TFF logoTFF Associates

Hans-Christof Graf Sponeck

Born 1939 in Germany. Former UN Assistant Secretary General and United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq. BA and MA Degrees in History, Demography and Physical Anthropology.

Hans von Sponeck joined the UN Development Program in 1968, and worked in Ghana, Turkey, Botswana, Pakistan and India, before becoming Director of the European Office in Geneva. He has served thirty-two years with the organization, including at the UN HQ in New York. In his last post he succeeded Denis Halliday in charge of UN humanitarian operations in Iraq in October 1998, overseeing roughly 500 international staff and 1,000 Iraqi workers.

He was responsible for directing all UN operations in the country, managing the distribution of goods under the Oil-for-Food program and verifying Iraqi compliance with that program. Hans von Sponeck resigned in February 2000, in protest of the international policy toward Iraq, including sanctions.

von Sponeck has written numerous papers and articles in German and English in professional journals and magazines on subjects such as environment, social change and methodological/conceptual alternatives in development, sanctions and humanitarian exemptions. He is also the author of Human Development - Is There An Alternative?, New Delhi, November 1997.

In 2005 he published a comprehensive review of United Nations sanctions in Iraq. This book has been published in Arabic and German and is about to be published in Spanish and English with the title, Another Kind of War - The Sanctions Regime of the UN in Iraq.

Hans von Sponeck joined TFF as Associate in September 2002 and became member of the Board in August 2006.



Burgunderstr. 26,
D-79379 Muellheim,






Hans von Sponeck

© Jan Oberg 2006


More about TFF


Articles by Hans-Christof Graf Sponeck

A selection of them, the most recent on top

Hans von Sponeck, September 29, 2010
After the journey - a UN man's open letter to Tony Blair

Hans von Sponeck, February 1, 2010
Cultural Cleansing in Iraq:
How much can a people take?

Book review

Hans von Sponeck, February 1, 2010 - New version
America's AfPak Strategy
From Bush to Obama - From Failure to Resolution?

Hans von Sponeck, September 15, 2009
America's Afghanistan-Pakistan Strategy: From Bush to Obama. From failure to Resoluton?

Hans von Sponeck in Current Concerns
The United Nations and NATO:
Which security for and for whom?

Hans von Sponeck, November 20, 2008
Justice for Whom? The fate of Tariq Aziz in Iraq

Hans von Sponeck & Dennis Halliday
July 9, 2007

Open Letter to Madame Louise Arbour
On the deficient commitment of the various bodies of the UN to human rights violations in Iraq, during the sanctions years and today during the occupation. Mme Arbour is UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Hans von Sponeck, Current Concerns, June 25, 2007
Returning to the worst days of the Cold War
I am convinced that, due to this militarised politization of Nato, we have taken a big step backwards to what is not only a Cold War atmosphere between major powers, but also, and this is the tragedy, to an increase in defence spending in many countries including China, Russia, and Western Europe. The key words ought to be dialogue and diplomacy...

Hans von Sponeck, Voltaire Net, March 25 2007
United Nations implications in war crimes
The Security Council must follow the UN Charter and it must not forget the Convention on the rights of the child and the general implications of these conventions. Moreover, if the Security Council knows that conditions in Iraq are inhuman and it decides not to act, then the Security Council must be blamed for the very strong increase in the mortality rates in Iraq.

Hans-Christoph von Sponeck, January 26, 2007
The dangerous double standard

Hans von Sponeck and Dennis Halliday,
January 5, 2007
Appeal for the release of Tariq Aziz in Iraq

Hans von Sponeck, TFF Board, September 30, 2006
A Different Kind of War. The UN Sanction Regime in Iraq
New book

Hans von Sponeck & Dennis Halliday, February 5, 2006
Appeal for proper treatment of Tarek Azziz in Iraq
The two former UN Humanitarian Coordinators in Iraq make a strong appeal for the humane treatment of the former foreign minister and deputy prime minister who recently suffered a stroke and may have short time left to live.

Hans von Sponeck, December 4, 2005
Iraq - the burden of sanctions
The fate of a people became collateral damage, a euphemism for death and destitution. Important and final facts have now become available for the period of the oil-for-food programme. As the Volcker committee's report occupies the headlines it is important to remember that the original crime was the indiscriminate use of sanctions against the people of Iraq.

Hans - C. Graf Sponeck, November 8, 2005
Iraq: Humanitarian Issues and Tensions in the Oil-for-Food Programme 1998-2000 and Beyond
The authoritative study with the needed documentation by the person who knows because he was there - a person whose commitment to the welfare and dignity of the Iraqi people can not be disputed.
In parts it summarizes the content of von Sponeck's new book in German,
Ein anderer Krieg. Das Sanktionsregime der UNO im Irak (Hamburger Edition, 2005).
The US/UK led sanctions killed many times more people than the war has. While the debate on fraud within the UN dominates the media, we forget that the real issue ought to be: why did the UN Security Council members persist in upholding a sanctions regime full well knowing that its effects amounted to one of the largest genocides in modern times? This article and von Sponeck's new book help you understand exactly why.

Hans von Sponeck, September 21, 2005
To an unknown Iraqi (2003)
As predicted the most uneven war in history did not last long. While we continued our lives in the comfort of peace, we watched you suffering the horror of war. Will you every forgive us? Sadly even truer now two years later.

Hans von Sponeck, TFF Associate, July 15, 2005
The conduct of the UN before and after the 2003 invasion
von Sponeck's statement at the World Tribunal on Iraq

Hans von Sponeck, January 27, 2005
Iraq and the United Nations: Dilemmas of the Future
With his 32 years of service in the UN - of which two as humanitarian co-ordinator in Iraq - von Sponeck's soft-spoken knowledge of the issues and his humane visions make a must read for anyone concerned with international affairs. Later this year he publishes "Iraq Autopsy" - probably the most insightful analysis so far of these complex issues.

Interview, Mark Tran, Guardian
Former UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq

Interview, Bassma Al Jandaly & Tanya Goudsouzian,
Information Clearing House
US Provoked Insurgency in Iraq - Former UN Official

Ex Top UN Official in Iraq Hans Von Sponeck: The Attack Should Come As No Surprise (Democracy Now)

Iraq - Twelve Years of Sanctions: Justified Punishment or Illegal Treatment?

Two examples of misinformation on Iraqi biological weapons production

Not in Our Names - No more economic sanctions

About the United States and Iraq - Listen to von Sponeck himself

Weapons sites defunct and destroyed

Den sanna bilden av Irak - och av USA

Iraq: four questions, four answers

Iran: the Hostage Nation

Open Letter to Britain's minister responsible for Iraq

Intet belæg for Irak-krig

Hvad jeg ville sige til den amerikanske præsident hvis jeg var hans udenrigspolitiske rådgiver

Slut med de økonomiske sanktioner. Det irakiske folk har lidt nok!

Intet retsgrundlag for angreb på Irak

Another America yearns to be heard

Go on, call Bush's bluff

Petition for Peace and Economic Development in Iraq

An interview about the sanctions on Iraq










The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research
Vegagatan 25, S - 224 57 Lund, Sweden
Phone + 46 - 46 - 145909     Fax + 46 - 46 - 144512   E-mail:

Contact the Webmaster at:
© 1997 till today