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Dominicans for Justice and Peace, in an oral statement co-sponsored by Caritas Internationalis, Pax Christi International, and Franciscans International, brought to the attention of the 2002 session of the UN Sub-Commission the impact of international sanctions on women and children. The issue of the use of depleted uranium and other instruments of war and their harmful and destructive consequences on vulnerable groups was also raised. Our stance on these issues is a humanitarian, ethical and moral one which stems from our grave concern about of the devastation brought upon the lives of millions of women and children worldwide and because of the gross and ongoing violations of their fundamental rights and freedoms.
Additionally, the oral statement expressed great concern about any further major incursion into Iraq, including pre-emptive strikes, that could further destroy a society and cause cataclismic harm to women and children and seriously compromise any hope for a just and lasting peace in the region.
We declared that when the veil is lifted on the devastation in the country and the truth is made known about the destruction of the lives of children and women, the international community will need to render an account for these acts and to recognize their responsibility for the massive rebuilding of a devastated society. August 9, 2002 was the 12th anniversary of the UN blockade and sanctions against Iraq. These 12 years will remain an indelible blemish on the UN record of humanitarian activity and protection of human rights.
Recommendations to the international community
At the UN Commission and the Sub-Commission, Dominicans for Justice and Peace, in partnership with Caritas Internationalis, Pax Christi International and Franciscans International, and in the spirit of Pope John Paul IIs calls to end the sanctions against Iraq, of the 1998 Synod of Bishops of Asia and of the declaration of the Dominican General Chapter of Providence,
- Urged the international community to resolve the humanitarian crisis affecting the most vulnerable in Iraq through peaceful means including the end of sanctions which continue to debilitate and cause untold death among women and children;
- Requested the international community to respect the rules of humanitarian law and to guarantee basic human rights in regard to women and children;
- Strongly recommended that the international community and all concerned governments search for peaceful and just solutions rather than resorting to war which can only bring untold horror and irreversible harm to the most vulnerable.