8 November 2002 Hailing the unanimous adoption of a new Security Council resolution aimed at returning United Nations weapons inspectors to Iraq, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on Baghdad to comply with the text’s demands.
“I urge the Iraqi leadership – for the sake of its own people, and for the sake of world security and world order – to seize this opportunity, and thereby begin to end the isolation and suffering of the Iraqi people,” Mr. Annan said following the adoption of the text. “If Iraq’s defiance continues, however, the Security Council must face its responsibilities,” he warned.
The Secretary-General cast the passage of the measure in the broad context of global stability, with the UN playing a central role. “The Security Council resolution adopted today has strengthened the cause of peace, and given renewed impetus to the search for security in an increasingly dangerous world,” he said.
“This is a time of trial – for Iraq, for the United Nations and for the world,” he emphasized. “How this crisis is resolved will affect greatly the course of peace and security in the coming years in the region, and the world.”
Noting that the text clearly sets out Iraq’s obligation to cooperate with the UN in ensuring full and final disarmament, the Secretary-General said, “Iraq now has a new opportunity to comply with all the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”
This resolution, which is “based on law, collective effort, and the unique legitimacy of the United Nations,” represents an example of multilateral diplomacy serving the cause of peace and security, Mr. Annan said.
“Whenever the Council is united, it sends a very powerful signal,” he noted, sounding a theme he has been repeating throughout the course of the deliberations on the issue. “I hope that Iraq will heed that signal.”
While the road ahead remains “difficult and dangerous,” Mr. Annan said that, empowered by this resolution, UN weapons inspectors are equipped to carry out their work. “To succeed, they will require full and unconditional cooperation on the part of Iraq, and the continued determination of the international community to pursue its common aim in a united and effective manner.”