The approval of the distribution plan is without prejudice to the
procedures to be employed by the Security Council Committee established by
resolution 661 (1990) concerning export to Iraq of parts and equipment which are
essential for the safe operation of the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline system in
The plan includes a categorized list of supplies and goods to be purchased
and imported under the distribution plan. The approval of the plan is without
prejudice to actions that might be taken by the Security Council Committee
regarding applications for export of particular items contained in the list
submitted for the Committee's consideration in accordance with its procedures.
Likewise, the categorized list contains certain items the export of which
to Iraq must be notified to the joint unit established by Security Council
resolution 1051 (1996) as these items will be subject to monitoring because of
their possible dual use for civilian or for prohibited purposes under Security
Council resolution 687 (1991) and other relevant resolutions.
The approval of the distribution plan submitted by the Government of Iraq
does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of all information or statements
contained in the plan.
It should be noted that the approval of the plan is without prejudice to
any recommendations that may be contained in a supplementary report referred to
in paragraph 6 of resolution 1143 (1997), which the Secretary-General intends to
submit to the Security Council.
(Signed) Benon V. SEVAN
Office of the Iraq Programme
On instructions from my Government, I have the honour to enclose the
revised distribution plan submitted by the Government of the Republic of Iraq in
accordance with resolution 1143 (1997) and the memorandum of understanding.
(Signed) Nizar HAMDOON