Select Committee on International Development Minutes of Evidence

Further memorandum submitted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

THE FUTURE OF SANCTIONSI hope that the Committee found useful the oral evidence provided by FCO and DFID officials on Tuesday.I promised to write with an answer to Tess Kingham's question about the extent to which DFID is consulted on licence applications for the supply of dual-use goods to countries subject to sanctions. I understand, however, that Ms Kingham is really interested in the degree of DFID involvement in decision-making on all dual-use licence applications, not just those to countries subject to sanctions. This strays outside my direct responsibility, but I have consulted colleagues within the FCO and in DFID and the DTI on this reply.I attach a list of countries for which DFID see all Export Licence Applications (including applications for Dual-Use goods), except for those goods in Annex A. DFID's interest in Export Licence Applications is broadly two-fold. Their main interest is that the proposed purchase does not seriously hamper the sustainable development of the recipient country, taking into account its public finances, balance of payments, external debt, economic and social development and any IMF/World Bank sponsored economic reform programmes. Secondly that the equipment is not used for purposes of internal repression or external aggression. Where DFID has concerns about an application they raise them with the FCO.Iraq is a special case, because the sale and supply of dual-use goods is covered by the UN sanctions regime. The export of some dual-use goods, eg medicines, veterinary products and fertilisers is allowed under agreed humanitarian exemptions if approval has been received from the UN Sanctions Committee. UK applications for the export or supply of such goods are circulated by the DTI for advice to the FCO, MOD, the Department of Health (medical goods) or MAFF (agricultural goods). They are not circulated to DFID since the presumption is that all applications for medicines and essential agricultural supplies will be approved unless there is strong reason to believe they will be diverted for military use. The Department of Health and MAFF respectively provide the technical expertise on the legitimate medical use or agricultural use of such products.I hope this explanation is helpful. I also enclose copies of two documents that I promised to make available to the Committee: the note of the President of the Security Council, dated 29 January 1999, on the work of the Sanctions Committees; and the terms of reference of the expert panels which have been established (under Security Council resolution 1237—copy also enclosed) to identify ways to tighten sanctions against UNITA.

A R Brenton

Director, Global Issues

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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