Resumed 4336th Meeting (PM)
IRAQ CLAIMS FULL COMPLIANCE WITH SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS;
FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER SAYS ALL OBLIGATIONS MET
Other Speakers, Challenging Assertion, Say Suffering
Of Iraqi People, Though Regrettable, Is Fault of Government
Iraq had implemented all obligations imposed on it by the relevant Security Council resolutions, the Under Secretary-General of Foreign Affairs of Iraq told the Council this afternoon when it met to resume its meeting -- suspended since Tuesday evening -- on the situation between Iraq and Kuwait.
During the course of a two-hour presentation, he said Iraq had recognized Kuwait’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, its independence and its borders. It had returned all Kuwaiti property that could be found, and had returned all prisoners of war. It had also condemned all forms of international terrorism. Iraq had been confronted with all forms of unusual measures, including changing the rule and scope of work and changing the conditions which the Council’s resolution 687 (1991) had imposed on it.
On the question of reparations, he said the Council had, contrary to international law, established mechanisms marked by a punitive nature. The Reparation Committee had awarded compensation higher than the claimant had claimed, and had, in numerous cases, paid claimants twice for the same claim. Addressing the matter of disarmament, he said the purpose of the United States and the United Kingdom was clear: to perpetuate the blockade on Iraq despite that country’s efforts to implement its obligations. Disarmament could not take place in a vacuum. Unless the Council took all necessary measures to destroy the weapons of mass destruction of Israel, the Council would remain in a position that ran counter to the United Nations Charter.
The representative of Yemen said the situation would not be resolved until the blockade against Iraq was lifted. The Gulf crisis had become history -- but Iraq continued to live the tragedy daily. Hundreds of thousands of children had been felled by disease and an entire generation had become victims of the embargo. All sectors of State and society had been affected and the country’s infrastructure had withered away. He called for the embargo to be lifted, to put an end to the suffering of the Iraqi people.
The representative of Syria said the continuation of sanctions would lead to serious repercussions for the unity of Iraq and the stability of the region, as well as to an unforeseeable environmental situation. While noting his country’s role in the liberation of Kuwait, and its continued efforts to support that State,
he said Syria was not satisfied with sanctions on Iraq; they were ineffective and harmful to international relations.
The representative of Bahrain said it was not natural for the countries in the region to live in a state “see-sawing” between peace and war. He called for constructive and genuine cooperation between the Council and Iraq. To that end, Iraq must comply with the relevant resolutions and the Council must in turn be prepared to lift the sanctions on Iraq when the conditions were met.
India’s representative said the sanctions had caused acute economic and financial hardship to other countries in the region, his own among them. His country had a vital interest in the peace and prosperity of the Gulf, which was part of its neighborhood. It had therefore supported every initiative to defuse the crisis over Iraq, and believed it would help promote the security and stability of the region if Iraq was brought back into the mainstream of regional and international affairs. He saw the need to develop fresh ideas and new mechanisms to serve the purpose of the United Nations, and hoped the Council would act urgently to end the long nightmare of the people of Iraq.
The representative of Germany said his country was determined to see improvement in the humanitarian situation in Iraq, but stressed that it was the sole responsibility of the Iraqi Government to do so. The best solution would be the lifting of sanctions, but only after full compliance by Iraq with all Council resolutions. Unfortunately, the international community was still far away from being able to take that step. Nobody in Germany wanted to see the Iraqi population suffer unnecessarily, but as long as Iraq did not comply the question would not be lifting the sanctions but how to improve the sanctions regime by making it more targeted towards achieving their objectives. A more transparent, practical and targeted system could be established, he believed.
Statements were also made by the representatives of Libya, Japan, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Canada and Thailand.
The Observer for the League of Arab States also spoke.
The meeting, which was resumed at 3:16 p.m., was adjourned at 7:15 p.m.
The Security Council met this afternoon to resume its consideration of the situation between Iraq and Kuwait in response to a letter dated 15 June from the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Council (document A/2001/597). The meeting was suspended on 26 June.
In his letter, the representative of the Russian Federation asked that the Council convene this week to consider ways of improving the humanitarian situation in Iraq related to the negative effect of the sanctions on the population of that country, and also ways of implementing all the Council resolutions on Iraq and a post-conflict settlement in the Gulf region.
On 1 June, the Council adopted resolution 1352 (2001), deciding to extend the provisions of resolution 1330 (2000) until 3 July. [Resolution 1330 (2000), unanimously adopted on 5 December 2000, extended the Iraq “oil-for-food” programme for a period of 180 days from 6 December 2000.]
By the terms of resolution 1352 (2001), which was unanimously adopted, the Council expressed its intention to consider new arrangements for the sale or supply of commodities and products to Iraq, and for the facilitation of civilian trade and economic cooperation with Iraq in civilian sectors.
That intention is based on the principle that the new arrangements will significantly improve the flow of commodities and products to Iraq, other than those mentioned in paragraph 24 of resolution 687 (1991). Items to which that text refers include arms and related materiel of all types, chemical and biological weapons, and ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres. Those items are also subject to review by the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) on the proposed sale or supply to Iraq of commodities and products on a Goods Review List to be elaborated by the Council.
According to the text, such new arrangements will improve the controls to prevent the sale or supply of items prohibited or unauthorized by the Council. They will also prevent the flow of revenues to Iraq from the export of petroleum and related products outside the escrow account established by resolution 986 (1995).
Further by the text, the Council also expressed its intention to adopt and implement such new arrangements, and provisions on various related issues under discussion, for a period of 190 days beginning 4 July 2001.
Other relevant resolutions are: 669 (1990), 986 (1995), 1153 (1998), 1284 (1999), 1293 (2000) and 1302 (2000).
The Council also received a letter from the Permanent Representative of Iraq (document S/2001/603) in which he transmitted a letter dated 17 June from Tariq Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq. The Minister expressed the hope that attempts will be opposed to use the extension of the humanitarian programme as a facade for securing the adoption of the United States and United Kingdom schemes that seek to strengthen the embargo imposed on Iraq under the cover of the oil-for-food programme. He states that Iraq will have nothing to do with any resolution adopted by the Council that incorporates the provisions of the United States and United Kingdom draft, regardless of which country sponsors it.
ISA AYAD BABAA (Libya) said that on principle his country opposed sanctions. They must be the last resort of the Council, and take place only when peace was threatened or aggression took place, and they should be lifted immediately the reasons for them were resolved. They ran counter to human rights and affected the most vulnerable in society. Sanctions by the Council could not be used to achieve the interest of a State or group of States to overthrow a government or punish a State.
The authority to impose sanctions and the right of veto had led to the provisions of the Charter being ignored. Sanctions must be a collective resolution, enjoying the agreement of all Member States. He drew attention to the dispersal of the Palestinian people, and the use of a new means of apartheid in the region, based on occupation, settlement and siege. It was strange that the State providing the Tel Aviv regime with arms, and which was in possession of weapons of mass destruction, was the same State insisting on sanctions against Iraq, in addition to continuing military attacks without the mandate of the Council. The Council had not taken up those violations.
Calling on Iraq to cooperate with the United Nations was an empty pretext. Iraq had largely cooperated, but sanctions had not been lifted. The Iraq situation brought to mind sanctions imposed against Libya. Despite a near-unanimity that Libya had cooperated, sanctions had not been lifted. The Council must regain credibility by abiding by its own resolutions. Trying to amend the sanctions was an attempt to perpetuate them. The sanctions should be lifted immediately.
YUKIO SATOH (Japan) said the current impasse in the Gulf was a source of profound concern, with the stability of the Middle East at stake along with the credibility of international efforts for the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Japan was a strong advocate of those efforts. At the same time, there was a need to make adjustments to the current sanctions regime, in order to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people while retaining the objectives of the Council’s resolutions. In this context, Japan supported modifying the regime in line with resolution 1352. In formulating the specifics of that new regime, interested States in the region should be consulted.
Japan, he said, had retained bilateral diplomatic relations with Iraq throughout the past decade and had continuously sought to persuade its Government to implement relevant resolutions and cooperate with the United Nations, in particular its Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). He once again called for such cooperation and hoped that the dialogue between Iraq and the United Nations would be maintained. He also urged all members of the Council to work together to resolve the situation. Unless the Council spoke with one voice, prospects for breaking the impasse would not improve. He looked forward to the day when Iraq could normalize its relations with the international community by implementing the requisite resolutions, and hoped it would happen without further delay.
UMIT PAMIR (Turkey) said his country was deeply distressed by the ongoing sufferings of the Iraqi people under prevailing conditions. The current negotiations among the Council membership should aim to eliminate stumbling blocks hindering the Iraqi people's access to all civilian goods. Similarly, the distance between the Council and Iraq should be bridged in such a manner as to bring them within the range of cooperation on monitoring and verification issues relating to the Council’s resolution 687 (1991).
He said Turkey could not over-emphasize its longstanding concern over the development and deployment of weapons of mass destruction, and the means of their delivery, in the region. The fresh dialogue started last February between Iraq and the Secretary-General was heartening, and that momentum should be maintained. It was even more important that it continue in light of the ongoing drafting process in the Council. It seemed the resulting text would give the Secretary-General more discretion in executing the humanitarian programme.
He said the Council was faced with the critical need to alleviate the humanitarian situation in Iraq, and to relieve the bordering countries of the disproportionate economic and social burden they had shouldered for years. The idea should not be to make the present scope of trade with Iraq more restrictive, and the procedures more cumbersome, but rather to pave the way for more liberalized trade that would both guard the economic and commercial interests of neighbouring countries and draw Iraq's cooperation, which was essential to making the arrangements workable.
KAMALESH SHARMA (India) said India had always opposed sanctions that had a humanitarian impact. As External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh had said in Parliament, “the sanctions imposed on Iraq are unjust, unwise and detrimental to large numbers of Iraqi men, women and children”. His delegation had repeatedly called for the lifting of the sanctions in tandem with Iraq’s compliance with the relevant Council resolutions. Attempts to undermine Iraq’s territorial integrity could have unforeseen and destructive geopolitical implications for the region.
The sanctions had also caused acute economic and financial hardship to other countries, India among them, he said. Unfortunately, its request for relief under Article 50 was still pending with the Sanctions Committee. His country had a vital interest in the peace and prosperity of the Gulf, which was part of India’s neighborhood. It had, therefore, supported every initiative to defuse the crisis over Iraq, and believed it would help promote the security and stability of the region if Iraq was brought back into the mainstream of regional and international affairs. He saw the need to develop fresh ideas and new mechanisms to serve the purpose of the United Nations, and hoped the Council would act urgently to end the long nightmare of the people of Iraq.
PENNY WENSLEY (Australia) said her delegation remained committed to the full implementation of all Council resolutions on Iraq. It supported the two principles now guiding the Council’s approach set out in resolution 1352 (2001), namely to improve the flow of goods and commodities to Iraq while ensuring that military-related items were not exported. Australia welcomed the constructive proposals put forward in the draft resolution presented by the United Kingdom. Those proposals, based on the principles of resolution 1352, would make a significant difference in the flow of civilian goods to Iraq. If that draft were adopted, the situation would change from one where all imports to Iraq were prohibited, unless specifically allowed, to one where all imports were automatically allowed unless they were on the Goods Review List. Also by that proposed draft, even items that were on the list could be approved depending on their end use.
She said Australia was of the firm view that it was imperative for the States of the region to meet their international obligations. That was particularly true of Iraq’s obligations with regard to weapons of mass destruction, under relevant Security Council resolutions. Australia had bee concerned that the weapons verification and monitoring work mandated by the United Nations had not been carried out in Iraq. That situation had a destabilizing effect on the region as a whole.
She hoped that the Iraqi leadership would take necessary steps to fulfil its international obligations, and comply with all relevant Council resolutions. Her Government was deeply sympathetic to the plight of the Iraqi people. However, United Nations sanctions were not aimed at ordinary Iraqi citizens. Every effort had been made by the Organization and the international community to limit their impact on the Iraqi people. The draft resolution presented by the United Kingdom offered some positive direction in that regard.
DON MACKAY (New Zealand) said sanctions must be targeted for maximum effectiveness, and focused so as to minimize any harmful impact on the humanitarian needs of the civilian population concerned. The key to removing the need for any sanctions regime was in the hands of the Government of Iraq. He fully endorsed the Council’s efforts to secure Iraqi compliance with its obligations to disarm. Cooperation of the countries of the region was essential to make the proposed new arrangements workable and effective. The current sanctions regime against Iraq had been characterized by compliance problems. The successful implementation of the proposed changes in the sanctions regime would require the full cooperation of all Member States.
He said the commitment of the Council in resolution 1352 to bring about significant improvements in the flow of commodities and products to Iraq would be of benefit to the region as a whole. The restoration of normal trade was an important step in Iraq’s return to the modern world, and would also be of great benefit to the Iraq Government itself, should it choose to cooperate.
JASSIM MOHAMMED BUALLAY (Bahrain) said resolution 1284 (1999) had shown the Council’s willingness to further cooperate with Iraq, and had shown an easing of the effect of sanctions. The object of resolution 1284 had been to attain forward progress. Regrettably, the results had not been encouraging. There was no movement on the ground.
Why couldn’t the United Nations verify the status of the weapons of mass destruction in the country? he asked. Iraq stated that it held no Kuwaiti prisoners. Given the evidence, Bahrain found this hard to believe. To resolve the issue, Iraq had only to cooperate with the official appointed by the Secretary-General to look into that issue.
It was not natural for the countries in the region to live in a state of “see-sawing” between peace and war, he said. He called for a constructive and genuine cooperation between the Council and Iraq. To that end, Iraq must comply with the relevant resolutions and the Council must in turn be prepared to lift the sanctions on Iraq when the conditions were met.
DIETER KASTRUP (Germany) said it was regrettable that the Council must still discuss the sanctions regime more than 10 years after the war. Germany was determined to see improvement in the humanitarian situation in Iraq, but stressed that it was the sole responsibility of the Iraqi Government to bring it about. The best solution would be the lifting of sanctions, but only after full compliance with all Council resolutions. Unfortunately, the international community was still far away from being able to take that step. He had taken note of the Russian draft and had strong doubts that it would contribute to the urgently needed consensus.
The difficult humanitarian situation had given cause for concern for a long time, he said. The Council had repeatedly reacted to the situation, particularly though the inception of the oil-for-food programme. He recalled the repeated concern of the Secretary-General that Iraq was not using the existing mechanisms to their full potential. Nobody in Germany wanted to see the Iraqi population suffer unnecessarily. However, as long as Iraq did not comply, the question would not be lifting the sanctions but how to make sanctions more targeted towards achieving their objectives. A more transparent, practical and targeted system could be established, he believed.
DIRK JAN VAN DEN BERG (Netherlands) said his country still supported the clear objective of preventing renewed Iraqi aggression, as expressed in resolution 687. At the same time, the road to full rehabilitation of Iraq was equally clear. Iraq’s Government must comply with and implement the relevant Council resolutions. If it cooperated in all respects with UNMOVIC and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), according to resolution 1284 (1999), sanctions would be suspended.
Despite the attitude of the Government of Iraq, the Council must continue to do what it could to ease the plight of that country’s people. So far, Iraq had not cooperated and had even refused to cooperate on the issues of the missing persons and Kuwaiti property.
He was gratified that goods and products would be allowed into Iraq unless they were on the Goods Review List and there was a specific decision to block them. That new system would imply a trade-off between the length of the list and the manageability of the regime, just as it would be a trade-off between preventing the unwanted access of Iraq to military equipment and the fate of the Iraqi people. In dealing with those trade-offs, the guiding principle should be whether the new regime could work in practice.
The Council should also look into ideas concerning the maintenance and improvement of the Iraqi oil-production capacity. Proper repairs and development of the industry were needed to ensure sustainable and ecologically sound oil production over the years to come.
SERGIO VENTO (Italy) hoped that in the not-too-distant future the United Nations would be able to certify the conditions required for normalization of relations between Iraq and the international community. For the sanctions to be lifted it was essential that Iraq act in a spirit of cooperation, first of all by allowing the required inspections. It was urgent that there was a return to dialogue about prisoners-of-war and the return of property. Immediate, conciliatory gestures of Iraq were necessary.
He said one could not feel but compassion with the people of Iraq. Emergency measures were needed to stem the tide of epidemics and infant mortality. It was a matter of top priority that Iraq’s medical infrastructure be rehabilitated. The basic economic infrastructure must also be revitalized. Investments in civilian sectors were necessary, as was a gradual resumption of commercial flights to Iraq. The interest of neighbouring countries had to be taken into account in revising the sanctions regime.
Ten years was a long time in human and foreign relations, he said. It was in everybody’s interest to come to a settlement of the question of Iraq. He trusted that the Secretary-General could provide an ideal channel for dialogue, in order to help Iraq abide with the relevant Council resolutions.
ABDALLA SALEH AL-ASHTAL (Yemen) said the Gulf crisis had inflicted a deep wound which would not be overcome until, among other things, the issues of Kuwaiti property and prisoners, were addressed. However, the situation would not be resolved until the blockade against Iraq was lifted. The Gulf crisis had become history -- but Iraq continued to live the tragedy daily. Hundreds of thousands of children had been felled by disease and an entire generation had become victims of the embargo. All sectors of State and society had been affected and the country’s infrastructure had withered away.
He said the embargo affected other countries in the region as well, his own included. He noted that eight huge Iraqi ships had been moored in his country for 10 years, posing an environmental hazard. He called for the embargo to be lifted to put an end to the suffering of the Iraqi people. The continued embargo had no political justification.
MIKHAIL WEHBE (Syria) said his delegation was carefully following the deliberations of the Council on the sanctions imposed on Iraq. He was hopeful that current consultations would result in a definitive end to the suffering of millions of Iraqis who were suffering from the harshness of the embargo. He had been pleased to note increasing international concern for alleviating the suffering of the Iraqi people.
The continuation of sanctions would lead to serious repercussions for the unity of Iraq and the stability of the region, as well as an unforeseeable environmental situation, he said. Syria was strongly attached to the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq, and opposed any measures undertaken against that country taken outside the purview of United Nations resolutions.
He noted his country’s role in the liberation of Kuwait and its continued efforts to support that State. He underlined Syria’s respect for Kuwait’s territorial integrity and called for the return of missing Kuwaitis, within an agreed political and humanitarian framework. Syria was not satisfied with sanctions on Iraq in principle and had always called for their lifting, he noted; they were ineffective and harmful to international relations and had had a harmful effect on the Iraqi people and neighbouring States. There was a general Arab consensus against continued sanctions, he added. Any resolution calling for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction should be taken in the context of creating a Middle East free of such weapons.
INOCENCIO F. ARIAS (Spain) said the question of Iraq needed a political, diplomatic and comprehensive solution based on respect for international law, expressed in all United Nations resolutions since 1991, including resolution 1284 (1999), with which Iraq must comply as the only way to have the sanctions lifted and to normalize its role in with the international community. It was also necessary that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States in the region, including of Iraq, was guaranteed.
Consensus within the Council was crucial to achieve those objectives, he said. He supported an active role of the Secretary-General to continue the process of dialogue with Iraq begun in February. The humanitarian catastrophe must also be tackled. Therefore, the civilian economy of Iraq must be normalized as far as possible. Resolution 1352 (2000) therefore deserved support, as the effort to reactivate the economy, with the minimum number of restrictions regarding military equipment.
The region as a whole should be taken into account, specifically the difficult situation of neigbouring countries. The Goods Review List should be short, concise and clear, in order to prevent the current “holds”, which made it difficult to use the benefits for the Iraqi people who had suffered for 10 years.
PAUL HEINBECKER (Canada) said that for years critics had stressed that the sanctions were indifferent to the suffering of the Iraqi people. The sanctions regime indeed did have weaknesses. The current United Kingdom draft resolution, if adopted, could eliminate most of them. It would enable the Government of Iraq to respond more comprehensively to the needs of its people. Unfortunately, there had been no sign that the suffering of his own people had troubled Saddam Hussain. Nor had there been any evidence that he was now reconciled to living at peace with his neighbours. For that reason, most members agreed that constraints on Iraq’s freedom of action remained necessary.
On the humanitarian front, the draft moved closer to the objective of targeted sanctions, which should be the norm of future sanctions. He was disappointed that the recommendation of the Working Group on Sanctions had not yet seen the light of day. He understood the concerns of Iraq’s neighbours regarding the draft, particularly in light of Iraq’s threat to retaliate against any State that would cooperate with the implementation of that new approach. The divisions in the Council during the vote on resolution 1284 (1999) had encouraged Iraq’s intransigence. A united and resolute stand by the Council and the countries of the region now would send a clear message to Iraq that compliance with its obligations was the only solution.
He had been discouraged by some of the interventions. Article 24 of the Charter specified that members should act on behalf of the entire United Nations membership. The threat to veto the resolution on the basis of acknowledged national economic or political considerations not only damaged the Council’s credibility, but demonstrated once again the need to curtail that instrument.
KULKUMUT NA AYUDHAYA (Thailand) said the sanctions imposed on Iraq had brought about hardship for the Iraqi people. The suffering had gone on for a long time. While the existing humanitarian programme over the past four years had contributed to improving the living conditions for the average Iraqi, more could be done to alleviate their situation. To facilitate the eventual lifting of the sanctions, he hoped that Iraq would abide by the relevant Council resolutions.
HUSSEIN A. HASSOUNA, Observer for the League of Arab States, said today’s subject was extremely important and required great transparency and objectivity. The situation in Iraq had reached a stage requiring the international community to face it in an urgent and effective manner. Such a situation could not continue and it must be tackled on a priority basis, so that the suffering of the Iraqi people could be alleviated.
The time had come to find a solution, as had been declared by Arab leaders in Jordan in March, at which time they had called for the lifting of the sanctions and the tackling of such issues as missing persons and property, be they Iraqi or Kuwaiti. The Charter of the League of Arab States required respect for the independence and sovereignty, non-intervention and the non-threat of force, among others. Respect for Iraq’s sovereignty and that of Kuwait was therefore key. He called for an end to the sanctions against Iraq, while emphasizing the need to respect the sovereignty of both countries. The guarantee of Kuwait’s security and stability was crucial.
The time was perhaps now right for the Secretary-General to pursue his dialogue with the Iraqi Government, he said. Respect for international legitimacy also meant putting an end to all actions or measures violating the integrity and safety of Iraq, taking place outside the purview of the Council resolutions. The question of weapons of mass destruction should be seen within a regional context, including Israel, he added.
RIYADH AL-QAYSI, Under-Secretary-General of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, reaffirmed that the obligations imposed on Iraq were extremely harsh and had gone beyond the customary legal limits required to restore international peace and security. Iraq had implemented all obligations imposed on it by the relevant Council resolutions. It had recognized Kuwait’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, its independence and its borders. Iraq had also cooperated with the United Nations and implemented its commitments concerning deployment of United Nations observer units as well as all requirements regarding disarmament. Iraq had returned all Kuwaiti property that could be found and would return all property that would be found. Iraq had returned all prisoners of war and continued to fulfil its duty of investigating further missing persons. It had condemned all forms of international terrorism.
He said Iraq had been confronted with unusual measures, including changing the rule and scope of work and changing the conditions of resolution 687 imposed on Iraq. For example, the Council had involved itself in the border question between Iraq and Kuwait by imposing itself on the manner of demarcation. The Secretariat had been used as an instrument of pressure on the Demarcation Committee to attain the results sought by the United States and United Kingdom.
Regarding the question of reparations, he said the Council had acknowledged that international law was the sole criterion for paying reparations. However, the Council had established mechanisms marked by a punitive nature and based on administrative principles not providing for correct application of law. The Council, as a political body, had decided to replace the judicial function with an administrative political process controlled by the Council and disregarded the well-entrenched criteria to define State liability in international law. Among the many examples he mentioned was the fact that the Reparation Committee had awarded compensation higher than the claimant had claimed and had paid claimants twice for the same claim in numerous cases.
Regarding disarmament, he said Iraq had had to grapple with problems that had no relationship with the requirements to implement the obligations specified in resolution 687. Both bodies charged with the task of verification, the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the IAEA, had served to further United States and United Kingdom policies. In the previous UNSCOM, some people had worked on United States instructions for four years. It had politicized technical matters and changed its task, thereby prolonging the process. The purpose of the United States and the United Kingdom was clear: to perpetuate the blockade on Iraq despite that country’s efforts to implement its obligations. Disarmament could not take place in a vacuum. Unless the Council did not take all necessary measures to destroy the weapons of mass destruction of Israel, the Council would remain in a position that ran counter to the United Nations Charter.
Iraq had spared no efforts to implement the provisions imposed upon it, he said. It had fulfilled all its obligations. The Council could have demonstrated to Iraq and the international community its respect for its own resolutions, but that had not occurred. The Council continued to adopt an extreme position and from time to time imposed new obligations on Iraq, as a result of the United States and the United Kingdom positions, stemming from political objectives that had nothing to do with the common interest. The Council was not an absolute authority -- it was bound by the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. That was the basis for entrusting the Council with the maintenance of peace and security on the basis of the collective membership.
A temporary measure had been transformed into a permanent measure, he said. The current situation could not have gone on without American hegemony over the Organization, including the Council. He noted actions that he claimed had taken place outside the Council’s purview, which the Council had completely ignored. “No-fly” zones had been imposed in 1991 and 1992 in northern and southern Iraq respectively, he said. The United States had perpetrated multiple aggressions against his country.
In truth, he continued, since 1998, Anglo-American aggressive operations had continued without any halt. That included support for terrorist groups. There was a basic contradiction: the Council expected Iraq to comply with its resolutions but did not condemn the aggressive acts of the United States and the United Kingdom, which were in contravention of the Council’s resolutions. The main conclusion to be reached was that the Council had not fulfilled its obligations to Iraq and its responsibilities under the Charter.
His Government had continued to call for the total lifting of the blockade. Numerous reasons had prevented the realization of the humanitarian objectives of the oil-for-food programme. The complicated nature of the Council’s measures, and the United Kingdom-United States intervention in its implementation, were among those reasons. Delays and blocking of contracts had occurred.
He asked, among other things, if it was reasonable that disbursement within the framework of a programme with revenues in billions of euros was not subject to audit by neutral, legal observers outside the United Nations. Was it reasonable that the agencies tasked with overseeing the programme could charge a commission to do so? Did the Council accept that the resources of the programme were utilized to rent personal housing for some of the directors of the agencies in Iraq? Could any government accept the complete non-provision of information on Iraqi resources to the Iraqi central bank?
Such examples deserved denunciation, he said. Many examples were no doubt institutionally covered up. He raised the issues to uncover the facts his Government had discovered in dealing with the humanitarian programme. His Government had certainly not failed to refer to the issues in hundreds of letters to the Secretary-General, among others. So far, there had been no move to seriously redress those issues.
He called on the Council to investigate those matters and for the results to be published so that they could be available to the international community. He also called for an external audit of the humanitarian programme.
He said the timelines in the resolution were artificially long. The resolution was a mere illegal rewriting of proposed draft resolution 687. Last month, during the United States’ presidency of the Council, the United Kingdom presented a draft resolution under the cover of the oil-for-food programme, whose ninth cycle was to end on June 3. When agreement proved impossible, the Council adopted resolution 1352, which extended the oil-for-food programme for one month. Iraq had refused to cooperate with that resolution, because extending the programme for one month was not sufficient to implant export of oil and import of civilian goods, among other things.
Iraq would not deal with the proposed measures in whatever form, since it meant a new regime for embargoing Iraq. It would take control of all Iraqi financial sources and would then disburse the resources without any role of the Iraqi Government. Mixing up the new punitive regime of smart sanctions and the oil-for-food programme meant that the Council’s commitments to lift the embargo had been replaced with a continuing programme claiming to benefit the Iraqi people. He rejected it. The "smart sanctions" were a face of new colonialism.
Those who blamed the Government of Iraq must remember that the same Government had brought the highest level of development in Iraq ever, he said. The siege imposed against Iraq must be lifted, its sovereignty must be respected and all interference in the domestic affairs of Iraq must come to an end. The representatives of the United States and United Kingdom had said that a better name for oil-for-food programme was oil for development. The Government of Iraq was responsible for not getting that programme going, it was said.
He said resolution 1284 required inspectors to return to do an enhanced, ongoing monitoring regime and to settle remaining disarmament issues. If UNSCOM and IAEA had reported that Iraq had cooperated, then suspension would come. He wondered, based on the record of the United Nations, if that would be the case. After all, when "Butler and the IAEA" had been readmitted in Iraq, the two combined teams carried out 300 inspections to 427 sites. Butler’s report had said Iraq did not cooperate fully -- based on five incidents out of 427 -- and the IAEA had reported the highest possible level of cooperation. Instead of thanks, Iraq got five days of intense bombing.
According to the draft text -- presented as a way to improve trade, as long as it didn’t benefit his Government -- the Council would select companies, and no others would be allowed to buy Iraqi oil. Was there any guarantee that non-Western countries would be allowed to buy oil? No flexibility was being provided to Iraq to choose its customers.
The proposal would lead to an intervention in the pricing of Iraqi crude oil, which would entail the complete disruption of the relationship between supplier and buyer. The end result was to use Iraqi oil as leverage and to transform the oil market into a buyer’s market, rather than a seller’s market.
The cash component of other sectors would change Iraqis into two categories -- northern and southern. Any local production would be used to remunerate and to punish. It was not just his Government that was saying that provision was ill-advised.
The list being proposed had been presented as a review list, he said. But what guarantee was there that the policy of putting contracts on hold was not
going to continue? he asked. He also asked why, if there was good faith about the proposal, there was nothing said about the “no-fly” zone? He asked for evidence to be presented of the continued threat in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. He then noted that the question of visas had been clearly addressed by his delegation in a letter to the Secretary-General.
He went on to say that dogs used for de-mining in the North received much greater resources than Iraqis on the basis of the value of goods received. He then provided Council members with examples of the detrimental effects of putting contracts on hold.
Everyone present, he said, had the bluebook on the situation between Iraq and Kuwait. In the introduction to that document there was an argument fitting to the American and British case on the false claim that the “no-fly” zones were legal under resolution 687; the drafters had made their argument by chopping the resolution in half. That was the so-called impartiality of international civil servants. He then cited other examples of instances that represented, in his delegation’s view, the partiality of such civil servants.
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