The AAC has worked hard to heighten awareness in Australia of the effects of sanctions on the Iraq people, and advocated for the lifting of the sanctions to facilitate rebuilding of infrastructure and the availability of medicines and essential services.
Background on Iraq
The AAC has long worked on international human rights issues and Iraq in particular has been a focus since the inception of the AAC in the wake of the 1990-1991 Gulf War. In particular with the involvement of AAC Vice-Chairman, Dr Nabil Sulaiman, a medical practitioner and specialist in Epidemiology, who migrated to Australia from Iraq in 1995; and Mr. Laurence Abou Khater, an AAC representative who travelled to Iraq in 1999 as part of an international humanitarian delegation.
In particular, the AAC, prior to the 2003 war on Iraq, worked hard to heighten awareness in Australia of the effects of sanctions on the Iraq people, and advocated for the lifting of the sanctions to facilaite rebuilding of infrastructure and the availability of medicines and essential services.
The build up to war began in 2002, and the AAC advocated strongly against a pre-emptive attack on Iraq through interviews, meetings with parliamentarians, articles and public information campaigns. The experiences of Council during the 1990-1991 war against Iraq prepared the Council for the effects of war. The AAC’s position against war was founded on likely: extensive humanitarian consequences; a severe impact on Australia; and the impact on Arabic Australians, who were most likely to bear the brunt of the volatile climate of war.
Post war, the AAC is now advocating for increased Australian aid to rebuild Iraq and a necessary focus on ensuring an Iraqi democracy, and end to occupation, and a resolution to the Palestinian Israeli conflict.