SECURITY COUNCIL IMPOSES TRAVEL BAN ON IRAQI OFFICIALS19971112
The Security Council this afternoon, imposed travel restrictions on all Iraqi officials and members of the Iraqi armed forces responsible for Iraq's failure to cooperate with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), established in 1991 to monitor destruction of Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The Council's action, taken under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, followed Iraq's 29 October decision to impose conditions on its cooperation with the Special Commission and several subsequent incidents in which Iraqi officials barred UNSCOM officials of United States nationality from carrying out their duties in Iraq and implicitly threatened the safety of Special Commission reconnaissance aircraft. Unanimously adopting resolution 1137 (1997), the Council decided that the travel ban would terminate one day after the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission reported that Iraq was allowing the Commission's inspection teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transportation which they wished to inspect. The Council further decided to designate a list of individuals whose entry or transit through the territories of Member States would be prevented. It requested the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) to monitor sanctions against Iraq to develop guidelines and procedures for the implementation of the travel ban and to transmit copies of those guidelines and procedures, as well a list of the individuals designated, to all Member States. It also expressed its intention to take further measures as may be required for the implementation of today's resolution. Under the terms of the resolution, the Council also decided to resume its review of economic and military sanctions against Iraq in April 1998, provided that the Government of Iraq has complied with today's resolution. Statements were made today by the representatives of Costa Rica, Sweden, Portugal, Japan, Poland, Chile, Egypt, Kenya Guinea Bissau, France, Republic of Korea, United States, United Kingdom and the Russian Federation. The meeting, which began at 12:17 p.m., was adjourned at 2:50 p.m.
The Security Council met this afternoon to consider the situation between Iraq and Kuwait. It had before it a series of letters concerning the Iraqi Government's decision to impose conditions on its cooperation with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), which was established under resolution 687 (1991) to oversee the identification and destruction of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
Iraq's decision was originally conveyed in a letter dated 29 October from the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq Tariq Aziz to the President of the Security Council (document S/1997/829). In the letter, the Deputy Prime Minister informs the Council that, as of 1 a.m. 30 October, his Government will cooperate with the Special Commission "provided that no individuals of American nationality shall participate in any activity of the Special Commission inside Iraq".
A letter dated 2 November from the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the Executive Chairman of UNSCOM, Richard Butler, draws attention to the Iraqi opinion that the U2 surveillance plane used by the Special Commission is an American spy plane "which has been spying on Iraq and its leadership in order to execute America's hostile policy against Iraq" (document S/1997/837 and Annex). Stating that Iraq anticipated United States military aggression against it, he says that the entry of the U2 into Iraqi air space could not be accepted. He urges the Executive Chairman to cancel the overflights scheduled for the U2 aircraft on 5 and 7 November and warns that the Chairman will bear responsibility for the consequences of sending the spy plane to Iraq.
In a letter addressed to the President of the Council, dated 6 November, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq says that his country was experiencing an emergency due to the possibility of military aggression by the United States against Iraq (document S/1997/855). His Government had, therefore, removed to distant sites items of equipment that might be subject to military attack. Those items would be returned to their places and the monitoring teams would be invited to inspect them.
Also before the Council were several letters from UNSCOM's Executive Chairman, Mr. Butler. In a letter dated 30 October, addressed to the President of the Council, he advises that at 3 a.m. 30 October, when the United Nations aircraft carrying UNSCOM and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) personnel from Bahrain to Baghdad landed at Habbaniyah airfield, northwest of Baghdad, Iraqi officials barred three United Nations officials of United States nationality from entering Iraq. In a subsequent letter, dated 2 November, he advises the President of another incident in which two UNSCOM personnel of United States nationality were denied entry into the country (document S/1997/836).
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In other letters to the President of the Council, the Executive Chairman calls attention to incidents in which the Government of Iraq denied entry to Special Commission inspectors on the grounds of their nationality, who had arrived at sites designated for inspection, on 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 November (documents S/1997/837, S/1997/843, S/1997/851, and S/1997/864). In another letter, dated 5 November, the Executive Chairman informs the President of the Council that the Government of Iraq had moved significant pieces of dual capable equipment subject to monitoring by the Special Commission, and that monitoring cameras appear to have been tampered with or covered (document S/1997/851).
The Council also had before it a draft resolution (document S/1997/872) sponsored by Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Portugal, Poland, Republic of Korea, Sudan, the 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, 1115 (1997) of 21 June 1997, and 1134 (1997) of 23 October 1997,
"Taking note with grave concern of the letter of 29 October 1997 from the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq to the President of the Security Council (S/1997/829) conveying the unacceptable decision of the Government of Iraq to seek to impose conditions on its cooperation with the Special Commission, of the letter of 2 November 1997 from the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations to the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission (S/1997/837, annex) which reiterated the unacceptable demand that the reconnaissance aircraft operating on behalf of the Special Commission be withdrawn from use and which implicitly threatened the safety of such aircraft, and of the letter of 6 November 1997 from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq to the President of the Security Council (S/1997/855) admitting that Iraq has moved dual-capable equipment which is subject to monitoring by the Special Commission,
"Also taking note with grave concern of the letters of 30 October 1997 (S/1997/830) and 2 November 1997 (S/1997/836) from the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission to the President of the Security Council advising that the Government of Iraq had denied entry to Iraq to two Special Commission officials on 30 October 1997 and 2 November 1997 on the grounds of their nationality, and of the letters of 3 November 1997 (S/1997/837), 4 November 1997 (S/1997/843), 5 November 1997 (S/1997/851) and 7 November 1997 (S/1997/864) from the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission to the President of the Security Council advising that the Government of Iraq had denied entry to sites designated for inspection by the Special Commission on
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3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 November 1997 to Special Commission inspectors on the grounds of their nationality, and of the additional information in the Executive Chairman's letter of 5 November 1997 to the President of the Security Council (S/1997/851) that the Government of Iraq has moved significant pieces of dual- capable equipment subject to monitoring by the Special Commission, and that monitoring cameras appear to have been tampered with or covered,
"Welcoming the diplomatic initiatives, including that of the high-level mission of the Secretary-General, which have taken place in an effort to ensure that Iraq complies unconditionally with its obligations under the relevant resolutions,
"Deeply concerned at the report of the high-level mission of the Secretary-General on the results of its meetings with the highest levels of the Government of Iraq,
"Recalling that its resolution 1115 (1997) expressed its firm intention, unless the Special Commission 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,
"Recalling also that its resolution 1134 (1997) reaffirmed its firm intention, if inter alia the Special Commission reports that Iraq is not in compliance with paragraphs 2 and 3 of resolution 1115 (1997), to adopt measures which would oblige States to refuse the entry into or transit through 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),
"Recalling further the Statement of its President of 29 October 1997 (S/PRST/1997/49) in which the Council condemned the decision of the Government of Iraq to try to dictate the terms of its compliance with its obligation to cooperate with the Special Commission, and warned of the serious consequences of Iraq's failure to comply immediately and fully and without conditions or restrictions with its obligations under the relevant resolutions,
"Reiterating the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Kuwait and Iraq,
"Determined to ensure immediate and full compliance without conditions or restrictions by Iraq with its obligations under the relevant resolutions,
Determining that this situation continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter,
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"1. Condemns the continued violations by Iraq of its obligations under the relevant resolutions to cooperate fully and unconditionally with the Special Commission in the fulfilment of its mandate, including its unacceptable decision of 29 October 1997 to seek to impose conditions on cooperation with the Special Commission, its refusal on 30 October 1997 and 2 November 1997 to allow entry to Iraq to two Special Commission officials on the grounds of their nationality, its denial of entry on 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 November 1997 to sites designated by the Special Commission for inspection to Special Commission inspectors on the grounds of their nationality, its implicit threat to the safety of the reconnaissance aircraft operating on behalf of the Special Commission, its removal of significant pieces of dual- use equipment from their previous sites, and its tampering with monitoring cameras of the Special Commission;
"2. Demands that the Government of Iraq rescind immediately its decision of 29 October 1997;
"3. Demands also that Iraq cooperate fully and immediately and without conditions or restrictions with the Special Commission in accordance with the relevant resolutions, which constitute the governing standard of Iraqi compliance;
"4. Decides, in accordance with paragraph 6 of resolution 1134 (1997), that States shall without delay 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 the instances of non-compliance detailed in paragraph 1 above, 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) of 6 August 1990, and provided that nothing in this paragraph shall oblige a State to refuse entry into its own territory to its own nationals, or to persons carrying out bona fide diplomatic assignments, or missions approved by the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990);
"5. Decides also, in accordance with paragraph 7 of resolution 1134 (1997), to designate in consultation with the Special Commission a list of individuals whose entry or transit will be prevented under the provisions of paragraph 4 above, and requests the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) to develop guidelines and procedures as appropriate for the implementation of the measures set out in paragraph 4 above, and to transmit copies of these guidelines and procedures, as well as a list of the individuals designated, to all Member States;
"6. Decides that the provisions of paragraphs 4 and 5 above shall terminate one day after the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission reports to the Council that Iraq is allowing 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
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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;
"7. Decides that the reviews provided for in paragraphs 21 and 28 of resolution 687 (1991) shall resume in April 1998 in accordance with paragraph 8 of resolution 1134 (1997), provided that the Government of Iraq shall have complied with paragraph 2 above;
"8. Expresses the firm intention to take further measures as may be required for the implementation of this resolution;
"9. Reaffirms the responsibility of the Government of Iraq under the relevant resolutions to ensure the safety and security of the personnel and equipment of the Special Commission and its inspection teams;
"10. Reaffirms also 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;
"11. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
FERNANDO BERROCAL-SOTO (Costa Rica) said the core of the question before the Council was the outright defiance of Iraq to the will of the international community. The current defiance was a political challenge with unforeseeable consequences. The legal power of the Council was being put to the test by Iraq. The sanctions had their origin in a war of aggression and territorial conquest against a neighbouring country. Seven years had since elapsed, yet nothing had impressed on the Iraqi authorities the far-reaching implications of their acts of the past and their defiance of the present.
The opinion of the international community was unanimous that Iraq could not build or acquire weapons of mass destruction, he said. The sanctions must be carefully calibrated to change the unlawful activities of a government and return it into the framework of international law. The resolution today, which Costa Rica would vote in favour of, fell within those principles. While a tough resolution, the sanctions were restricted to those responsible. He expressed the respect his delegation felt for the Secretary-General's dispatch of the diplomatic team to Iraq, in an attempt to reach a peaceful solution.
HANS DAHLGREN (Sweden) said Iraq had clearly refused to abide by Council decisions and that constituted a challenge to the entire United Nations. Regrettably, Iraq had not grasped the opportunity to find a solution to the current crisis. Instead, it had continued to violate its obligations to
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cooperate fully and unconditionally with the Special Commission. Its actions warranted a firm and clear response from the Council.
The draft resolution before the Council was an appropriate response and the measures would affect only those individuals who were responsible for, or participated in, instances of non-compliance, he said. Through diplomatic means, the Iraqi Government should now be made to understand that cooperation with the international community was in its own interest and in the interest of the Iraqi people.
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction must be eliminated, he said. If Iraq wanted to find an audience for its grievances, it should not challenge the international community and provoke the United Nations, but cooperate and establish itself as a credible partner for dialogue. He supported the draft resolution before the Council.
ANTONIO MONTEIRO (Portugal) said a challenge to UNSCOM was a challenge to the Council and to the United Nations. That was intolerable, as was Iraq's decision to refuse to accept UNSCOM members based on their nationality. The present draft, which Portugal had co-sponsored, was the logical outcome of previous decisions taken by the Council in June. Portugal supported all diplomatic efforts designed to ensure Iraqi authorities understand the need to rescind their unacceptable decision and comply unconditionally with its obligations.
The draft before the Council today was the necessary next step, he said. The sanctions were designed not to increase the suffering of the Iraqi people or hurt neighbouring countries. Iraq faced sanctions imposed by the Council because Iraq had violated international law by invading another country. The United Nations had no quarrel with the Iraqi people and did not aim to question Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The only way sanctions against Iraq could be lifted was through that country's full compliance with the resolutions of the Council. They could be lifted soon, provided Iraq cooperated fully, honestly and unconditionally with UNSCOM.
HISASHI OWADA (Japan) said he wanted Iraq to comply with all the relevant Council resolutions, so that it could resume its place in the family of nations. Iraq had not responded positively to the efforts of Japan or to those of the Secretary-General's special envoys. The Council had deemed Iraq's decision of 29 October unacceptable. Iraq's position on the aircraft operating under the auspices of UNSCOM was also unacceptable. Further, the movement of dual capacity equipment and the tampering with monitoring equipment was of grave concern, since it concerned weapons of mass destruction and directly affected peace in the region.
He said that Iraq had been given ample time to cooperate with Council decisions instead, it had continued to refuse to comply with relevant resolutions and had presented preconditions for its compliance. The Council,
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acting in unity and firmness, would declare that Iraq's position was unacceptable. He joined all other members of the Council in support of the draft resolution. He called on Iraq to accede to the united voice of the international community.
ZBIGNIEW M. WLOSOWICZ (Poland) said he remained extremely concerned at the incidents of Iraqi discrimination against some United Nations personnel on the grounds of their nationality. He was equally concerned at the instances of Iraqi interference in the effective operation of the monitoring system, as well as the Iraqi demand that the aircraft operating on behalf of UNSCOM be withdrawn from use, with the accompanying threat to its safety.
Faced with Iraq's unchanging position, the Council must follow unanimously and decisively the logic of its earlier decisions, he said. The draft resolution reflected the Council's determination to ensure that the Special Commission continued its progress towards the elimination of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, as well as the Council's commitment to see the completion of the UNSCOM mandate. He hoped the present draft resolution would again remind the Government of Iraq that its full cooperation with UNSCOM was a basic condition that must be fulfilled for the lifting of sanctions. He would vote in favour of the draft resolution before the Council.
JUAN LARRAIN (Chile) said Iraq was not only not complying with Council resolutions, it was defying them. That was not acceptable. UNSCOM had a mandate given by the international community to ensure that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were eliminated. Regrettably, Iraq had hindered the fulfilment of the mandate and now the Security Council was forced to act.
The Government of Iraq must accept the clear message being sent to it by the Council today, he said. Iraq must fully comply with the will of the Council. Iraq had the responsibility to ensure the safety and security of United Nations personnel, which included nationals from Chile.
NABIL ELARABY (Egypt) said the draft reflected the rapid sequence of events during the past two weeks. Since the beginning of the recent crisis, his Government had called for diplomatic efforts to contain it and efforts to prevent action that would disrupt the stability of the region. He expressed thanks for the efforts of the high-level mission sent to Iraq. His own Government had spared no effort to achieve a diplomatic solution and until the last minute had hoped that Iraq would reverse its decision.
He understood the frustration of Iraqi citizens, due to their continued suffering, he said. While recognizing that Iraq's past cooperation was not ideal, it could be said that Iraq had gone a long way to cooperate. However, he could see no wisdom in its current stand or in its resistance to diplomatic efforts. Compliance with the resolutions was the means to lift the sanctions and, thus, relieve the suffering of the Iraqi people.
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He said that every Member State must be given the opportunity to express its views before the Council particularly if the matter applied to sanctions against that Member State. He called upon the Council to take into account the Secretary-General's recent statement, during which he had said that if the high-level mission had reported full compliance by Iraq, he would have recommended that Iraq be allowed to have a hearing in front of the Council.
His country found itself today in a very sensitive position, as sanctions against an Arab State were being put to the vote, he said. It had abstained from the vote last month, which had referred to additional sanctions. Today, however, his Government viewed the question differently. It had presented amendments during negotiations on the draft, putting forward the paragraph concerning respect for the sovereignty of both Iraq and Kuwait. Even so, Iraq's lack of responsiveness left him no option but to support the draft. While voting in favour of the draft, he placed on record his view that the travel restrictions must not obstruct Egypt in carrying out its responsibility as the host country of the League of Arab States. Further, he believed that the draft contained nothing that could lead to the use of force or the use of military action.
NJUGUNA M. MAHUGU (Kenya) said Iraq must rescind its decision of 29 October and the draft resolution before the Council sent a clear message. It was an improvement on the initial draft and addressed the main concerns of his Government. The Special Commission must be allowed to complete its work on the basis of its mandate. He hoped that message would be heard.
He was disappointed by the level of cooperation that the Special Commission had enjoyed, he said. The current level of tension must not be allowed to further escalate. Today, the Council was united in adopting the draft resolution. He would like to see, sooner rather than later, a level of cooperation from Iraqi authorities that would allow the Council to review the sanctions. In the meantime, Iraq must comply with its obligations substantively and in good faith. He would support the draft resolution.
ALFREDO LOPES CABRAL (Guinea Bissau) said that relations between Iraq and the Security Council had not been in accordance with Council resolutions. Special Commission reports had always described impediments and obstacles to its work. The Council had unambiguously expressed its opinion of such actions. They amounted to a grave failure by Iraq to fulfil its obligations. The Council had reminded Iraq of how important it was to cooperate with the Special Commission. That was a precondition for the coming into effect of the provisions of resolution 687 (1990).
Given the persistence of serious incidents and faced with the need to fulfil its responsibilities, the Council had judged it necessary to envisage further measures, he said. Iraq's decision of 29 October was a challenge to the international community. For several days, Iraq had been urged to rescind
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that decision. The possible consequences must be clear. The current crisis should be resolved by dialogue and the Council had tried to see that reason prevailed.
He said the purpose of the Council was not to inflict further suffering upon the Iraqi people, he said. The Council, however, was not responsible for the suffering of those people. What happened in the case of Kuwait should never happen again. His Government would support the adoption of the draft resolution and would work to implement it.
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said his Government regretted that Iraq had not rescinded its decision to limit its cooperation with UNSCOM. His Government had been among the first to express disapproval of that decision. Persistent diplomatic efforts had been made to find a solution to the crisis. From the beginning, France had supported the sending of the high-level mission to Iraq.
His Government had made repeated efforts to try to convince Iraqi authorities to reverse their decision, he said. Today, there must be a strong and unanimous Council action. Past resolutions of the Council had already urged Iraq to cooperate fully with UNSCOM, but those words had not been heeded. None the less, the Council's expression today must be balanced and commensurate with the nature of the situation. Travel restrictions would not worsen the situation of the Iraqi people, already sorely tried by years of trade embargo. The efforts to resolve the situation would not be hampered by the travel restrictions. As soon as Iraq complied with the right of entrance to the Special Commission, the sanctions would be lifted.
As expressed in a statement made by France and the Russian Federation, any measure against Iraq should be carried out within the Security Council, he said. The draft did not encourage any escalation. Diplomatic efforts must continue. The proper continuation of the work of UNSCOM was the basic goal. Nothing would be worse than to call into question the terms of Council resolutions or the relationship between the United Nations and Iraq. The draft had commanded unanimity in the Council. That had been a very important condition for France, as the unity of the Council in crisis situations must be maintained.
The clear desire of the authors of the draft to take into account the views of all Council members had been decisive, he said. He hoped the message of the Council would be heeded. When Iraq fully complied with the resolutions of the Council, then, and only then, could the modalities of UNSCOM and thinking about the major progress made in substantive areas be discussed. Total, effective cooperation with the Special Commission would lead to the lifting of the embargo and ensure the reintegration of Iraq into the international community.
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PARK SOO GIL (Republic of Korea) said his Government had hoped that Iraq could rejoin the international community at an early date and the suffering of the Iraqi people could end. The fundamental condition for normalization of relations with the international community was the full compliance with Council resolutions. Iraq had narrowed the path towards normalization by placing conditions on the activities of UNSCOM. He called upon Iraq to comply fully with the work of the Special Commission.
Although the draft contained additional measures, such as travel restrictions, the draft clearly indicated the exit out of the current deadlock, he said. The message was clear. The Iraqi Government must reverse its decision of 29 October. He would vote in favour of the draft.
The draft was unanimously adopted by the Security Council, as resolution 1137 (1997).
BILL RICHARDSON (United States) said today's resolution was an unambiguous message to the leaders of Iraq that the Security Council was united in its determination that Iraq comply with Council resolutions and that it reverse its decisions challenging the Council and the international community. It was not for Iraq to set the terms of its compliance; Iraq must simply comply. And, he said, "there will be consequences for Iraq if it fails to do so".
Continuing, he said Iraq's course must be clear -- to announce the reversal of its unacceptable decisions and to pledge its full, immediate and unconditional compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions. Sadly, Iraq had been following a different path. Iraq did not seem to understand that its objective to get sanctions lifted could only be reached through full compliance.
He said Iraq had given no sign that it would cease its activities and policies intended to threaten its neighbours. Indeed, it gave every indication that it intended to continue to develop a dangerous arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. The current crisis was a violation of the Charter itself, as well as a categorical rejection of Council resolutions. In response, the Council had imposed the first new sanctions since the Gulf War.
The United States felt compassion for the Iraqi people and empathy for their plight, he said. That is why the United Nations and the sanction Committee had gone to great lengths to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance and was prepared to examine ways to further improve the delivery and effectiveness of humanitarian aid. His Government had no desire to see Iraq permanently saddled with sanctions, but that country must first comply fully and unconditionally with the requirements of the relevant Council resolutions. Iraq must abandon its hope to escape its obligations through deception or defiance. Today's resolution was a clear call for Iraqi compliance. "Iraq should get the message", he said.
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STEPHEN GOMERSALL (United Kingdom) said he was glad that the Council had unanimously delivered an unequivocal message to Iraq. There was no short cut to the lifting of sanctions. The international community was determined that Iraq should comply fully with the Council's resolutions.
The Government of Iraq, through its unacceptable decision of 29 October, had tried to dictate to the United Nations the terms and conditions of how the Special Commission fulfilled its mandate, he continued. All such conditions were totally unacceptable to his Government. The successful completion of the work of the Special Commission was essential for maintaining regional and international peace and security, but there was still a considerable amount of work for the Commission to do, especially in the chemical and biological weapons areas, before it could report that it had accomplished its task and that the world was free from the threat posed by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. It was, therefore, crucial that it be able to continue its work, without restrictions or conditions.
"We have heard a lot of special pleading from Iraq on the damage caused by six-and-a-half years of sanctions", he said. The humanitarian interests of the Iraqi people and their welfare had been subordinated to the misguided policies of the leadership and those policies were the fundamental problem. He welcomed the Council's endorsement today of the simple message that the only route to normalization for Iraq was through the implementation of the Council's resolutions and that the Council would remain fully determined to achieve that goal.
SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said the decision by Baghdad to restrict the work of UNSCOM ran counter to the will of the international community and the resolutions of the Security Council. It should be rescinded immediately. Unfortunately, diplomatic efforts to ease the crisis had been ineffective. The Council had no other choice but to adopt concrete measures.
He was convinced, however, that any such complications should be resolved through peaceful means to be decided by the Security Council, he said. The threat of force or the use of force could disrupt the efforts of the international community to restore peace and security to the region. The resolution contained limited measures, including travel restrictions, and exempt any travel in discharge of diplomatic efforts. The measures were not designed to punish Iraq, but to encourage its cooperation. Further, the draft rejected any use of force.
If Iraq rescinded its decision restricting the work of UNSCOM, then the modalities of its work could be reviewed, he said. Such a decision could also open the way for addressing the sanctions and, thus, ease the suffering of the Iraqi people. Recent reports to the Council had stated that Iraq had no nuclear weapons activities and the balance sheet was nearly closed in other areas. Such progress must be taken into account by the Council. The Council would consider that matter once as the current crisis was resolved.
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QIN HUASUN (China) said he was concerned about current developments in regard to the situation in Iraq and supported efforts for a proper solution. His Government had always supported UNSCOM in carrying out its mandate. Iraq should implement all Council resolutions comprehensively and China had called upon Iraq to fulfil its obligations.
Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected, as should their valid security concerns, he continued. Iraq's cooperation with UNSCOM must be considered. The causes which had led to the current crisis were complex and the Council should hear the views of Iraq and UNSCOM in order to fairly consider the situation. His Government was opposed to the use of force or the threat of force or any actions that would escalate the situation. Cooperation and dialogue resolve the current situation. Armed conflict must be avoided. With a view to advancing a proper solution, he had voted in favour of the resolution. However, that affirmative vote did not imply any change in China's position on the question of sanctions.
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