SECURITY COUNCIL EXPRESSES INTENTION OF RESTRICTING IRAQI OFFICIALS' TRAVEL IF IRAQ PREVENTS ACCESS TO SITES AND INDIVIDUALS BY UN SPECIAL COMMISSION
SECURITY COUNCIL EXPRESSES INTENTION OF RESTRICTING IRAQI OFFICIALS' TRAVEL IF IRAQ PREVENTS ACCESS TO SITES AND INDIVIDUALS BY UN SPECIAL COMMISSION
SECURITY COUNCIL EXPRESSES INTENTION OF RESTRICTING IRAQI OFFICIALS' TRAVEL IF IRAQ PREVENTS ACCESS TO SITES AND INDIVIDUALS BY UN SPECIAL COMMISSION19971023
The Security Council this afternoon expressed its firm intention to restrict the travel of Iraqi officials if the United Nations Special Commission reports that it is not allowed unrestricted access to sites and individuals designated by it as necessary to its investigations in Iraq. The Council would also act if the Executive Chairman does not advise it by April 1998 that Iraq is allowing such access, as demanded by resolution 1115 (1997).
According to the resolution -- which was adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter -- those restrictions would oblige all States to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of all Iraqi officials and members of the Iraqi armed forces who were responsible for or participated in instances of non-compliance with relevant Council resolutions.
That action was taken by the Council's adoption of resolution 1134 (1997), by a vote of 10 in favour to none against, with 5 abstentions (China, Egypt, France, Kenya, Russian Federation).
Also by the resolution, the Council decided to designate individuals whose entry or transit would be prevented upon implementation of the travel ban.
The Council condemned the repeated refusal of the Iraqi authorities to allow access to designated sites, and especially Iraqi actions endangering the safety, as well as interfering with the freedom of movement of Special Commission personnel, and the removal and destruction of documents of interest to the Special Commission. The United Nations Special Commission was set up under Security Council resolution 687 (1991) in connection with the disposal of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
The Council demanded that Iraq cooperate fully with the Special Commission and, in particular, that it allow Commission inspection teams immediate and unrestricted access to all areas or persons necessary for the full discharge of the Commission's mandate.
__________ * Revised to clarify terms of Council resolution in headline and first two paragraphs.
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Reaffirming its determinations to ensure Iraq's compliance with all relevant Council resolutions, and in particular to allow the Special Commission and its inspection teams to conduct both fixed wing and helicopter flights throughout Iraq without interference and to make use of their own aircraft and such airfields in Iraq as they deemed appropriate, the Council requested that all future consolidated Commission reports include an annex evaluating Iraq's compliance with Council demands.
In that context, the Council decided not to review its economic and military sanctions against Iraq until after the Commission's next report, due on 11 April, after which the reviews will resume beginning on 26 April 1998.
Statements were made by the representatives of the United Kingdom, Egypt, Portugal, Sweden, Poland, Kenya, China, Japan, Russian Federation, France and the United States.
The meeting, which was called to order at 4:28 p.m., was adjourned at 5:40 p.m.
Report of Executive Chairman of Special Commission
As the Security Council met this afternoon, it had before it the fourth report of the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission (UNSCOM) (document S/1997/774, of 6 October).
The Commission was established by Council resolution 687 (1991) to inspect Iraq's biological, chemical and missile capabilities and to destroy, remove or render harmless chemical and biological weapons, as well as all ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres. The report describes in detail the status of the process of the elimination of proscribed weapons and addresses the status of the system of ongoing monitoring and verification.
According to the newly appointed Executive Chairman of the Commission, Richard Butler, proscribed materials and documents remain in Iraq, and there have been highly coordinated actions to mislead the Commission as to their existence and whereabouts. The Executive Chairman says the Council must insist that Iraq meet its obligation to disclose fully all of its prohibited weapons and associated programmes.
Of most serious concern, he says, is that Iraq has increasingly failed to allow the Commission complete, unimpeded access to any relevant site or person. In more recent times, it has sought both to exclude Commission representatives altogether from certain sites and to define new categories of often very large sites from which the Commission inspectors would be forbidden. Such actions continued to prevent the Commission from obtaining a full and verifiable picture of Iraq's holdings of and programmes for proscribed weapons of mass destruction. "There is no substitute for this whole truth", the Executive Chairman declares. The Council must reaffirm and demand that Iraq give the Commission full access to sites and persons it needs to verify Iraq's compliance with the relevant decisions of the Council.
The report says that when official declarations have been late and/or incomplete, the Commission has had to conduct its own forensic work. Iraq has often objected to, and in many cases sought to prevent, such forensic work.
While there has been significant progress in accounting for missiles and chemical weapons, the Commission stresses that the area of biological weapons is "unredeemed by progress or any approximation of the known facts of Iraq's programme". The report expresses incomprehension as to why Iraq persists in both refusing to make the facts known about its biological weapons programme and why it insists on blocking the Commission's efforts to reach those facts.
Annexed to the report is an evaluation of Iraq's compliance with Council demands under resolution 1115 (1997) that Iraq cooperate fully with the Commission and that it allow the Commission's inspection teams immediate,
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unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transportation which they wished to inspect in accordance with their mandate; and to officials and other persons under the authority of the Government whom the Commission wishes to interview. Under that resolution, the Council warned that unless Iraq complied with Council demands, it intended to impose additional measures on those categories of Iraqi officials responsible for the non-compliance.
The report states that there were three occasions after the adoption of resolution 1115 (1997) where access to sites designated for inspection by the Commission was denied by Iraq. With respect to interviews, there were instances, prior to the adoption of the resolution, where nearly all persons requested for interviews were not provided. After the adoption of the resolution, the situation improved, although, in some cases, persons requested for interview were provided but not on a timely basis, thus impugning the credibility of the interview.
Iraq's actions have included delay in granting access to designated inspection sites, concealment and destruction of documents, efforts to conceal ongoing activities at sites under monitoring by the Commission, and delays in the provision of Iraqi counterparts, the report states. Those events have each either invalidated the site inspection or have cast serious doubt about the issues or sites in question. The report describes events on 13 September when a Commission investigator was manhandled on board the Commission's helicopter while attempting to photograph unauthorized movement of Iraqi vehicles inside a site designated for inspection. In an additional violation, the Iraqi counterpart did not freeze movement inside the site following the arrival of the inspection team.
During his visits to Baghdad, the Executive Chairman proposed that, in order to avoid the lengthy journey from Habbaiya airbase to Baghdad, both on the arrival and departure of inspection teams, the Commission should land its fixed-wing aircraft at Rasheed airbase. He also indicated that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) wished to fly the Commission's fixed-wing aircraft to Basrah International Airport to enable it to conduct an inspection in that area. Both requests were denied, thus putting Iraq in direct violation of Council resolutions and decisions.
On the other hand, the report states that, during the period under review, the majority of inspections were conducted in Iraq without hindrance. Progress has also been recorded in the substantive areas of the Commission's mandate, in particular, proscribed long-range missiles and the destruction of chemical weapons-related equipment and materials. Moreover, the atmosphere in which consultations were conducted have improved. A number of problems have been resolved through direct contacts between the Executive Chairman and the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq.
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Annex II of the report refers to findings of the international panel of experts on Iraq's full, final and complete disclosure of its proscribed biological weapons programme. The report states that the latest disclosure, presented by Iraq on 11 September, was "incomplete and contained significant inaccuracies". While it is clearer than its predecessors, it does not reveal the full extent of Iraq's engagement in biological weapons.
Text of Draft Resolution
The Council also has before it a draft resolution (document S/1997/816) -- sponsored by Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States -- 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, 715 (1991) of 11 October 1991, 1060 (1996) of 12 June 1996, and 1115 (1997) of 21 June 1997,
"Having considered the report of the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission dated 6 October 1997 (S/1997/774),
"Expressing grave concern at the report of additional incidents since the adoption of resolution 1115 (1997) in which access by the Special Commission inspection teams to sites in Iraq designated for inspection by the Commission was again denied by the Iraqi authorities,
"Stressing the unacceptability of any attempts by Iraq to deny access to such sites,
"Taking note of the progress nevertheless achieved by the Special Commission, as set out in the report of the Executive Chairman, towards the elimination of Iraq's programme of weapons of mass destruction,
"Reaffirming its determination to ensure full compliance by Iraq with all its obligations under all previous relevant resolutions and reiterating its demand that Iraq allow immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to the Special Commission to any site which the Commission wishes to inspect, and in particular allow the Special Commission and its inspection teams to conduct both fixed wing and helicopter flights throughout Iraq for all relevant purposes, including inspection, surveillance, aerial surveys, transportation and logistics without interferences of any kind and upon such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Special Commission, and to make use of their own aircraft and such airfields in Iraq as they may determine are most appropriate for the work of the Commission,
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"Recalling that resolution 1115 (1997) expresses the Council's firm intention, unless the Special Commission has advised the Council that Iraq is in substantial compliance with paragraphs 2 and 3 of that resolution, to impose additional measures on those categories of Iraqi officials responsible for the non-compliance,
"Reiterating the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Kuwait and Iraq,
"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
"1. Condemns the repeated refusal of the Iraqi authorities, as detailed in the report of the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission, to allow access to sites designated by the Special Commission, and especially Iraqi actions endangering the safety of Special Commission personnel, the removal and destruction of documents of interest to the Special Commission and interference with the freedom of movement of Special Commission personnel;
"2. Decides that such refusals to cooperate constitute a flagrant violation of Security Council resolutions 687 (1991), 707 (1991), 715 (1991) and 1060 (1996), and notes that the Special Commission in the report of the Executive Chairman was unable to advise that Iraq was in substantial compliance with paragraphs 2 and 3 of resolution 1115 (1997);
"3. Demands that Iraq cooperate fully with the Special Commission in accordance with the relevant resolutions, which constitute the governing standard of Iraqi compliance;
"4. Demands in particular that Iraq without delay 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 in accordance with the mandate of the Special Commission, as well as to officials and other persons under the authority of the Iraqi Government whom the Special Commission wishes to interview so that the Special Commission may fully discharge its mandate;
"5. Requests the Chairman of the Special Commission to include in all future consolidated progress reports prepared under resolution 1051 (1996) an annex evaluating Iraq's compliance with paragraphs 2 and 3 of resolution 1115 (1997);
"6. Expresses the firm intention -- if the Special Commission reports that Iraq is not in compliance with paragraphs 2 and 3 of resolution 1115 (1997) or if the Special Commission does not advise the Council in the report of the Executive Chairman due on 11 April 1998 that Iraq is in compliance with paragraphs 2 and 3 of resolution 1115 (1997) -- to adopt measures which would oblige all States to prevent without delay the entry into or transit through
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their territories of all Iraqi officials and members of the Iraqi armed forces who are responsible for or participate in instances of non-compliance with paragraphs 2 and 3 of resolution 1115 (1997), provided that the entry of a person into a particular State on a specified date may be authorized by the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990), and provided that nothing in this paragraph shall oblige a State to refuse entry into its own territory to its own nationals or persons carrying out bona fide diplomatic assignments or missions;
"7. Decides further, on the basis of all incidents related to the implementation of paragraphs 2 and 3 of resolution 1115 (1997), to begin to designate, in consultation with the Special Commission, individuals whose entry or transit would be prevented upon implementation of the measures set out in paragraph 6 above;
"8. Decides not to conduct the reviews provided for in paragraphs 21 and 28 of resolution 687 (1991) until after the next consolidated progress report of the Special Commission, due on 11 April 1998, after which those reviews will resume in accordance with resolution 687 (1991), beginning on 26 April 1998;
"9. Reaffirms its full support for the authority of the Special Commission under its Executive Chairman to ensure the implementation of its mandate under the relevant resolutions of the Council;
"10. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
Sir JOHN WESTON (United Kingdom) said the resolution before the Council, co-sponsored by the United Kingdom and eight other members of the Council, was in direct response to continued Iraqi obstruction of the work of the Special Commission as it attempted to execute the mandate given it by the Council. The Iraqi actions were also in contravention to Security Council resolution 1115 (1997) of 21 June, by which the Council stated its firm intention to impose additional measures on those Iraqi officials responsible for non- cooperation with the Commission. The incidents reported to the Council by the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission showed that the Iraqi regime had chosen to ignore that warning.
The co-sponsors of the draft believed that the Council should react robustly to continued Iraqi flouting of Security Council resolutions, he said. Co-sponsors also believed that the draft resolution on which the Council was about to vote was a reasonable, proportionate and focused response to the repeated Iraqi failures. It contained a firm decision which built on and developed the intentions to impose additional measures. It spelt out those measures, while generously providing a further opportunity over the next six
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months for Iraq to demonstrate its goodwill. The terms of the resolution also postponed any further sanctions reviews until next April, because Iraq's obstruction had made it impossible for the Special Commission to complete its work.
The Executive Chairman, in reporting to the Council, had been unable to advise the Council that Iraq was in substantial compliance with the demands made by it in resolution 1115, he said. The co-sponsors of the resolution believed that incidents reported to the Council provided adequate justification to move forward from the decision taken in June. His Government would regret if a few Council members, for whatever reasons, were unable to subscribe to that view. While efforts had been made to accommodate all members, the United Kingdom was not willing to compromise the underlying purpose of the resolution or the Council's responsibility in order to appease Iraq.
He noted that spokesmen for Iraq had unwisely tried to threaten and intimidate the United Nations in recent days. The Council would not be deflected from its course by unacceptable Iraqi attempts at blackmail. The United Kingdom was determined to ensure that Iraq comply fully with the decision of the international community that Iraq should give up its weapons of mass destruction and any ambitions to retain or acquire them. That objective could only be achieved if Saddam Hussein took the political decision to cooperate fully with the Special Commission.
Until and unless Iraq cooperated with the Special Commission and told the whole truth about its illegal weapons of mass destruction programmes, there could be no prospect of the Council considering whether the demands made by it had been met, he said. The reviews for that purpose remained in suspension. That, however, was not a sanctions review.
NABIL A. ELARABY (Egypt) said he had listened with keen interest the assessment of the Director-General of the IAEA, who had pointed out that it was advisable to ensure greater cooperation by the Iraqi Government. The Special Commission had confirmed in its report that it had enjoyed some success with regard to disarmament activities in Iraq.
He said there were certain issues he would like to have included in the draft resolution. Despite some of the negative aspects brought out in the report, there were positive developments that should have been taken into account by the draft resolution, including the achievements of both the Commission and the Agency. In the end, it was the Council which must make the right decision based on the reports. Moreover, the Council should define the end goal of the two bodies.
There must be agreement on the degree to which Iraq was fulfilling its obligations, he said. The difference between the Commission and the Government of Iraq on the manner of implementing Council resolutions needed to
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be resolved. The Special Commission should also cooperate to ensure clear-cut modalities so that it could discharge its responsibilities fully. At the same time, Iraq must discharge its responsibilities so that non-compliance was minimal. It must be determined objectively whether the dispute between Iraq and the Special Commission could be really construed as non-compliance.
He said he was opposed to any additional sanctions. Any measures in the draft should not be applied retroactively, but based on the date of the report that indicated that Iraq was not in compliance with Council resolutions. The Council should have defined clear modalities as to the implementation of its resolutions. He opposed any measures which might increase tension in the region, calling for a climate of calm and mutual respect. He stressed the importance of settling questions concerning war prisoners and Kuwaiti archives.
He had asked that the constructive dialogue be continued in good faith regarding the draft before the Council. The co-sponsors, however, had insisted on putting it to a vote without taking into consideration the proposals put before the Council today. For those reasons, he would abstain on the draft.
ANTONIO MONTEIRO (Portugal) said the Council must be consistent in its decision. It must take a firm stand and give a clear signal that it would not tolerate further incidents that prevented the Special Commission from carrying out its mission. Iraq's refusal to grant access to the Commission was unacceptable. Nothing less than full cooperation would enable it to fulfil its mission.
The Council would give the Special Commission the latitude necessary to achieve its goals, he said. The draft resolution was the most appropriate response to the current situation. Iraq must cooperate so that sanctions would finally be lifted.
HANS DAHLGREN (Sweden) said Iraq must cooperate fully with the Special Commission, but it had fragrantly and repeatedly violated its obligations under relevant resolutions. Such violations were unacceptable and warranted a firm response by the Council. The draft resolution before the Council would target only those individuals that prevented the Special Commission from access to sites it wished to inspect or from conducting interviews in order to fulfil its task. Innocent Iraqi citizens would not be affected.
He said that full cooperation with the Commission and implementation of the relevant resolutions was the only way forward in order for the sanctions to be lifted. He supported the draft resolution, stating that its adoption would send a message which should be clearly understood by the Government of Iraq.
ZBIGNIEW MATUSZEWSKI (Poland) said he wished to express Poland's concern at the additional incidents since the adoption of resolution 1115 (1997), in which the Iraqi authorities had effectively denied to the Special Commission
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access to sites designated for inspection or otherwise interfered in the operations of the Special Commission.
Poland would welcome the speediest possible lifting of sanctions imposed on Iraq, he said. However, it believed that Iraq should be reminded that its cooperation with the Special Commission was one of the basic conditions which must be fulfilled for the process of lifting of sanctions to begin. The present resolution clearly conveyed that message. It also sent an appropriately strong signal, stronger than the one contained in the June resolution, that the Council was committed to ensuring that the Special Commission completed its mandate.
Poland hoped that the resolution before the Council would have its intended effect, and the Iraqi authorities would at last desist from actions which prevented the Commission from carrying out its responsibilities, he said. Poland was concerned that such actions could only contribute to a regrettable delay in the fulfilment of the Special Commission's mandate, with all its detrimental consequences to the Iraqi people.
For those reasons, Poland had co-sponsored the draft resolution before the Council, he concluded.
KIPKORIR ALY AZAD RANA (Kenya) said the goal of the international community remained to ensure that the process of disarming Iraq continue unhindered until all threats that country posed or could pose in future were removed. Kenya was encouraged by the fact that, in most part, the reports of the Special Commission and the IAEA indicated that significant progress had been made on several fronts and particularly in the missile and chemical weapons areas. Kenya would like to see the cooperation registered between the Government of Iraq and the Special Commission further enhanced to allow it to carry out its mandate in full. Kenya believed sending a strong message while acknowledging progress made, however insignificant, were not mutually exclusive.
The Special Commission's report, on the one hand, points to some issues that justifiably needed the attention of the Council, he said. Chief among those was the biological weapons programme, in which there had been almost no progress recorded. The other important issue was, of course, that of the methods of work. Here, the Special Commission had experienced difficulties in both the disclosure and the verification phases. Incidents of Iraq's denial of access to certain sites continued to concern Kenya. He insisted that all such hindrances be removed by the Government to enable the Special Commission to perform its functions. The report also stated that, in the overall context of the Commission's work, inspections had been conducted without hindrance.
The draft before the Council took on board some of the issues Kenya referred to above, he said. However, it did not clearly portray the balance
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and tone of the reports in question, and it was for those reasons that Kenya would abstain.
LIU JIEYI (China) said the sovereignty and independence of Iraq should be respected. The agreement between the Special Commission and Iraq signed last year should be implemented. The Special Commission had made much progress towards achieving its mandate. The difficulties which had been encountered were regrettable.
The Special Commission would consult with Iraq about those difficulties, and it was hoped that they would be resolved in that way, he said. China was not in favour of the application of sanctions as a threat or of applying them indiscriminately. To solve existing problems, cooperation must be enhanced, instead of complicating the situation by applying sanctions. The decision in the draft resolution was not conducive to solving current problems. During consultations, many delegations had proposed amendments, but they had not been accepted. For those reasons, China would abstain from the vote.
HISASHI OWADA (Japan) said the report of the Special Commission made it clear that there had been a series of actions of non-cooperation and non- compliance by Iraq with resolution 1115 (1997). The Council must make its determination clear and insist that Iraq allow immediate and unconditional access to any site the Special Commission wished to inspect.
At the time of the adoption of resolution 1115, what was at issue was the question of how to prevent the accumulation of weapons of mass destruction, he said. The international community must demonstrate a position of principle. There was a limit to which deference to all points of view could be taken. He supported the direction of the Council in adopting the draft resolution. He hoped Iraq would review its position and cooperate with the Special Commission so that it could exercise all its rights in the fulfillment of its mandate. Japan was co-sponsoring the draft resolution, he added.
SERGEY V. LAVROV (Russian Federation) said his Government remained committed to Iraq's compliance with its obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions. Also, the Russian Federation was committed to supporting the work of the Special Commission. The Commission and the IAEA had produced comprehensive reports on the significant work done to fill in blank spaces in the Iraqi disarmament dossier. The report of the Special Commission had noted significant and important progress, particularly in the missile and chemical weapons area. The IAEA report was also in a positive format.
However, Iraq had not accounted for all the weapon components and capacities proscribed by the Security Council, he said. A number of questions remained in the biological sphere. There were certain problems regarding Iraqi cooperation with the Special Commission in carrying out inspections.
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Nonetheless, isolated incidents concerning inspections which had taken place in the last few months could not justify an immediate adoption of additional sanctions against Iraq provided for in resolution 1115. On the other hand, the Russian Federation was proceeding from the presumption that the problems remaining in the "UNSCOM-Baghdad relationship" deserved serious attention from the Council and that the problems must be settled in an urgent manner.
The Russian Federation had been active in the preparation of a Council draft resolution suggesting an objective and comprehensive response to the reports of the Special Commission and the IAEA, he continued. The draft which had been submitted to the Council for consideration today took into account a number of observations made by the Russian Federation, as well as other Council members. In particular, it noted the progress made by the Special Commission in the elimination of the Iraqi programme of weapons of mass destruction and it provided that the introduction of sanctions was put off.
At the same time, he continued, there was an obvious lack of balance in the draft. Various substantial elements of the Iraqi fulfilment of obligations had been ignored. The Russian Federation could not understand why the draft resolution contained no mention of the IAEA report which had noted significant progress in the nuclear sphere, an area where the Iraqi dossier could in fact be viewed as closed. The co-sponsors' refusal to refer to the IAEA report in the draft had raised serious questions and was unacceptable to the Russian Federation.
A substantive problem had arisen in regard to operative paragraph 7, a part of which had been added to the draft by its co-sponsors just last night, he said. The proposed new concept of a "black list" was faulty, both legally and logically. Therefore, it could not be acceptable. List of persons subject to sanctions should not be drawn up when the Council had not decided whether sanctions would be imposed or not. Though some believed that the Council was its own master with enough power to introduce legal norms, the Russian Federation was positive that the Council should be guided by universally recognized norms of international law.
In order to search for mutually acceptable solutions, the Russian Federation had cooperated in a constructive manner with the co-sponsors throughout the course of the drafting, he said. The Russian Federation was ready to continue the work on the draft to render it more balanced and acceptable to all the Council members, since it was important for the Council to have "one voice". The draft co-sponsors, unfortunately, had not been ready for further work. Taking all those issues into account, the Russian Federation was forced to abstain during the vote.
The draft resolution was adopted by 10 votes in favour to none against, with 5 abstentions (China, Egypt, France, Kenya, Russian Federation), as resolution 1134 (1997).
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Speaking after the vote, ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said his Government was committed to achieving Iraq's compliance with its obligations under Council resolutions. France wished to reach that goal by strengthening the work of the Special Commission and to see to it that Iraqi cooperation with the Commission would yield results as soon as possible. The Special Commission's report had included some positive information on progress made. The report also did not ask for the application of additional sanctions immediately.
France had abstained from the vote on the merits inherent in the text, he said. It had also chosen to abstain due to the fact that the Executive Chairman had appealed to the Council that it offer a unified response. Nonetheless, the resolution gave some erroneous idea that additional sanctions had already been applied by the Council. Regrettable wording had been retained in the draft which allowed for that misconception. France regretted that changes had not been made which could have removed the ambiguities of that wording. France would have also liked to see encouragement voiced to the Special Commission to work with Iraq to improve cooperation. It regretted that a number of amendments which would have improved the text had not been followed up on. That final effort would have enabled the Council to better achieve unity and better support the Special Commission.
BILL RICHARDSON (United States) said he was amazed that after six and a half years, the Council must still consider new approaches to convince Iraq to comply with its international obligations. Only one party was responsible for the current sad state of affairs -- the Baghdad regime. Following the reports of Special Commission's inspectors, Iraq first attacked the credibility of the Special Commission and questioned its judgement. When that did not work, Iraq resorted to "bullying, burning and blackmailing".
The Special Commission operated as an arm of the Council, he said. When Baghdad challenged the Commission, it challenged the Council. The Council had again made it clear that it would brook no such challenges. If Iraq still did not understand that basic fact, then the Council must once again consider new mechanisms to make it understand.
He said that some in the Council had suggested that the Council ought to reward Iraq because it was, in their view, cooperating with the Special Commission to a greater degree. But "compliance with international obligations was not a voluntary act", he said. Either Iraq was in compliance or it was not. The Special Commission could not complete its task because Iraq would not cooperate. There was no way to determine with any degree of confidence whether Iraq still had the capacity to construct and deploy prohibited missiles. In addition, Iraq was still lying directly to the Special Commission about its production of chemical weapons, and there had been no progress regarding information concerning biological weapons.
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It was now known that Iraq had lied and concealed an active weaponization programme for years, he said. That Government had lied about its programme for too long and too recently for the Council to settle for anything less than absolute certainty that Iraq's nuclear ambitions had been completely neutralized. "When accounting for nuclear weapons, close is not good enough", he said. If Iraq failed to account for one nuclear device, that could mean the destruction of an entire city.
Baghdad had a clear choice, he said. It could comply with its obligations, thus opening the way to lifting sanctions, or it could continue along the path of non-compliance. It could not do both. The resolution did not propose broad-based sanctions that would cause hardship for the Iraqi people. "Our goal remains to help the people of Iraq", he said. But it must also always be to help protect all the peoples of the region, especially the people of Kuwait. For Iraq to join the international family of respectable nations, it must begin demonstrating its peaceful intentions and fully complying with all relevant resolutions of the Council. He regretted that some Council members had chosen not to support the resolution. The resolution, however, carried the weight of international law, he concluded.
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