SECURITY COUNCIL DEMANDS IRAQ ALLOW IMMEDIATE ACCESS BY INSPECTION TEAMS TO SITES DESIGNATED BY UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COMMISSION

12 June 1996
SC/6231

SECURITY COUNCIL DEMANDS IRAQ ALLOW IMMEDIATE ACCESS BY INSPECTION TEAMS TO SITES DESIGNATED BY UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COMMISSION

12 June 1996

Press ReleaseSC/6231

SECURITY COUNCIL DEMANDS IRAQ ALLOW IMMEDIATE ACCESS BY INSPECTION TEAMS TO SITES DESIGNATED BY UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COMMISSION

19960612 Resolution 1060 (1996), Adopted Unanimously under Chapter VII, Demands Unconditional, Unrestricted Access to Any and All Designated Sites

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Security Council this afternoon demanded that Iraq allow inspection teams of the United Nations Special Commission to have immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transportation which they wished to inspect. Through its unanimous adoption of resolution 1060 (1996), as orally revised, the Council also deplored Iraq's failure to comply with its obligations under its resolutions 707 (1991) and 715 (1991), as a clear violation of resolution 687 (1991). It demanded that Iraq cooperate fully with the Special Commission in accordance with the relevant resolutions. Specifically, the Council noted with concern incidents over the past two days in which Iraqi authorities denied an inspection team access to designated sites, and expressed full support for the Special Commission's efforts to implement its mandate. Resolution 687 (1991) established the cease-fire in the Gulf conflict and provided the conditions essential for the restoration of peace and security in the region. It requires Iraq to permit immediate on-site inspection of its biological, chemical and missile capabilities, based on Iraq's declarations and the designation of any additional locations by the Special Commission itself. By resolution 707 (1991), the Council demanded that Iraq allow the Special Commission, the International Atomic Energy Agency and their inspection teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transport they wish to inspect. Resolution 715 (1991) approved the Commission's plan for ongoing monitoring and verification, and demanded Iraq's unconditional compliance with it. Statements were made by the representatives of the Russian Federation, Italy, China, United Kingdom, Germany, Republic of Korea, Chile, United States, France, Botswana and Egypt. The meeting, which was called to order at 5:10 p.m., was adjourned at 5:52 p.m.

Draft Resolution

The Security Council met this afternoon to consider the situation between Iraq and Kuwait. It had before it a draft resolution sponsored by the United Kingdom and the United States (document S/1996/426), which reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Recalling all its previous relevant resolutions, and in particular its resolutions 687 (1991) of 3 April 1991, 707 (1991) of 15 August 1991 and 715 (1991) of 11 October 1991,

"Recalling also the letter from the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Special Commission to the President of the Security Council of 9 March 1996 (S/1996/182), the letter from the President of the Security Council to the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission of 12 March 1996 (S/1996/183), the statement made at its 3642nd meeting on 19 March 1996 by the President of the Security Council (S/PRST/1996/11), and the report of the Chairman of the Special Commission of 11 April 1996 (S/1996/258),

"Reiterating the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Kuwait and Iraq,

"Recalling in this context the notes from the Secretary-General of 21 July 1993 (S/26127) and 1 December 1993 (S/26825),

"Noting the progress made in the work of the Special Commission towards the elimination of Iraq's programmes of weapons of mass destruction, and outstanding problems, reported by the Chairman of the Special Commission,

"Noting with concern the incidents on 11 and 12 June 1996, reported to members of the Council by the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission, when access by a Special Commission inspection team to sites in Iraq designated for inspection by the Commission was excluded by the Iraqi authorities,

"Emphasizing the importance the Council attaches to full compliance by Iraq with its obligations under resolutions 687 (1991), 707 (1991) and 715 (1991) to permit immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to the Special Commission to any site which the Commission wishes to inspect,

"Recalling that resolution 687 (1991) established the cease-fire and provided the conditions essential for the restoration of peace and security in the region,

"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

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"1. Deplores the refusal of the Iraqi authorities to allow access to sites designated by the Special Commission, which constitutes a clear violation of the provisions of Security Council resolutions 687 (1991), 707 (1991) and 715 (1991);

"2. Demands that Iraq cooperate fully with the Special Commission in accordance with the relevant resolutions; and that the Government of Iraq allow the Special Commission inspection teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transportation which they wish to inspect;

"3. Expresses its full support to the Special Commission in its efforts to ensure implementation of its mandate under the relevant resolutions of the Council;

"4. Decides to remain seized of the matter."

Statements

SERGEY V. LAVROV (Russian Federation) said his Government reaffirmed its dedication to the implementation of Security Council resolution 687 (1991). The recent incident in which Iraqi officials had denied access by a Special Commission inspection team to sites in Iraq should not be repeated. The draft resolution contained clear demands to that effect.

He noted that the Council had avoided the language of threat. Such language could only have complicated the issue. The draft before the Council reflected important ammendments proposed by a number of delegations,including the Russian Federation. His country would vote in favour of the draft resolution.

PAOLO CASARDI (Italy) expressed his country's deep concern over the events of the past two days in Iraq, whose denial of access by the Special Commission's inspection teams was a clear violation of Council resolutions. This was the first time Iraq had denied access to the designated inspection sites, and the Council must respond promptly. Today's resolution would send a strong message to Iraq to cooperate in the implementation of the Council's resolutions. Its language was balanced and respected Iraq's sovereignty.

WANG XUEXIAN (China) said his country had always supported the work of the Special Commission and was concerned about Iraq's denial of access to inspection sites by the Commission's team. Iraq must implement fully the Council's relevant resolutions. The language of today's resolution was reasonable. Resolution 687 (1991) must be implemented in a comprehensive manner, while respecting Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Amendments proposed by China had been included in the text; his country would, therefore, vote in favour of the draft.

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Sir JOHN WESTON (United Kingdom) said the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission had reported that "there are still significant deficiencies and gaps in Iraq's disclosures", that "the Commission had noted recent acquisitions of prohibited items by Iraq", and that "a full accounting and disposal of Iraq's holdings of prohibited items has not been made". Against that background, the Council had passed a resolution in response to Iraqi defiance of the will of the international community as expressed in its earlier resolutions. It was right that the Council had reacted quickly and robustly in the wake of Iraq's obstruction yesterday and today of the Special Commission's inspection team.

It was clearly unacceptable for Iraq to declare that any facilities or sites off-limits, he said. Security in the Gulf required that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction be eliminated. That could only be assured if Iraq was completely open with the Special Commission. However, the Commission was still not satisfied that the information and explanations provided by Iraq gave a complete picture of the situation. It was also apparent that Iraq was continuing to withhold information.

The Special Commission, therefore, had no alternative but to continue with intrusive, no-notice inspections, which were fully within its mandate, he said. Inspections were not designed to persecute Iraq or to infringe on its sovereignty. It was in Iraq's own interest to cooperate, as that was the only way progress could be made towards fulfilling the requirements of resolution 687 (1991).

TONO EITEL (Germany) said the incidents of yesterday and today were particularly serious. The Iraqi leadership was trying to define the category of sites to be excluded from inspection, at a time when Iraq had declared its commitment to the aims of the Special Commission. However, that body could only fulfil its tasks if its inspection rights were fully respected by Iraq. The current events demonstrated the risks faced by the Special Commission's staff.

Today's draft resolution was the appropriate answer to Iraq's action in preventing the Commission from carrying out no-notice inspections, he said. Iraq should take the draft resolution seriously and draw the right conclusions from it. Any obstructions would only prolong the time needed by the Special Commission to complete its work. He appealed to the Government of Iraq to remove any obstacles to the work of the inspection teams.

PARK SOO GIL (Republic of Korea) said his country had a deep interest in and concern over the sanctions applied against Iraq, which had serious humanitarian consequences. For that reason, he had welcomed the recent conclusion of a memorandum of understanding on the implementation of Council resolution 986 (1995). However, the incidents on 11 and 12 June were a source of disappointment and alarm.

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He said it had been hoped that the pragmatism and realism of the talks on resolution 986 (1995) would have been reflected in all aspects of Iraq's external relations, including its interactions with the Special Commission. It had also been hoped that they would have moved its relationship with the international community in a more desirable and mutually beneficial direction. The Republic of Korea would vote in favour of the draft resolution.

JUAN LARRAIN (Chile) said he was concerned over the incidents of 11 and 12 June, when the Special Commission's inspection team was denied access to sites in Iraq, in violation of Security Council resolutions. There was no justification for Iraq's actions. He appealed to that Government not to stray from the path of cooperation it had followed in recent negotiations.

The draft resolution, as orally revised, was adopted unanimously as Security Council resolution 1060 (1996).

MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT (United States) said that in March, when Iraq last blocked inspection, her delegation had urged the Council to act. However, it had failed to respond adequately, so "here we go again". Iraq must not be allowed to interfere with the Special Commission's inspection teams. The Council's action must be swift and strong, and the resolution just adopted met that requirement. Iraq must never again be allowed to threaten the international community. Progress in dismantling its weapons of mass destruction must continue. The Commission must continue to follow the evidence, whether Iraq liked it or not. The United States fully supported Rolf Ekeus, Executive Chairman of the Special Commission, and his team of inspectors, she said. Iraq should be equally diligent in carrying out its responsibilities. The inspectors did not threaten security of the region; it was the Iraqi regime which still posed a serious threat. If Iraq continued to block the inspections, the Council would have no alternative but to conclude that Iraq was in material breach of resolutions 687 (1991), 707 (1991) and 715 (1991).

ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said the incident in which Iraq had impeded the Special Commission's inspection team from carrying out its work justified today's action. He would have preferred an immediate reaction through a presidential statement. The text just adopted was in keeping with provisions already agreed upon. He hoped the Chairman of the Special Commission would be able to pursue his dialogue with the Iraqi authorities, so the Special Commission might attain its objectives while respecting Iraq's sovereignty.

The Council had been gratified by the signing of the memorandum of understanding on the application of resolution 986 (1995) and the positive attitude demonstrated by Iraq in concluding the negotiations. That attitude deserved consideration. It was in Iraq's interest to allow the Commission to complete its task; any delay in that work was felt, first and foremost, by Iraq.

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MOTHUSI D.C. NKGOWE (Botswana) said his Government regretted Iraq's decision to deny the Special Commission's inspection teams access to two Republican Guard facilities in Baghdad. Iraq's action called into question its commitment to the full implementation of Council resolutions. While he appreciated the sovereign and national security concerns of the Iraqi Government, it was important that it comply with Council resolutions. Such compliance did not violate Iraq's sovereign rights. An overly sensitive position on sovereignty was not in Iraq's long-term interest.

The recent Iraqi actions created a gap between its declared intentions and their translation into concrete action, he said. It was hoped that Iraq would cooperate with the Commission so that the relevant Council resolutions would be speedily implemented.

The Council President, NABIL EL-ARABI (Egypt), speaking as his country's representative, said adoption of today's resolution highlighted the need for Iraq to implement fully all relevant Council resolutions. It also expressed the right of the Special Commission's inspection teams to inspect the sites and complete its tasks, as stated in the relevant resolutions, particularly resolution 687 (1991). Egypt supported the efforts of the Special Commission and of Mr. Ekeus, whose latest report stated that Iraq had made progress in dismantling and eliminating its weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's compliance with the Council's resolutions was the only way to ensure that the sanctions against it would be lifted and the suffering of its people ended.

He welcomed the implementation of resolution 986 (1995), which permitted the sale of some Iraqi oil in exchange for badly needed food and medicine. Progress must be made in implementing all relevant Council resolutions so that all the sanctions might be lifted. Such implementation would neither undermine Iraq's sovereignty nor jeopardize its national security.

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For information media. Not an official record.