On Impact of U.N. Sanctions on Afghan People

Following is the text of the Department of State Fact Sheet:



-- The deplorable humanitarian situation of the Afghan people is the
direct result of over 20 years of war and, now, the worst drought in a

-- Afghanistan's resources are depleted, its intelligentsia in exile,
its people disenfranchised, its traditional political structures
shattered, and its human development indices among the lowest in the

-- The Taliban have done little to improve this bleak situation and
much to exacerbate it. The civil war continues with no resolution in
sight. The Afghan people have no voice in their government, are
subject to widespread patterns of human rights violations, and have
little hope for improvement in their standards of living, including
health, employment, education, and general welfare.

-- The sanctions that the United Nations Security Council has imposed
on the Taliban in UNSC Resolution 1267 (1999) have had no measurable
humanitarian impact on the Afghan people, despite the Taliban's
efforts to portray the situation to the contrary.

-- Likewise, the measures in the new resolution are scrupulously
written so that they should have no harmful effect on the vast
majority of the Afghan people.


-- The Security Council, fully aware of the dire humanitarian
conditions in Afghanistan, carefully crafted Resolution 1267 to target
only the Taliban leadership and organization, as well as indicted
terrorist Usama bin Laden. The resolution specifically provides for
broad humanitarian exemptions for the people of Afghanistan.

-- Resolution 1267 is targeted against the Taliban leadership and
organization to bring an end to its support for international
terrorism and its harboring of Usama bin Laden. It imposes a flight
ban on Ariana Afghan Airlines and a freeze on the financial assets of
the Taliban. The flight ban on Ariana Afghan Airlines denies the
Taliban a convenient link to the rest of the world for international
terrorists and narco-traffickers based in Afghanistan.

-- Resolution 1267 does not prohibit private-sector trade and
commerce. Goods - including grain and other food stuffs - and the
international mail move normally by land, according to Taliban press

-- Resolution 1267 does not restrict in any way the work of the
humanitarian organizations providing assistance to the civilian
population of Afghanistan. International agencies and humanitarian
non-governmental organizations maintain routine flights into and out
of Afghanistan. Workers from the International Committee of the Red
Cross and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees regularly fly into and
out of Afghanistan. The U.S.-based non-governmental organization
Partners in Aviation and Communications Technology (PACTEC) conducts
twice-weekly flights between Peshawar, Pakistan, and Kabul,
Afghanistan, for humanitarian aid workers. Other flights to ameliorate
the humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan continue unimpeded by the
sanctions. Non-governmental organizations that want to use Ariana
Afghan Airlines for humanitarian missions into and out of Afghanistan,
however, need to seek a waiver from the Sanctions Committee.

-- The Sanctions Committee has never denied a request for a
humanitarian flight waiver. Shortly after Resolution 1267 went into
effect, the non-governmental organization Medecins Sans Frontieres
flew over 13 metric tons of medicine into Afghanistan. Flights
supporting the evacuation of sick Afghan children to Germany occurred
in February and August 2000. The Committee has granted eight other
humanitarian flight waivers. In addition, the Committee has also
granted waivers for 180 round-trip flights for the purpose of
fulfilling religious obligations such as the performance of the Hajj.


-- The measures now under consideration are specifically targeted
narrowly on the Taliban leadership and on Usama bin Laden, his
associates, and his organization, a1Qaida. The measures are crafted in
a way that could improve humanitarian conditions in Afghanistan and in
the region, if the Taliban comply, as well as avoid adverse
humanitarian impact on the population of Afghanistan. Provisions are
included in the resolution to ensure that international humanitarian
assistance will continue unimpeded. Private-sector trade and commerce
will also continue without interruption. The humanitarian and
religious-obligation waiver regime of the Sanctions Committee will
remain in place, and efforts will be made so that it will be even more
responsive and effective.

-- Because the Taliban have ignored their obligations under UNSC
Resolution 1267 and have continued to threaten international peace and
security, the Security Council will.

-- Demand the Taliban comply with Resolution 1267 and cease providing
training and support of international terrorists;

-- Insist the Taliban turn over indicted international terrorist Usama
bin Laden so he can be brought to justice;

-- Direct the Taliban to close all terrorist camps in Afghanistan
within 30 days.

-- Until the Taliban fully comply with their obligations under this
resolution and Resolution 1267, the Security Council will:

-- Freeze the financial assets of Usama bin Laden;

-- Impose an arms embargo against the Taliban that includes a
prohibition on providing military weapons, training, or advice;

-- Close all Taliban offices overseas;

-- Urge Member States to reduce the staff at the limited number of
Taliban missions abroad;

-- Advise Member States to restrict travel of top Taliban officials
except for the purposes of participation in peace negotiations,
compliance with the resolution, or for humanitarian reasons, including
religious obligations;

-- Ban the export to Afghan territory of a precursor chemical, acetic
anhydride, which is used to manufacture heroin;

-- Close all offices of Afiana Afghan Airlines and ban all
non-humanitarian assistance flights into and out of Afghanistan. Broad
exceptions are given to humanitarian flights operated by, or on behalf
of, non-governmental organizations and governmental relief agencies
providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.


-- The Taliban argue that UN sanctions prevent them from governing
effectively and harm the people of Afghanistan. But the fact is that
the Taliban faction has never governed effectively. Rather than
provide good governance to improve the economic and social conditions
of the people in the areas they control, they have pursued military
action in Afghanistan, and systematically followed an expansionist
policy to extend their radical ideology north into Central Asia, east
into China, and south into Pakistan. They have financed their
operations with the considerable proceeds they gain from narcotics

-- None of these measures will have a measurable adverse humanitarian
impact on the general population, and, in fact, could ultimately
improve their situation by allowing Afghanistan to regain its rightful
place in the community of nations, if the Taliban comply with the will
of the international community. Should that happen, regional stability
would be greatly improved, trade and commerce would burgeon in the
region, and the reconstruction of Afghanistan could begin.

-- One measure of the resolution - and only one - could have a
temporary adverse economic impact on the small number of Afghan
workers involved in poppy cultivation and the production and
trafficking of heroin. However, when these lands are converted to
production of food, the overall humanitarian situation in Afghanistan
will improve.

-- The prohibition of chemicals needed for heroin production will
curtail the Taliban's ability to engage in narcotics production and
trafficking, the proceeds of which they use to fund international
terrorism and the war effort. The sale or transfer of acetic anhydride
for manufacturing heroin to anyone in Afghanistan could have some
economic impact on those who work in the production and trafficking of
narcotics. However, if the Taliban leaders sincerely demonstrate their
commitment to stopping poppy cultivation and narcotics processing and
export, the international community should be prepared to provide
additional assistance and crop substitution programs to replace the
lost incomes of average Afghan farmers and workers which, in the end,
will improve their lives. Likewise, the quality of life of the Afghan
people will improve when the fertile farmland lost to poppy
cultivation is returned to food production. A decrease in the supply
of heroin also will diminish the costly public health threats of
HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and other diseases caused or exacerbated by
narcotics abuse.


-- It is up to the Taliban whether they continue to impoverish and
further degrade Afghanistan, or whether they will comply with the will
of the international community expressed in the UN resolutions. If
they comply, they will allow Afghanistan to regain its rightful place
in the community of nations and permit the Afghan people the security,
dignity, and rightful standard of living they deserve.