Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

answered by the editor with letters to Sam Warda, Secretary,
ASSYRIAN UNIVERSAL ALLIANCE Australian Chapter Fairfield NSW 2165, f: 612-6093540





HOW CAN ICESC ASSIST THE MOSUL VILAYET INHABITANTS POLITICALLY?

     12 November 1995  "In response to your questions, you may wish to take into consideration:

1.     Our non-governmental organization [the International Committee for European Security and Cooperation, ICESC, a NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC] has only recently become involved in matters related to the Mosul Vilayet. In line with its statute and policies, it is availing its limited resources and good offices in the research for, development and eventual application of prompt, peaceful and lasting solutions of the man-made and persistent humanitarian disaster visited notably on the peoples of the Mosul Vilayet. In this quest, it cannot do more than what these peoples themselves responsively, clearly and with a single voice declare to be their interests, and to which effect they are prepared to mobilize and invest their own resources. Moreover, our NGO can serve only in a limited fashion as a vehicle at the UN; the key initiative must come from the peoples concerned by way of their duly appointed representatives.

2.     Like the Arabs, Kurds, Turkomans and the other authochtonous peoples of the Mosul Vilayet, naturally the Assyrians are welcome to fully participate in all works concerning the Mosul Vilayet and its comprehensive liberation from Baghdad. Opportunities to this effect have been developed by the Mosul Vilayet Council which is expected to call its General Assembly next March on which occasion its Statute (i.e. the Mosul Vilayet's interim constitution) may be adopted. We understand the draft of 14 September 1994 has not met any opposition from any side so far, and you may wish to have it circulated widely among the Assyrians for comments, eventual amendments and support.

3.     You are welcome to send Representatives to meetings of the Human Rights Commission (e.g. next March in Geneva) where our NGO plans to introduce further material notably on the Mosul Vilayet. We would be glad to sponsor these Representatives in order for them to be able to participate in the work of both the formal sessions and our more informal preparatory meetings. You may also set up an Australian Committee for Security and Cooperation which, upon application, may be admitted to and thus strengthen our International Committee for European Security and Cooperation both intellectually and financially. I have just received a call from your Secretary General, Senator John Nimrod, and we agreed to intensify our exchange of information regarding the Mosul Vilayet and to advise him in particular of opportunities we may come across for the Assyrian community to effectively advance the realization of the Mosul Vilayet project."
 

HOW CAN ASSYRIANS IN AMERICA,  AUSTRALIA, ETC. PARTICIPATE?

     15 November 1995  "The enclosed material should answer some of your questions; beyond that I can add the following observations to the previously given explanations:

1.     The NGO I have the honor and charge to represent at the UN in Geneva is not and cannot be married to a single cause, people, religion, etc. Its good offices can be that only to the extent that its decision-makers, leaders and representatives are capable and willing to distance themselves sufficiently from the issues at hand so that they can see the forrest despite of the trees in front of them. And their efforts have a chance to effectively contribute to mutually beneficial solutions which will hold the road and last beyond the next election only if they are sufficiently visionary, courageous and wise to adequately take into consideration the legitimate claims and aspirations of the other peoples and communities concerned. In this sense we have tried to contribute to the analysis of the root causes and resolution of the conflict in former Yugoslavia and other trouble spots in Europe in particular (e.g. see the interim UN solution for Eastern Slavonia, USIS Wireless File 11/14/95; our UN documents E/CN.4/1995/NGO/47, E/CN.4/1995/NGO/51). And we hope to achieve similar results on the Mosul Vilayet in cooperation with representatives of the involved Arab, Assyrian, Kurd and Turkoman communities.

2.     Accordingly, we would naturally welcome far-sighted Assyrians of Australia to take the lead and create an Australian Committee for Security and Cooperation which - eventually forming an integral part of our International Committee for European Security and Cooperation - would contribute intellectually and materially to our work on the Mosul Vilayet and other issues of mutual interest. To this effect you may draw up corresponding statutes in line with Australian law and providing for capable non-Assyrian Australian citizens to join your effort. In the event, I invite you to elaborate a draft statute on the basis of the ICESC material enclosed (the corresponding Swiss civil code articles may serve you as additional guide if you prefer to establish such an association under Swiss law).

3.     For the immediate future - and if, for the time being, you wish to concentrate your efforts entirely on promoting the realization of the Mosul Vilayet project - you may want to consider contributing to the maintenance of the Mosul Vilayet Council's Geneva Office of External Affairs which is also headed by the undersigned. Essentially, this could also provide you and other Assyrians living in the diaspora the contacts and facilities you may be looking for so as to secure adequate representation of the Assyrians in the further development of this particular project."
 

WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?

     6 January 1996  "In answer to your fax of 12 December - above and beyond the details and explanations given to you over the phone - I may again refer to the ICESC profile which I enclose for your convenience and which point to the early years of ICESC when its offshots - i.e. the Helsinki Agreements and the governmental Organization for European Security and Cooperation OESC - where brought into being.

     As to the meetings for the adoption of the Mosul Vilayet Council Statute, I take pleasure advising you of the tentatively set dates:

-    preparatory meeting: 19-22 or 26-29 April 1996 in Geneva (details to be fixed at end of February),

-    MVC General Assembly: end of September 1996 in Arbil (details to be fixed at end of July).      It has not yet been decided which organization will invite for and hold either meeting, so I send you all related information without engaging the responsibility of ICESC. In the event, the preparatory meeting will be open to all present MVC office holders in good standing as well as to duly appointed English-speaking representatives of the communities and parties covered in the draft MVC Statute of 14 September 1994. From my consultations to date I expect at most some 30 highly qualified personalities to eventually make it on their own to Geneva where their main task will be to finalise the draft MVC Statute and make other necessary internal and external preparations. The provisional participants list is not expected to be available before early April. The MVC General Assembly is mainly expected to adopt the MVC Statute and the resolutions required for corresponding actions to be taken by United Nations bodies (e.g. by reiterating the previously adopted resolutions), to confirm, eventually replace and elect the new key office holders, and to effectively provide for the corresponding budgets.

     As to your 1 April meeting in Chicago, I am not yet sure whether my work load at the 52nd session of the Commission on Human Rights (18 March to 26 April) will permit me to join you there. In the event, I would be pleased to arrange for other MVC Founding Members to provide first-hand knowledge to your people in Chicago. This, of course, is primarily a matter for the organizers to decide, i.e. whether they really mean to grasp, for the Assyrians, the leadership opportunities concerning the Mosul Vilayet's future."
 
 

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I.C.E.S.C.              INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE
FOR EUROPEAN SECURITY AND COOPERATION

Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva
box 2580 - 1211 Geneva 2 - f: -7338671 (private t+f: 0033-450322842)

14 February 1996, 20 Febr 96 (second mail copy, corr.)

re: Budgetary Relief - Independent of Eventual Implementation of SCR 986

Your Excellency,

Responding to the funding plea you made at the CONGO's cross-Atlantic NGO forum of last November, the undersigned suggested on that occasion to consider involving NGOs more directly in the UN's conflict-prevention work, i.e. in those cost-intensive security fields from which they're now mostly excluded due to their UN attachment through ECOSOC only. Helping to avoid the need to spend taxpayer money on relief measures to man-made - and thus often avoidable - humanitarian catastrophes appears to go a long way to cope with increasingly scarce resources in an environment of growing public doubt and apathy. We are following up on our theoretical remarks with concrete elements and invite you to act upon.

SCR 986 - if and when implemented - is understood to be a godsend not only to the sanctions-suffering Iraqi people but also to the treasury of many cash-short UN agencies. As outlined by your services in the enclosed April 1992 memo which came to our attention, the key problem of SCR 706/712 was that Iraq had questionable title to the petroleum which was to be exchanged for food and medicineignoring this problem did not make it go away. Thus UN/Iraq discussions alone should not be expected to lead to successful applications of any correspondingly deficient formula. According to our information, the implementation of SCR 986 is likely to be frustrated with effective means by both determined people on the ground and influential outside-supporters in the courts. We have come to understand that this, to use the words of the former U.S. Secretary of State Jim Baker, is "not a threat but a promise." Unless the property rights, international guarantees and conditions laid down in the Declaration of Iraq of 30 May 1932 - reproduced in: E/CN.4/Sub.2/1992/NGO/27 - will have been honored (e.g. in line with the recommendations contained in said UN memo). Or unless these rights, guarantees and obligations will have been voided in favor of the Iraqi regime and the International Court of Justice will have confirmed this state of affairs and thus reversed its related position:

We understand full well that the above elements are not the only relevant ones. Yet, in our research we have not come across facts which diminish their significance. We are concerned that failure to properly attend to such matters, in the above case, will cause not only further sufferings among the Iraqis but entail significant political harm to the United Nations as an international instrument for peace, security and humanitarian help. We would thus like to know the reasons which so far have prevented a serious dialogue on, e.g., the recommendations contained in said UN memo of April 1992 which could also significantly help to reduce the humanitarian load on the UN budget. And whether or not such NGO contributions and unorthodox pathways to increased public confidence, respect and budgetary balance are at all welcome. Trusting this to be helpful, we are looking forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience and remain, sincerely yours,

encl: UN memo 4/1992

PS. We have been asked by claimants of petroleum rights which may thus be involved in the implementation of SCR 986 to look into this matter. They expect us to advise them on how best to procede towards a settlement which will properly honor their petroleum rights particularly in Northern Iraq and which, without strengthening the position of the Iraqi regime, will provide effective relief to the overly abused Iraqi people through the appropriate UN agencies without, however, causing further burden for the taxpayers and the UN budgets. We have sent an ICESC Representative to the Irak/Turkey, Irak/Iran border area for determining conditions on the ground and laying the groundwork for corresponding plans. The results obtained so far encourage us to consider accepting a corresponding mandate in line with SCR 688 if that were agreeable with you.
 
 

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MEMO     to Delegates of the Chicago Congress of the Assyrian Universal Alliance

from:   J.A.Keller, Representative, International Committee for European Security and Cooperation
        Adviser of the Mosul Vilayet Council, box 2580, 1211 Geneva 2, t+f (33)450322842

re:   Situation Report on Mosul Vilayet efforts at UN, Funding Recommendations         31 March 1996 (corr.)

Greetings to all of you, Happily I need not explain to you that the Mosul Vilayet is the Assyrians' homeland. But it may be helpful if you'd explain this to your fellow-countrymen and lawmakers. Also, it is urgent to consider the implications of what you people do or fail to do now. Indeed, the Assyrians in the diaspora, and all those with strong roots in that area, are about to miss another historical, fast-closing window of opportunity. This time, it is an unwitting gift by Saddam Hussein, a result of Iraq's defeat in the Gulf War of 1991. However, in 1992, and again in 1994, the leaders of the other involved communities failed to adequately support proper representation abroad. And as there is no free lunch in reality, they thus squandered their chances to get the UN to move in their direction.

This has opened the possibility notably for more street-wise Assyrians to secure not only proportional but equitable representation in all related decision-making bodies. It even handed the Assyrians the chance of acquiring a leadership role in the liberation and administration of the Mosul Vilayet. This is particularly true if the influence of the U.S. Government is taken into consideration, if the American and the Russian Assyrians in particular get their act together in the run-up to their national presidential elections later this year, and if the new Australian Government will be properly lobbied.

With regard to the Assyrians' previously lost real estate rights in the Mosul Vilayet, Senator John Nimrod negotiated in 1993 with representatives of the Kurdish and the Turkoman community. The agreement thus worked out provides for recognition of the Assyrians' titles as they existed at the time of Iraq's independence on 3 October 1932. In his recent articles, Sam Warda of the AUA Australian Branch rightly pointed out the urgency for Assyrians to take note of these developments and achievements, to check their archives and register their claims, to fully avail themselves of the opportunities to participate in the related works, and to provide timely and adequate funds for the work which is accomplished and which is still to be secured notably on the UN level.

Due to the persistent failure of the involved communities to coordinate their efforts and to cover their representatives' financial needs, all operations of the Geneva office of the Mosul Vilayet Council (MVC) have been suspended sine die last September. And since end of February 1996, the key ally of these communities at the United Nations, i.e. the International Committee for European Security and Cooperation (ICESC), had to stop all support activities. This will last until the pledged sums for 1996 and the arrears will in fact have been paid. A minimum $100'000 is called for immediately to restart work. This includes ICESC sponsorship of qualified Assyrians, Kurds and Turkomans to participate at this year's UN Human Rights meetings (18/3-3/5, 5-30/8), as well as holding the MVC General Assembly Preparatory Meeting (26-29 April) in neutral Geneva. This preparatory meeting was expected to finish work on the draft interim constitution. Also held up for lack of funds will be the MVC General Assembly which was to ratify this constitution at the end of September 1996 in Arbil (in the liberated part of the Mosul Vilayet). If then the "March" meeting Sam Warda referred to in his articles will in fact not take place end of April or later, it will not be because but despite of his commendable efforts to get his fellow-Assyrians to put their money where their heart is and to stand up and be counted. In the event, the ICESC would still gladly welcome as official AUA or individual delegates to this repeatedly-delayed Geneva meeting those designated by the leadership of either the AUA or of its branches.

Salve, may the Almighty guide you!
 
 

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J.A.KELLER
box 2580 - 1211 Geneva 2
t+f (private in France): 33-450322842

18 June 1996,  second mail copy: 9/18/96

Dear Boutros,

     For your information, please find enclosed today's Memorandum 9 of the Good Offices Group of European Lawmakers. As your Geneva office no longer avails its internal fax facilities - not even for official communications between an NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC and your office in New York, I am sending it by surface mail (including some earlier letters which have not yet drawn the courtesy of a reply).

     While you were in Geneva, I tried several times to contact you or your wife on a variety of problems which may seem small on your daily plate, but then again appear to go to the heart of some major problems bedevelling the UN, your streneous endeavors and my own small efforts to continue the work Dr.Leila Takla, other lawmakers and I begun in 1990 on festering and increasingly volatile Mideastern problems. I sent you a handwritten note by fax to the Reserve and - as recommended by your wife - at 8 am, in order to discuss an urgent problem which is soon going to be picked up by U.S. lawmakers (growingly arbitrary treatment of NGOs and their representatives and violations of due process and other human rights by the UN Administration). The communication channels being clogged, the free flow of things is likely to produce avoidable and thus the more regrettable results.

     Anyway, I wish you and your family all the best for your future and am looking forward to the pleasure of more relaxed exchanges on perhaps more meritious topics in Geneva or wherever our paths may again cross in the future.

Salve!

Anton

PS     With no resolution in sight for the in-house human rights violations committed by UNGO when they arbitrarily shut me out of the Palais des Nations - thus preventing me from going after my business there, be it as a duly accredited NGO representative, as the Special Representative of the Mosul Vilayet to the United Nations, or as a long-time researcher at the League of Nations archives - I wonder whether you have been out for lunch or actively kept from becoming aware of what has been going on at UNGO, with corresponding adverse effects on a variety of fronts. In order to bring you up-to-date, I enclose communications on current problems which won't go away by being ignored. They all urgently call for your discrete leadership, in the sense of my public statement of support (letter to the Wall Street Journal Europe, August 20, 1996):

     The most pressing, the "oil-for-food" problem is intimately linked to what is already under way in Northern Iraq. Yet, with me, as the duly appointed Special Representative of the peoples concerned deliberately shut out of the UN in Geneva and numerous communications to your office still awaiting the courtesy of a reply, it should surprise nobody that some see the UN's role there as still being more a part of the problem than of the solution! Trusting this absurd situation to be changed promptly under your leadership, I may thus again find reason - this time openly - to help realize your aspirations. Meanwhile, I remain, sincerely yours,

enclosures:   MVC 9/15/96; Memo 9, 7/18/96; ICESC-UNSG 5/29/95; Questions on UNGO
 
 

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I.C.E.S.C.              INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE
FOR EUROPEAN SECURITY AND COOPERATION

Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva
box 2580 - 1211 Geneva 2 - f: 01162 -3985006 (private t+f: 01133-450322842)

8 October 1996 (corr.2), 5 December 1996 (smc), 26 February 1997 (tmc)

Dear Mr.Scasc,

     This is to follow up on our proposal of September 29 for the Israeli Prime Minister to accept "the 'American' compromise formula, providing for the contested archeological tunnel to be kept open under Israeli sovereignty but, subject to the approval of the representatives of the three One God religions, guarded and maintained by the Palestinian Authority in cooperation with the archeological community." This proposal to empower and responsibilize the Palestinians in a security-wise irrelevant but psychologically crucial field now avails itself for being explored with King Hussein of Jordan for possibly combining it with his proposals on the tunnel issue and, in the event, for being formally tabled, at the earliest opportunity, as a U.S.-Jordanian proposal. We would appreciate your informing us on whether our proposal got anywhere at last week's Washington summit, and your keeping us abreast of its eventual evolution.

     Meanwhile - in the sense of the timely alarm signals by Daniel Doron in his ed page piece "Peace Needs More Than Goodwill" (Wall Street Journal Europe, 10/4-5/96) - we would like to draw your attention to a concrete suggestion for putting real meat behind the peace process, thus making the Palestiniansalso less dependent on ever-scarcer and conditioned foreign aid (it was first mentioned in §15 of the enclosed letter which the undersigned had addressed to Vice-President Al Gore last July 4, in his capacity as Adviser to the Mosul Vilayet Council). It centers on the Mosul Vilayet, i.e. the birthplace of key religions, commercial crossroad, homeland of Assyrians and Kurds, tributary of Pharaohs, and strategic oil reserve of Europe which the League of Nations, in 1925, conditionally attached to the Kingdom of Iraq rather than to Turkey. As part of a more comprehensive solution to some problems which have bedevilled the Middle East at least since the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, the Mosul Vilayet, for humanitarian reasons, is to be provisionally taken out of the game and placed under a non-prejudicial interim trusteeship, i.e. its oil-bearing Diala district could be leased to the Palestinians while the rest would be entrusted to its autochthone Assyrian, Kurdish and Turkoman inhabitants which, in 1932, were placed under international protection. Until 31 August when the perennial infighting between the externally built-up but internally discredited Kurdish warlords provided an opportunity for Baghdad to extend its long arms again into the Allied-protected 'liberated' part of Northern Iraq, this regionally stabilizing interim solution was sought by way of corresponding steps which, perhaps under U.S. leadership, were to be taken by the UN General Assembly (GA Resolution 24 (I) 24 February 1946). It is our understanding that essentially the same result may - still - be obtained, provided Baghdad is driven to take corresponding steps, e.g. a 10-25 years lease of the Mosul Vilayet to either the Kingdom of Jordan or to Syria. In order to obtain such or another negotiated solution, the available leverages must be used to the maximum by the international community. This can be helped by the international obligations which Iraq incurred in 1932 with regard to minorities and the Mosul Vilayet and which still take precedence over any Iraqi "law, regulation or official action." Particularly the obligation to respect all property rights as they existed prior to Iraq's independence is a powerful instrument - also for changes in Baghdad's power structure. As pointed out in the enclosed letter to the Vice-President, themis-labelled humanitarian oil-for-food UN resolution SCR 986 should thus be kept inoperative, be modified or be replaced... lest the UN and the U.S. (as SCR 986's key sponsor) open themselves to the accusation of being accomplices in the stealing from the internationally protected oil properties of the Mosul Vilayet's Assyrians, Jews, Kurds and Turkomans.

I am still awaiting the promised substantive response from the Vice-President's office, and so are the peoples concerned who urgently await clear and reliable signals and guidelines. Trusting this to be helpful, I'd like to reiterate our interest for an early meeting with the Vice-President's representative preferably in Geneva. Meanwhile, I remain, sincerely yours,

J.A.Keller, I.C.E.S.C. Representative to the United Nations in Geneva
 
 

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ASSYRIAN UNIVERSAL ALLIANCE

7055 North Clark Street
Chicago, Ill 60626
tel: (773) 2749262, fax: (773) 2745866

Senator John J.Nimrod
Secretary General

October 28, 1996

A pathway for relieving Northern Iraq while respecting Iraq's sovereignty rights

Dear Mister Vice-President,

The 3 mio strong Assyrian diaspora, particularly its 320000 strong U.S. branch, is concerned about the fate of its some 2 mio brethren living in Iraq, where some 200000 hold on in the Northern governorates, the Mosul Vilayet, which is a small part of what, some 4000 years ago, constituted the Assyrian Empire. Accordingly, and in light of the United Nations' persistent failures to properly address either the humanitarian needs or the special rights of Iraq's Assyrian population, we are now looking for more enlightened and helpful United States leadership towards lasting solutions in the Middle East in general and in the Mosul Vilayet in particular. Respect for Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity should be linked and be commensurate  toIraq's respect for its human rights and international minority protection obligations, including the landownership rights. To this effect and on a more regular basis, we expect to be involved in the formulation and implementation of U.S. policies affecting the Assyrian Christians in Iraq.

In the wake of the latest developments in Northern Iraq - and with due regard to the legitimate interests of Iraq, other Iraqi communities as well as of Iraq's neighbors - we are grateful to the U.S. Government for its opposition to have the problematic oil-for-food resolution SCR 986 implemented before it will have been improved under new UN management. This opens the way for a more practical solution. Indeed, SCR 986, as it stands now, has been shown in the enclosed paper "'Oil-for-Food' vs. Assyrian Property Rights in Iraq" to constitute:

"Most urgently, the power to distribute humanitarian aid must not be left in the hands of those who no longer have the confidence of the people ... [for which reason] it has become indispensable to replace the present power structure in the Mosul Vilayet with an interim administration which is to be militarily supported by the Allies and which is also acceptable [to Iraq and to] the neighboring ... governments [e.g. entailing a 10-25 years lease of the Mosul Vilayet to the Kingdom of Jordan, thus preserving Iraq's sovereignty]. ... This sanctions-free and self-financed interim administration [wherein all constitutive ethnic, religious and professional communities shall be equitably represented] must ... ensure freedom, liberty and justice for all. As such it would have to provide the necessary services and security, giving the local inhabitants the opportunity to effectively pursue the reconstruction of their villages, churches and homes, and ensuring their civil, human and property rights. Authorized to develop the local resources and to trade freely, the necessary financial means would no longer depend on ever scarcer taxpayer money. Thus, these resources could finally become a source of regional stability, security and economic well-being." (ibid., §§ 8, 9)

In this sense, we would not be surprised to see the current French Mideastern diplomatic offensive to evolve - and eventually take over the spoils of ill-advised and failed policies which persistently relied on discredited warlords. Thus we look forward to assist the U.S. Government in providing instead corresponding successful leadership, and to effectively advise our members in time of the U.S. position. Sincerely yours,

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

answered by Senator John Nimrod, Secretary General, Assyrian Universal Alliance on 30 October 1996 at the UN in Geneva with the following PRESS RELEASE re: Assyrian alternative to discredited warlords filling power vacuum of failed policies

     The leadership of the Chicago-based 3 mio strong Assyrian diaspora has invited the U.S. presidential candidates and the involved governments to help bring about a temporary administration of the persistent humanitarian disaster zone of the multi-ethnic Mosul Vilayet (Northern Iraq: map on reverse) by a mutually agreeable neighbor of Iraq, such as the Kingdom of Jordan. To this effect, a humanitarian 10-25 years lease agreement is called for, providing for the reconstruction, de-mining and re-forestation of the Mosul Vilayet under allied protection (not involving U.S. ground forces) on the basis of its own natural resources and with all available foreign experts but without any interference by Baghdad. This would effectively put an end to the perennial ethnic in-fighting by thorougly discredited and only externally maintained warlords who, for over 5 years, have failed to gain the trust of either the people concerned or the confidence of any outside authority, UN specialized agency or non-governmental organization.

Question:  Why should Saddam Hussein agree to such a "sellout" - even if it were only temporary - particularly after one of the notorious North Iraqi warlords has invited him back, thus making a mockery of that "safe haven" too, and since concluding such a lease agreement would further delay his administrative recovery of the whole Northern Iraq?

Answer:     He wont, unless he will be driven to by able diplomats with a vision, clout and determination, whose primary leverage consists of the newly gained knowledge that in international law Iraq has never acquired good title to most of its oil resources. As the property of Assyrian and other Mosul Vilayet landowners, they are also the subject of "international concern" and legal protection. Thus they may not be exported without corresponding agreements (not even under the humanitarian UN label "oil-for-food").

Question:  Why should the Assyrians succeed where the warlords failed?

Answer:     They wont - on their own - unless they and the other Mosul Vilayet landowners will be able to exploit their natural resources and to trade freely on the world market and with their neighbors. And as they have not either a monopoly for good ideas, they - and those equitably sharing with them their externally supervised self-administration responsibilities - will need the support not only of all Mosul Vilayet inhabitants but of principled, strong and determined allies as well as of all neighboring peoples and governments.

Question:  Why should the key OPEC oil exporters give up their fight to keep Iraqi oil off the market when they have been successful in doing so for over six years?

Answer:     Because, from their purely economic, their cash-income point of view, too, it makes better sense to adopt a medium-term policy providing for at least half of the Iraqi quota to be kept off the market fairly certainly for the duration of the lease (10-25 years), instead of keeping at best some 90% of Iraq's quota out for at best another year or so.

Question:    What has Assyria to do with Syria?

Answer:  Assyria is not to be confounded with Syria, even though the Assyrian Empire of some 4000 years ago did indeed embrace all of what is now modern Syria - and much more. Assyria was destroyed as a political system in 612 BC but not as a nation, not as a race and not as a language. However, there are definite and continuous traces of Assyrians throughout history since 612 BC. They were among the first to embrace Christianity in the first century AD, and as a consequence they have suffered persecution and massacres. During the First World War they were invited by Great Britain as an ally, helped win a decisive battle against the Ottoman Empire and were caused to lose two thirds of their population in that war. The British had promised the Assyrians independence, autonomy and a home for all Assyrians. Instead the British mandate in Iraq was terminated and the Assyrians were released to the Iraqi Government, covered by the international minority protection guarantees written into the Declaration of the Kingdom of Iraq of 30 May 1932 (reproduced in: E/CN.4/Sub.2/1992/NGO/27). Since then Iraq has failed to comply with most articles of its still binding 1932 Declaration (see also UN documents E/CN.4/367/Add.1, E/CN.4/1994/NGO/48, E/CN.4/1995/NGO/52). In particular, Iraq has violated article 14 (covering land ownership rights), and it ignored special rights and privileges that were accorded to the inhabitants of the Mosul Vilayet which in 1925 were placed under the conditional and limited authority of the Kingdom of Iraq.
 
 

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MOSUL VILAYET COUNCIL
Hay Alwozarah - Arbil, Mosul Vilayet

Permanent Representative to the United Nations
box 2580 - 1211 Geneva 2
fax: (41)22-7338671

7 December 1996

Your Excellency,

     Ahead of giving evidence on our experiences with the UN's humanitarian role in Iraq to U.S. lawmakers, we reiterate our objections to the implementation of SCR 986 as it stands. Representing the involved landowners and ~3 mio inhabitants of that part of the Mosul Vilayet which isn't controlled by Baghdad, we favor alternative approaches under another leadership.

     According to the UN's internal memorandum of April 1992 (reflecting the obligations which Iraq incurred and is still bound to as a sine qua non condition of its national independence), Arab, Assyrian, Jewish, Kurdish, Turkoman and other Mosul Vilayet landowners, prima facie, have title to the  oil resources which have been slated for export in SCR 706 and 712 (now substituted with SCR 986). As these Security Council resolutions provide seizure protection only for petroleum and related revenues while under Iraqi title, the memo concluded: "Accordingly, the seizure protection wording ... may not stand in a tribunal. It is thus advisable to execute Resolutions 706 and 712 either exclusively on the basis of oil pumped from uncontested Iraqi fields not in the Mosul Vlayet area or on the basis of corresponding agreements" with the landowners protected by international law.

      Thus, one would have expected corresponding precautions and arrangements to be worked out, to be part of the preparations to implement SCR 986 by the parties involved in- and outside of the UN and, in the event, to provide in time for workable solutions which will not put into jeopardy either the humanitarian program or the UN's reputation. On looted goods there can be no 2 measures, and there is only a quantitative difference between Jews robbed by Nazis and/or unscrupulous Swiss bankers and Assyrian, Jewish, Kurdish and Turkoman landowners robbed by the UN in favor of Saddam Hussein! Implementation of SCR 986 without licence agreements with the internationally protected title holders would thus entail all the risks of trading in looted goods, for it involved seriously contested "Iraqi" oil.

     However, your own and other UN offices are still not seen to act accordingly. These problems will not go away - neither by ignoring them nor by sniping at the mailman and the ambulance driver. Regretfully, since 1992 all related efforts even by allied non-governmental organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC have drawn fire originating mostly from obscure sources with hidden agendas. Initially, we succeded to bring over 200 Iraqi victims of human rights abuses to Geneva for testimony to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) or the Special Rapporteurs. 2 children, their nose and earlobes cut off, were killed en route in '95 and our efforts have since been strangulated by bureaucratic means. The UN Office at Geneva (UNOG), last year, arbitrarily blocked the undersigned's appointment to serve as deputy representative of the International Committee for European Security and Cooperation (ICESC) which distinguished itself a.o. by effectively addressing human rights issues concerning Iraq. ICESC has since been silenced by UNOG with an administrative ukase flying in the face of the Rule of Law. Arriving last February 23 for participation at the 52nd HRC Session equipped with a Swiss and a French visum, the undersigned found himself arrested for deportation to Baghdad by Swiss border guards. Like the duly elected Representative of the Mosul Vilayet Council, he thus was shut out of the UN, with his research work at the League of Nations archives and his humanitarian and conflict resolution efforts at and through the UN sabotaged by both UNOG and Swiss officials. Regrettably, your office has yet to respond to ICESC's and our own related pleas. Others may thus find out and see to it that the UN cleans house, enforcing in-house due process & human rights before it tells others what to do.

     In 1991, the powers that be chose Your Excellency over another illustrious candidate. Having in effect voided SCR 688 with his MOU, he appeared to have unduly favored Baghdad. Yet, the UN bail-out 986, i.e. the resolution developed under your stewardship, as it stands, would compensate Saddam Hussein for his loss of Kuwait and further spoliate entire peoples. We, too are thus keen to work beyond this conflict-prone SCR 986 towards a better future, at least for our Mosul Vilayet inhabitants. To this effect, we remain respectfully yours,

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GOOD OFFICES GROUP OF EUROPEAN LAWMAKERS

POB 2580 - 1211 Geneva 2

J.A.Keller, Secretary
(private t+f in France: 33-450322842)

December 10, 1996

SCR 986 alleged to help loot Arab, Assyrian, Jewish, Kurdish & Turkoman oil properties

Your Excellency,

Having been involved in mediation efforts in the Iraq/Kuwait conflict in 1990/91 we were asked to help resolve the newly arising conflict around the question of "who, in international law, holds good title to petroleum pumped from Iraqi oil fields?" and, to this effect, circulate the enclosed communications to the UN Secretary-General and Heads of State. This, after the United Nations Office at Geneva, in apparent cooperation with the Swiss authorities, by way of arbitrary administrative means and for yet unclear reasons, managed to effectively hinder and, throughout 1996, prevented both the duly elected Representatives of the Mosul Vilayet Council (interim administrative body of non-government-controlled Northern Iraq) & the Representatives of the venerated International Committee for European Security and Cooperation ICESC (NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC) from exercising their functions vis-à-vis the UN Human Rights Commission and its Sub-Commission.

Essentially, the oil ownership question under dispute is seen to center on art.14 of the constitutive "Declaration of the Kingdom of Iraq" of 30 May 1932 (reproduced in: E/CN.4/Sub.2/1992/NGO/27) and to hinge on this Declaration's continued validity. On the UN level, the latter question has first been addressed in the UN Secretariat's "Study on the Legal Validity of the Undertakings Concerning Minorities" E/CN.4/367 of 7 April 1950 (p.50s). Its conclusion was:

However, the International Court of Justice, based its Advisory Opinion re: the international status of South West Africa on considerations which may also affect Iraq's international obligations (11 July 1950, ICJ Reports 1950, p.136). Accordingly, an addendum was issued by the UN Secretariat on 27 March 1951, specifying: In his search for practical pathways to regionally stabilizing solutions (see also: E/CN.4/1994/NGO/48and E/CN.4/1995/NGO/52), the ICESC Representative, in his statement of 30 August 1995 to the CHR Working Group on Minorities, thus called both We consider these ideas to merit reflection and support and, eventually, to help avoid disruptive legal and political battles. To these effects, we invite you to consult with your colleagues at the UN and in your capital and to feel free to avail yourself of our good offices for related or other matters. Assuring Your Excellency of our highest consideration, we remain, with Season's greetings,


encl: MVC-UNSG 12/7/96; AUA-HS 10/28/96
 
 

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ASSYRIAN UNIVERSAL ALLIANCE

7055 North Clark Street
Chicago, Ill 60626
tel: (773) 2749262, fax: (773) 2745866

Senator John J.Nimrod
Secretary General

December 16, 1996

Dear Mister Vice-President,

     This is to express our congratulation to your re-election and to that of President Clinton. It is to follow up on our correspondence of October 28/November 19, 1996, regarding notably Assyrian rights in Iraq and available pathways for arriving at a regionally stabilizing interim solution meeting security requirements, human rights concerns and international standards. And it is to express both our appreciation and concern regarding current U.S. policy on Iraq, as reflected in your letter and subsequent events, whereby we seek clarification of the U.S. position - in the event with a view to taking appropriate protective measures, including U.S. court actions and congressional hearings in order to effectively prevent the UN - apparently with U.S. Government support - from spoliating any further Assyrians holding Iraqi land titles.

     We have noted with interest President Clinton's September announcement of a fundamental review of U.S. policy on Iraq, and we would like to procede from the assumption that we will be able to effectively assist "in the formulation and implementation of U.S. policies affecting the Assyrian Christians in Iraq" (our letter to you of October 28, 1996). To this effect, we have sought to draw your particular attention to our concern regarding the international minority protection guarantees Iraq incurred as a sine qua non condition of its ascension to independence and statehood on October 3, 1932 (see our policy paper "'Oil-for-Food' vs. Assyrian Property Rights in Iraq"). And, on behalf of all some 5 mio Asyrians living either in Iraq or in the diaspora (including some 320000 U.S. residents), we continue to expect clear and unswerving U.S. Government support for the effective recognition and enforcement of our thus internationally protected minority and property rights in Iraq both at the UN and vis-à-vis Baghdad.

     We were thus encouraged by your statement: "Until the United States can be sure these humanitarian supplies will actually get to those who need them, the U.N. plan willl not go forward." Yet, there has been no mention of the facts we pointed out in due time, namely that the petroleum involved in this notorious "oil-for-food" deal is understood to be the legal, yes even internationally protected property of yet-to-be-consulted and not-yet-consenting Assyrian and other landowners. And when, on December 10, the UN Secretary General finally gave the green light for SCR 986 to become operational, we have had no part in that decision. Also, we started wondering whether the U.S. Government really intended to forfeit this property rights tool which could have served - and still could serve - as an effective leverage for bringing about much desired changes in Iraq. Regardless of whether or not that is the case, we now find ourselves in a position similar to the families of Jewish Nazi victims whose fortunes were looted not only by their Nazi tormentors. And drawing inspiration from how that historic wrong now falls back on other involved governments and unscrupullous bankers, we are thus considering said appropriate protective measures.

     To be sure, so far, our contacts with Iraq desk officers at the State Department have been less than reassuring with regard to their knowledge of and readiness to invoke and even enforce said Iraqi obligations. In fact, for reasons which may reflect long-standing party lines of White Hall, all public and privately-voiced U.S. - and UN - references to Iraqi obligations have persistently been limited to the post-WWII period, thus ignoring the comprehensive humanitarian and property rights obligations contained in the constitutive Iraqi Declaration of 30 May 1932 which continue to be of crucial importance to both the Assyrians and other Iraqi minorities (reproduced in UN document E/CN.4/Sub.2/1992/NGO/27). This, of course, is understandable, given America's legacy with, its ill-admitted-fatherhood-turned-into-contempt of the League of Nations. Yet, like fear, such feelings are unhelpful and indeed failure-prone policy pillars for any states(wo)man worth his(her) salt. And the all-too-often heard argument: "how can we reasonably expect Iraq to honor a commitment dating from before WWII when we cannot even get it to respect more recent obligations?" is a formula for disaster and not a thought worthy of responsible persons wishing to be taken seriously.

     Indeed, by failing to even mention if not enforce Iraq's constitutive, fundamental obligations - whose validity, incidently, has not been officially questioned, so far, not even by Saddam Hussein - Iraq's leaders are encouraged to disregard its later obligations and stick out the waning penalties. This is the more so as the attention span of U.S. politicians in particular is notoriously short-lived. It is not helped either by the failure of the peoples concerned to keep alive the collective memory on their internationally protected rights, by the resultant general ignorance on these matters, and by the international community's failure to monitor the faithful observance of these obligations.

     But all this throws a longer shadow. It reaches beyond Iraq and the Middle East to all of the world's current and future trouble spots where minority issues have not been resolved lastingly. And it is in this area where the biggest political opportunity costs arise for any country whose leaders aspire to remain factual, credible and effective leaders on the world stage. Indeed, such festering trouble spots in Iraq, Palestine and ex-Yugoslavia (notably in Eastern Slavonia, Krajina, Sanjak, Kosovo and Macedonia) not only see the United States deeply entangled, but in a position to become part of either the problem or its solution. The latter requires real, effective leadership, i.e. willingness and capacity to bring to bear imagination, clear-sightedness and credible power. Re-inventing the wheel is certainly not called for - nor is the myopic ignoring of past agreements in favor of new ones created by primarily self-promoting diplomats eager for sound bites on CNN. Essential is: solid enrootment in and enforcement of universal principles, like pacta sunt servanda. Surprisingly, the legacy of the League of Nations, with its focus on minorities, contains many documents which can not only serve as helpful sources of inspiration and for adaption but have retained their validity in international law. The above-mentioned and other current trouble spots are all covered by valid treaties providing for extensive international minority protection rights which wait to be reactivated by way of UN General Assembly resolution 24 (I) of 12 February 1946. And though they were concluded in relation with the failed, yet underestimated League of Nations, the United States is in a unique position to take the lead for their mutually helpful reanimation. Iraqi's obligations of 1932 thus readily avail themselves as vehicles for venturing beyond worn-out tracks, opening new horizons with a successful and widely-appreciated U.S. diplomatic initiative.

     Indeed, in its Advisory Opinion on South West Africa of 11 July 1950, the International Court of Justice upheld the related "international obligations" on the basis of considerations which are seen to have a direct bearing on obligations incurred with Iraq's Declaration of 30 May 1932 (in the event, this Court might be asked to clarify related issues with another Advisory Opinion). The Court thus held (as quoted in the UN Secretariat study E/CN.4/367/Add.1, p.4):

     "These obligations represent the very essence of the sacred trust of civilization. Their raison d'être and original object remain. Since their fulfilment do not depend on the existence of the League of Nations, they could not be brought to an end merely because this supervisory organ [i.e. the Council of the League of Nations] ceased to exist. Nor could the right of the population to have the Territory administred in accordance with these rules depend thereon." (I.C.J. Reports 1950 p.133)"With respect to the latter kind of obligation ['related to the machinery for implementation' being 'closely linked to the supervision and control of the League'] the Court was of the opinion that effective performance of the 'sacred trust of civilization' required that the administration should be subject to international supervision and that this necessity for supervision 'continues to exist despite the disappearance of the supervisory organ under the mandate system. It cannot be admitted that the obligation to submit to supervision has disappeared merely because the supervisory organ has ceased to exist ...' [ibid. p.136]" (UN, op.cit.)

     On this basis, and with our full participation, we trust the on-going discussions with representatives of other ethnic Iraqi minorities to avail themselves to overcome the impass reflected in the revealing enclosed documents we received from KDP sources on an alleged PUK conspiracy. In order to promptly and effectively explore and put onto the rails mutually beneficial solutions, we reiterate our offer to contribute our fair share in line with our basic agreement on property and other rights concluded in 1992 with duly elected representatives of the Mosul Vilayet Council. Also, we would greatly appreciate your benevolent guidance on these matters, and look forward to an early clear statement on where the U.S. Government stands on these crucial issues. Meanwhile, we take this opportunity to re-assure you, dear Mister Vice-President, of our highest consideration, and remain, with Season's greetings,

sincerely yours,

Senator John J. Nimrod, Secretary General
ASSYRIAN UNIVERSAL ALLIANCE

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