The text of the draft resolution would legally phase out the oil-for-food programme over four months, but the status of existing contracts signed under the programme is unclear. Oil sales would be overseen by an international board including the UN and the World Bank. A UN envoy would be appointed to liaise with the US and UK on the post-war government, economic reconstruction and humanitarian issues. The text makes no mention of the return of UN weapons inspectors to verify the absence of weapons of mass destruction, as some countries have demanded and as the sanctions resolutions specify.

On 7 May, Bush announced the suspension of the 1990 Iraq Sanctions Act, which prohibits trade with Baghdad. US Treasury Secretary John Snow said that some of its provisions would be lifted immediately, allowing the export of humanitarian supplies and permitting Iraqis in the US to send up to $500 to people within Iraq. ‘The easing of US sanctions will bring much-needed aid and humanitarian relief to the Iraqi people,’ said Snow.