Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Security Council today established the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) to undertake the responsibilities of the former United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), which was charged with monitoring the elimination of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The new Commission will take over UNSCOM's assets, liabilities and archives and is mandated to establish and operate a reinforced, ongoing monitoring and verification system, address unresolved disarmament issues and identify additional sites to be covered by the new monitoring system. The UNMOVIC will submit its work programme and organizational plan to the Council for approval.
As it adopted resolution 1284 (1999) by a vote of 11 in favour to none against, with 4 abstentions (China, France, Malaysia and Russian Federation), the Council also expressed its intention to suspend and lift sanctions against Iraq once certain conditions were met. Once UNMOVIC and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iraq had been cooperating in all respects with their reinforced monitoring system for a period of 120 days, the sanctions would be suspended for 120 days, renewable by the Council and subject to the elaboration of effective measures to ensure that Iraq did not acquire prohibited items. If at any time the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC or the Director-General of IAEA reported that Iraq was not cooperating in all respects, or if Iraq was in the process of acquiring any prohibited items, the suspension of economic sanctions would be terminated.
In the 39-operative paragraph resolution, the Council also removed the ceiling for the export of Iraqi oil under the humanitarian programme known as “oil for food” and addressed the issue of the repatriation of all Kuwaiti and third country nationals or their remains, as well as the return of Kuwait property, including archives.
The Council requested the IAEA to maintain its role in addressing Iraqi compliance with Council resolutions regarding the destruction of weapons of mass destruction in that country. The UNMOVIC and the IAEA are each to draw up, in no later than 60 days after they had both started work in Iraq, a work programme for the discharge of their mandates. According to the resolution, the Government of Iraq will be liable for costs incurred by UNMOVIC and the IAEA for their work in Iraq.
Security Council - 1a - Press Release SC/6775 4084th Meeting (AM) 17 December 1999
The Council reaffirmed the criteria for Iraqi compliance established in previous resolutions including full cooperation, unrestricted access and provision of information to United Nations arms inspection teams. In particular, Iraq should allow UNMOVIC teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transport as well as to persons under the authority of the Iraqi Government.
Under the terms of the resolution, the Secretary-General was requested to appoint, within 30 days, an Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC who would submit an organizational plan for UNMOVIC within 45 days of his appointment. The Executive Chairman is to report every three months on the work of UNMOVIC. He should report immediately when the reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification was fully operational in Iraq. Also, the Secretary-General was also asked to appoint experts to a College of Commissioners for UNMOVIC, which would meet regularly to review the implementation of relevant Council resolutions and to advise the Executive Chairman.
Also this afternoon, the Council requested the Executive Chairman and the Director General of the IAEA to establish a unit which would be responsible for the export/import mechanism established to ensure that Iraq did not reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction programmes. The Council also asked the Executive Chairman to resume the revision and updating of the lists of items and technology to which the mechanism applies.
Under other terms of the resolution, the Council decided that Hajj pilgrimage flights that do not transport cargo into or out of Iraq, will be exempt from travel restrictions, provided timely notification of each flight was made to the Sanctions Committee. The Council spelled out the Government of Iraq's responsibilities in the distribution of humanitarian goods and asked the Secretary- General to report on the progress made in meeting humanitarian needs. Further, the Council also requested the Secretary-General to establish a group of experts to report within 100 days on Iraq's existing petroleum production and export capacity and to recommend alternatives for increasing Iraq's oil production and export capacity. The report would also include recommendations on the options for involving foreign oil companies in Iraq's oil sector.
The Council further requested the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of today's resolution within 30 days.
The Russian Federation told the Council that the fact that his country did not block this imperfect resolution did not mean that it was obliged to go along with a forceful implementation of it. Iraq must fulfil its obligations, but the Council must act in an unbiased manner. It must not let its work become politicized. He was not trying to whitewash Iraq, but a repetition of the previous situation was unacceptable.
The United States said his country expected all Council members, regardless of their vote, to press Iraq for full and immediate implementation. The United States would closely monitor Iraq's response but it was not seeking an excuse to use force. Iraq held the key to its re-entry into the community of nations, but
Security Council - 1b - Press Release SC/6775 4084 Meeting (AM) 17 December 1999
its history of "cheat and retreat" with weapons inspectors meant it could expect no benefit of the doubt. He supported the provision to exempt from sanctions air travel by Hajj pilgrims but opposed easing restrictions on air travel, as it would complicate the task of sanctions enforcement.
France's representative said there seemed to be a refusal to end the isolation of the Iraqi people. The resolution did not allow the resumption of aviation traffic and did not provide any real exemption for religious purposes, since that was dependent on the Sanctions Committee. Sanctions were striking at the people of Iraq, and the Council could not abandon its responsibility in the face of that humanitarian disaster. The text was ambiguous on criteria for suspending and lifting sanctions, and thus gave rise to different interpretations.
China's representative questioned whether the resolution could be implemented. If Iraq could not see light at the end of the tunnel, why would it comply and cooperate? he asked. Iraq was obligated to implement the relevant Council resolutions, but the Council, too, must implement its resolutions honourably, and objectively assess Iraq’s implementation and lift or suspend sanctions accordingly. If the new Commission reported positively on Iraq’s cooperation, the sanctions should be suspended automatically. The Council must exercise absolute control over the new inspection commission. The United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) had misled the Council and acted without its authorization.
The representative of the United Kingdom said the Council must ensure that its decisions were not diluted by defiance. The resolution preserved disarmament standards for Iraq, established a new monitoring arrangement and met humanitarian concerns. Most significantly, it set out a series of clear, logical steps to bring Iraq out of sanctions and back into the international community. The Council had the policy it needed.
Malaysia's representative regretted that his proposal to hear Iraq's views before taking action on the text had not been accommodated. Engaging Iraq, rather than demonizing it, would serve the best interests of all. The resolution was driven by political, rather than humanitarian considerations. It had left out the important issue of financial modalities and was vague about triggering suspension of sanctions. Any ongoing monitoring and verification system should take into account Iraq's dignity as an independent sovereign State, as well as religious and cultural sensitivities.
Kuwait's representative said the resolution demonstrated that the Council wanted to carry out its Charter responsibilities. Kuwait continued to be concerned about Iraq's failure to release prisoners of war and restore Kuwaiti property stolen during the occupation; and the disposal of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Kuwait sympathized completely with the people of Iraq; the Government of Iraq alone was responsible for their suffering. He invited Iraq to respond to the Council and seize the opportunity presented by the resolution.
Statements were also made by the representatives of Gabon, Argentina, Brazil, Gambia, Bahrain, Slovenia, Canada, Namibia and the Netherlands.
The meeting began at 10:50 a.m. and ended at 1:46 p.m. Work Programme
The Security Council met this morning to consider the situation between Iraq and Kuwait.
It had before it a draft resolution (document S/1999/1232), sponsored by the United Kingdom which reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous relevant resolutions, including its resolutions 661 (1990) of 6 August 1990, 687 (1991) of 3 April 1991, 699 (1991) of 17 June 1991, 707 (1991) of 15 August 1991, 715 (1991) of 11 October 1991, 986 (1995) of 14 April 1995, 1051 (1996) of 27 March 1996, 1153 (1998) of 20 February 1998, 1175 (1998) of 19 June 1998, 1242 (1999) of 21 May 1999 and 1266 (1999) of 4 October 1999,
“Recalling the approval by the Council in its resolution 715 (1991) of the plans for future ongoing monitoring and verification submitted by the Secretary- General and the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in pursuance of paragraphs 10 and 13 of resolution 687 (1991),
“Welcoming the reports of the three panels on Iraq (S/1999/356), and having held a comprehensive consideration of them and the recommendations contained in them,
“Stressing the importance of a comprehensive approach to the full implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq and the need for Iraqi compliance with these resolutions,
“Recalling the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery and the objective of a global ban on chemical weapons as referred to in paragraph 14 of resolution 687 (1991),
“Concerned at the humanitarian situation in Iraq, and determined to improve that situation,
“Recalling with concern that the repatriation and return of all Kuwaiti and third country nationals or their remains, present in Iraq on or after 2 August 1990, pursuant to paragraph 2 (c) of resolution 686 (1991) of 2 March 1991 and paragraph 30 of resolution 687 (1991), have not yet been fully carried out by Iraq,
“Recalling that in its resolutions 686 (1991) and 687 (1991) the Council demanded that Iraq return in the shortest possible time all Kuwaiti property it had seized, and noting with regret that Iraq has still not complied fully with this demand,
“Acknowledging the progress made by Iraq towards compliance with the provisions of resolution 687 (1991), but noting that, as a result of its failure to implement the relevant Council resolutions fully, the conditions do not exist which would enable the Council to take a decision pursuant to resolution 687 (1991) to lift the prohibitions referred to in that resolution,
“Reiterating the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Kuwait, Iraq and the neighbouring States,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, and taking into account that operative provisions of this resolution relate to previous resolutions adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter,
“1. Decides to establish, as a subsidiary body of the Council, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) which replaces the Special Commission established pursuant to paragraph 9 (b) of resolution 687 (1991);
“2. Decides also that UNMOVIC will undertake the responsibilities mandated to the Special Commission by the Council with regard to the verification of compliance by Iraq with its obligations under paragraphs 8, 9 and 10 of resolution 687 (1991) and other related resolutions, that UNMOVIC will establish and operate, as was recommended by the panel on disarmament and current and future ongoing monitoring and verification issues, a reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification, which will implement the plan approved by the Council in resolution 715 (1991) and address unresolved disarmament issues, and that UNMOVIC will identify, as necessary in accordance with its mandate, additional sites in Iraq to be covered by the reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification;
“3. Reaffirms the provisions of the relevant resolutions with regard to the role of the IAEA in addressing compliance by Iraq with paragraphs 12 and 13 of resolution 687 (1991) and other related resolutions, and requests the Director General of the IAEA to maintain this role with the assistance and cooperation of UNMOVIC;
“4. Reaffirms its resolutions 687 (1991), 699 (1991), 707 (1991), 715 (1991), 1051 (1996), 1154 (1998) and all other relevant resolutions and statements of its President, which establish the criteria for Iraqi compliance, affirms that the obligations of Iraq referred to in those resolutions and statements with regard to cooperation with the Special Commission, unrestricted access and provision of information will apply in respect of UNMOVIC, and decides in particular that Iraq shall allow UNMOVIC teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transport which they wish to inspect in accordance with the mandate of UNMOVIC, as well as to all officials and other persons under the authority of the Iraqi Government whom UNMOVIC wishes to interview so that UNMOVIC may fully discharge its mandate;
“5. Requests the Secretary-General, within 30 days of the adoption of this resolution, to appoint, after consultation with and subject to the approval of the Council, an Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC who will take up his mandated tasks as soon as possible, and, in consultation with the Executive Chairman and the Council members, to appoint suitably qualified experts as a College of Commissioners for UNMOVIC which will meet regularly to review the implementation of this and other relevant resolutions and provide professional advice and guidance to the Executive Chairman, including on significant policy decisions and on written reports to be submitted to the Council through the Secretary-General;
“6. Requests the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, within 45 days of his appointment, to submit to the Council, in consultation with and through the Secretary-General, for its approval an organizational plan for UNMOVIC, including its structure, staffing requirements, management guidelines, recruitment and training procedures, incorporating as appropriate the recommendations of the panel on disarmament and current and future ongoing monitoring and verification issues, and recognizing in particular the need for an effective, cooperative management structure for the new organization, for staffing with suitably qualified and experienced personnel, who would be regarded as international civil servants subject to Article 100 of the Charter of the United Nations, drawn from the broadest possible geographical base, including as he deems necessary from international arms control organizations, and for the provision of high quality technical and cultural training;
“7. Decides that UNMOVIC and the IAEA, not later than 60 days after they have both started work in Iraq, will each draw up, for approval by the Council, a work programme for the discharge of their mandates, which will include both the implementation of the reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification, and the key remaining disarmament tasks to be completed by Iraq pursuant to its obligations to comply with the disarmament requirements of resolution 687 (1991) and other related resolutions, which constitute the governing standard of Iraqi compliance, and further decides that what is required of Iraq for the implementation of each task shall be clearly defined and precise;
“8. Requests the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC and the Director General of the IAEA, drawing on the expertise of other international organizations as appropriate, to establish a unit which will have the responsibilities of the joint unit constituted by the Special Commission and the Director General of the IAEA under paragraph 16 of the export/import mechanism approved by resolution 1051 (1996), and also requests the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, in consultation with the Director General of the IAEA, to resume the revision and updating of the lists of items and technology to which the mechanism applies;
“9. Decides that the Government of Iraq shall be liable for the full costs of UNMOVIC and the IAEA in relation to their work under this and other related resolutions on Iraq;
“10. Requests Member States to give full cooperation to UNMOVIC and the IAEA in the discharge of their mandates;
“11. Decides that UNMOVIC shall take over all assets, liabilities and archives of the Special Commission, and that it shall assume the Special Commission's part in agreements existing between the Special Commission and Iraq and between the United Nations and Iraq, and affirms that the Executive Chairman, the Commissioners and the personnel serving with UNMOVIC shall have the rights, privileges, facilities and immunities of the Special Commission;
“12. Requests the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC to report, through the Secretary-General, to the Council, following consultation with the Commissioners, every three months on the work of UNMOVIC, pending submission of the first reports referred to in paragraph 33 below, and to report immediately when the reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification is fully operational in Iraq;
“13. Reiterates the obligation of Iraq, in furtherance of its commitment to facilitate the repatriation of all Kuwaiti and third country nationals referred to in paragraph 30 of resolution 687 (1991), to extend all necessary cooperation to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and calls upon the Government of Iraq to resume cooperation with the Tripartite Commission and Technical Subcommittee established to facilitate work on this issue;
“14. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every four months on compliance by Iraq with its obligations regarding the repatriation or return of all Kuwaiti and third country nationals or their remains, to report every six months on the return of all Kuwaiti property, including archives, seized by Iraq, and to appoint a high-level coordinator for these issues;
“15. Authorizes States, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs 3 (a), 3 (b) and 4 of resolution 661 (1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions, to permit the import of any volume of petroleum and petroleum products originating in Iraq, including financial and other essential transactions directly relating thereto, as required for the purposes and on the conditions set out in paragraph 1 (a) and (b) and subsequent provisions of resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions;
“16. Underlines, in this context, its intention to take further action, including permitting the use of additional export routes for petroleum and petroleum products, under appropriate conditions otherwise consistent with the purpose and provisions of resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions;
“17. Directs the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) to approve, on the basis of proposals from the Secretary-General, lists of humanitarian items, including foodstuffs, pharmaceutical and medical supplies, as well as basic or standard medical and agricultural equipment and basic or standard educational items, decides, notwithstanding paragraph 3 of resolution 661 (1990) and paragraph 20 of resolution 687 (1991), that supplies of these items will not be submitted for approval of that Committee, except for items subject to the provisions of resolution 1051 (1996), and will be notified to the Secretary-General and financed in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 8 (a) and 8 (b) of resolution 986 (1995), and requests the Secretary-General to inform the Committee in a timely manner of all such notifications received and actions taken;
“18. Requests the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) to appoint, in accordance with resolutions 1175 (1998) and 1210 (1998), a group of experts, including independent inspection agents appointed by the Secretary-General in accordance with paragraph 6 of resolution 986 (1995), decides that this group will be mandated to approve speedily contracts for the parts and the equipments necessary to enable Iraq to increase its exports of petroleum and petroleum products, according to lists of parts and equipments approved by that Committee for each individual project, and requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide for the monitoring of these parts and equipments inside Iraq;
“19. Encourages Member States and international organizations to provide supplementary humanitarian assistance to Iraq and published material of an educational character to Iraq; “20. Decides to suspend, for an initial period of six months from the date of the adoption of this resolution and subject to review, the implementation of paragraph 8 (g) of resolution 986 (1995);
“21. Requests the Secretary-General to take steps to maximize, drawing as necessary on the advice of specialists, including representatives of international humanitarian organizations, the effectiveness of the arrangements set out in resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions including the humanitarian benefit to the Iraqi population in all areas of the country, and further requests the Secretary-General to continue to enhance as necessary the United Nations observation process in Iraq, ensuring that all supplies under the humanitarian programme are utilized as authorized, to bring to the attention of the Council any circumstances preventing or impeding effective and equitable distribution and to keep the Council informed of the steps taken towards the implementation of this paragraph;
“22. Requests also the Secretary-General to minimize the cost of the United Nations activities associated with the implementation of resolution 986 (1995) as well as the cost of the independent inspection agents and the certified public accountants appointed by him, in accordance with paragraphs 6 and 7 of resolution 986 (1995);
“23. Requests further the Secretary-General to provide Iraq and the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) with a daily statement of the status of the escrow account established by paragraph 7 of resolution 986 (1995);
“24. Requests the Secretary-General to make the necessary arrangements, subject to Security Council approval, to allow funds deposited in the escrow account established by resolution 986 (1995) to be used for the purchase of locally produced goods and to meet the local cost for essential civilian needs which have been funded in accordance with the provisions of resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions, including, where appropriate, the cost of installation and training services;
“25. Directs the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) to take a decision on all applications in respect of humanitarian and essential civilian needs within a target of two working days of receipt of these applications from the Secretary-General, and to ensure that all approval and notification letters issued by the Committee stipulate delivery within a specified time, according to the nature of the items to be supplied, and requests the Secretary-General to notify the Committee of all applications for humanitarian items which are included in the list to which the export/import mechanism approved by resolution 1051 (1996) applies;
“26. Decides that Hajj pilgrimage flights which do not transport cargo into or out of Iraq are exempt from the provisions of paragraph 3 of resolution 661 (1990) and resolution 670 (1990), provided timely notification of each flight is made to the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990), and requests the Secretary- General to make the necessary arrangements, for approval by the Security Council, to provide for reasonable expenses related to the Hajj pilgrimage to be met by funds in the escrow account established by resolution 986 (1995);
“27. Calls upon the Government of Iraq:
(i) to take all steps to ensure the timely and equitable distribution of all humanitarian goods, in particular medical supplies, and to remove and avoid delays at its warehouses;
(ii) to address effectively the needs of vulnerable groups, including children, pregnant women, the disabled, the elderly and the mentally ill among others, and to allow freer access, without any discrimination, including on the basis of religion or nationality, by United Nations agencies and humanitarian organizations to all areas and sections of the population for evaluation of their nutritional and humanitarian condition;
(iii) to prioritize applications for humanitarian goods under the arrangements set out in resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions;
(iv) to ensure that those involuntarily displaced receive humanitarian assistance without the need to demonstrate that they have resided for six months in their places of temporary residence;
(v) to extend full cooperation to the United Nations Office for Project Services mine-clearance programme in the three northern Governorates of Iraq and to consider the initiation of the demining efforts in other Governorates;
“28. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the progress made in meeting the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people and on the revenues necessary to meet those needs, including recommendations on necessary additions to the current allocation for oil spare parts and equipment, on the basis of a comprehensive survey of the condition of the Iraqi oil production sector, not later than 60 days from the date of the adoption of this resolution and updated thereafter as necessary;
“29. Expresses its readiness to authorize additions to the current allocation for oil spare parts and equipment, on the basis of the report and recommendations requested in paragraph 28 above, in order to meet the humanitarian purposes set out in resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions;
“30. Requests the Secretary-General to establish a group of experts, including oil industry experts, to report within 100 days of the date of adoption of this resolution on Iraq's existing petroleum production and export capacity and to make recommendations, to be updated as necessary, on alternatives for increasing Iraq's petroleum production and export capacity in a manner consistent with the purposes of relevant resolutions, and on the options for involving foreign oil companies in Iraq's oil sector, including investments, subject to appropriate monitoring and controls;
“31. Notes that in the event of the Council acting as provided for in paragraph 33 of this resolution to suspend the prohibitions referred to in that paragraph, appropriate arrangements and procedures will need, subject to paragraph 35 below, to be agreed by the Council in good time beforehand, including suspension of provisions of resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions;
“32. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of paragraphs 15 to 30 of this resolution within 30 days of the adoption of this resolution;
“33. Expresses its intention, upon receipt of reports from the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC and from the Director General of the IAEA that Iraq has cooperated in all respects with UNMOVIC and the IAEA in particular in fulfilling the work programmes in all the aspects referred to in paragraph 7 above, for a period of 120 days after the date on which the Council is in receipt of reports from both UNMOVIC and the IAEA that the reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification is fully operational, to suspend with the fundamental objective of improving the humanitarian situation in Iraq and securing the implementation of the Council's resolutions, for a period of 120 days renewable by the Council, and subject to the elaboration of effective financial and other operational measures to ensure that Iraq does not acquire prohibited items, prohibitions against the import of commodities and products originating in Iraq, and prohibitions against the sale, supply and delivery to Iraq of civilian commodities and products other than those referred to in paragraph 24 of resolution 687 (1991) or those to which the mechanism established by resolution 1051 (1996) applies;
“34. Decides that in reporting to the Council for the purposes of paragraph 33 above, the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC will include as a basis for his assessment the progress made in completing the tasks referred to in paragraph 7 above;
“35. Decides that if at any time the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC or the Director General of the IAEA reports that Iraq is not cooperating in all respects with UNMOVIC or the IAEA or if Iraq is in the process of acquiring any prohibited items, the suspension of the prohibitions referred to in paragraph 33 above shall terminate on the fifth working day following the report, unless the Council decides to the contrary;
“36. Expresses its intention to approve arrangements for effective financial and other operational measures, including on the delivery of and payment for authorized civilian commodities and products to be sold or supplied to Iraq, in order to ensure that Iraq does not acquire prohibited items in the event of suspension of the prohibitions referred to in paragraph 33 above, to begin the elaboration of such measures not later than the date of the receipt of the initial reports referred to in paragraph 33 above, and to approve such arrangements before the Council decision in accordance with that paragraph;
“37. Further expresses its intention to take steps, based on the report and recommendations requested in paragraph 30 above, and consistent with the purpose of resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions, to enable Iraq to increase its petroleum production and export capacity, upon receipt of the reports relating to the cooperation in all respects with UNMOVIC and the IAEA referred to in paragraph 33 above;
“38. Reaffirms its intention to act in accordance with the relevant provisions of resolution 687 (1991) on the termination of prohibitions referred to in that resolution;
“39. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter and expresses its intention to consider action in accordance with paragraph 33 above no later than 12 months from the date of the adoption of this resolution provided the conditions set out in paragraph 33 above have been satisfied by Iraq.”
MOHAMMAD ABULHASAN (Kuwait) thanked the Council for over a period of nine months exploring the best way to ease the suffering of the Iraqi people and ensure implementations of Security Council resolutions. Today’s resolution was a demonstration that the Council was keen to carry out its responsibilities as determined by the Charter. The draft before the Council aimed at consolidating the pillars of stability and security, not just in the Arab Gulf, but in the Middle East and the entire world.
Kuwait was very interested in the draft, but it was also appropriate to review the concerns it had, he said. Kuwait supported fully what was contained in the draft resolution on one of the most important humanitarian issues; the question of Kuwaiti prisoners of war and hostages, and members of third countries in Iraqi prisons, the existence of whom Iraq had denied. Iraq had demonstrated total disregard and indifference to the issue. The Council should pursue the issue with the same vigour with which it addressed the suffering of the Iraqi people.
Also, he continued, the State of Kuwait attached great importance to the restoration of Kuwaiti property stolen during the Iraqi occupation. That included State archives and documentation on all executive organs, which was “State memory.” It also included Kuwaiti military equipment, one of the main component’s of the country’s security, and which was now being used by Iraq for its own purposes. Iraq must abide by Council resolutions calling for the return of stolen property, particularly that for which cash could not compensate.
The disposal of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction was a third concern, he said. The fact that it had not revealed the stockpiles of weapons increased the risks to peace and security, particularly since there was a bitter and real experience of the past years, witnessed by the world, when Iraq had used such weapons against its own people, and would therefore not hesitate to use it against neighbouring States.
Furthermore, he supported in full what was contained in part C of the resolution, concerning the humanitarian situation in Iraq. That position was based on its complete sympathy with the suffering of the people of Iraq, for which the Government of Iraq was alone responsible. Kuwait was doing its utmost to provide humanitarian assistance to those in Iraq that it could reach. Kuwait looked forward to Iraq’s cooperation with the text.
He said that the non-peaceful intentions manifested by the Iraqi Government by its failure to abide by Council resolutions, and by official statements by the Iraqi Government representatives affirmed that Iraq had no sense of guilt about the great sin they had committed with its occupation of Kuwait. He quoted from a television interview in which an Iraqi Vice President had said that he did not regret the aggression. Kuwait, and those in the Arab Gulf region, would not feel comfortable in the face of such open statements by Iraqi officials that they had no sense of remorse.
A recent summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council had reached conclusions which, in part, supported all initiatives aimed at alleviating the suffering of the Iraqi people, he said. What was contained in the final statement of the summit was commensurate with what was in today’s draft. If the Council adopted the text, it would become a legal instrument, taking its binding and compulsory force from the Charter. Therefore, it should be implemented in a serious manner by the Iraqi Government and by the members of the Council, in particular the permanent members, with their particular responsibilities for peace and security in the Charter. He invited the Iraqi Government to respond to the Council and seize the opportunity presented by the resolution today. The time was right, he said, as this was the blessed month of Ramadan, coinciding with holy occasions for all other religions, and also the end of a century that has been rampant with wars and crises. This should be an auspicious beginning for a century of peace.
SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said that blame for the delay in completing the inspections programme and obtaining Iraqi compliance lay in the actions of the United States and the United Kingdom, which had circumvented the Council. That had been preceded by the report of the former Inspector General of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM). The chance of preparing a comprehensive approach to the Iraq situation had appeared after the report of the three panels chaired by Celso Amorim of Brazil.
The Russian Federation supported the adoption of a resolution that incorporated the panel's conclusions and provided the appropriate instructions to the Secretary-General. However, that resolution was blocked by those who wanted to attain their own unilateral goals. It had brought the situation to a repetition of what it had been before under the leadership of the former chief inspector, who had never provided specific proof of threats emanating from Iraq. Thanks to other members of the Council, discussion has subsequently focused on the resumption of inspection and the question of sanctions.
He said the heart of a document by China and the Russian Federation had incorporated the conclusions of the Amorim document, an important criteria of which was the need to ensure that a new monitoring system was acceptable by Iraq. It had been possible to bring positions closer together on a number of issues. The new monitoring body would be based on the norms of the Charter and would be truly answerable to the Council. For the first time, it included steps to suspend sanctions and addressed the lifting of unjustified holds in the sanctions committee. Additional measures for speeding up the resolution of the question of missing persons and Kuwaiti property were also addressed. Until the last moment, however, there had been vague wording in the draft about lifting sanctions, with the underlying purpose of endlessly postponing the lifting of sanctions.
Continuing, he said that he had always stressed that the wording "full cooperation" was extremely dangerous. Faced with the firm position taken by a number of council members, the sponsors of the resolution had changed several provisions. The word "progress" in the completion of tasks instead of "full" had been an important change. The reference to the Charter had been spelled out more clearly.
He noted all of the shifts that had been made by the co-sponsors, but said that there were still some dangers that were not immediately evident in the draft. The Council had not authorized no-fly zones or subversion against the Iraqi government. Such illegal unilateral actions must be halted. Under those conditions, the Russian Federation could not support the draft resolution. The serious changes entered in the present draft did offer an opportunity to get out of the stalemate, but much would be depend on parameters of the new monitoring body.
He said the Russian Federation’s government was not trying to whitewash Iraq, but a repetition of the previous situation was unacceptable. After some time, in the Council efforts might be made to pressure Iraq to urgently fulfil the obligations. The fact that the Russian Federation was not blocking the imperfect resolution should not be taken to mean that it was obliged to go along with a forceful implementation of it.
Iraq must fulfil its obligations and the Council must lift sanctions, he said. He reiterated that no concrete proof had been submitted to the Council of an Iraqi threat. The ball was in the court of the Council, which must act in an unprejudiced and unbiased way. It must be seen to be objective and not let its work become politicized.
HASMY AGAM (Malaysia) said that had it not been for that fateful report of the former chief inspector of UNSCOM, which triggered the December 1998 bombing of Baghdad and other Iraqi sites, UNSCOM would still be operating in Iraq. The exercise today was one of restoring confidence and trust between the Council and Iraq.
However, he added, the draft resolution before the Council did not go far enough. It had, among other things, left out the important issue of financial modalities. It was unclear and vague about triggering the suspension of sanctions. Nor did it establish a definite benchmark on a timeframe for the final lifting of sanctions. There should be an element of certainty and predictability in the renewals of the suspensions based on the positive reports of the new Commission. Nine years of punitive sanctions was too long.
Any reinforced ongoing monitoring and verification system should take into account Iraq's dignity as an independent sovereign State, as well as the religious and cultural sensitivities of its people, he said. He regretted that the draft persisted on effecting stringent controls that impacted negatively on innocent civilians.
Continuing, he said that aside from the need to demonstrate its clear cooperation in respect to the remaining disarmament issues, Iraq would have to show its cooperation in other important issues, beginning with cooperation with the Tripartite Commission and the technical subcommittee to resolve the questions of Kuwaiti and third country missing persons.
He said his Government attached particular importance to the issue of the Hajj flights and was opposed to the imposition of sanctions on the performance of the Hajj. He regretted that a number of proposals in that regard had not been accepted. The current formulation in the draft would not resolve the problems that occurred every Hajj season. It was imperative that the matter be urgently addressed out of respect for the Islamic faith.
He also regretted that his proposal that the Council hear Iraq's views before taking action on the draft resolution had not been accommodated. He would continue to call for dialogue and engagement with Iraq. Engaging Iraq rather than isolating and demonizing it would serve the best interests of the both the international community and the people of Iraq.
Continuing, he said the draft resolution did not have the right balance and was driven largely by political rather than humanitarian consideration. To achieve a successful outcome, the international community, particularly members of the Council, must create a conducive atmosphere. That was not now the case given the continuing violation of Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
DENIS DANGUE REWAKA (Gabon) said his delegation had wanted to see Iraq rejoin the community of nations by respecting the rules governing international relations, and complying with the Council’s relevant resolutions, particularly 687 (1991), which stated that Iraq must unconditionally agree to the destruction or removal of all prohibited weapons, and agree to control of its weapons programmes. Gabon had hoped the Council would arrive at a draft text taking broadly into account the observations of most members of the Council. He regretted that the efforts of the past months had not led to that.
The resolution offered Iraq an opportunity to resume its dialogue with the United Nations and shed light on shadowy areas that led people to think there was something hidden with respect to its programme of weapons destruction, he said. His Government urged Iraq to take that opportunity. Such cooperation would allow the Council, among other things, to take measures in operative paragraphs 28, 33, 37 and 38 of the draft, dealing with issues that included the suspension of the import of Iraqi products, and the lifting of prohibitions imposed under resolution 687 (1999). If Iraq were to create the necessary conditions for implementation of those paragraphs, it could help ease the suffering endured by its people for the past nine years, and strengthen peace in the Middle East.
Cooperation must also be extended to the tripartite committee, and Kuwaiti property and archives must be returned, he continued. On that important aspect, the issues were humanitarian in nature; it was essential to provide information to the families of the victims. He welcomed that the Secretary-General had been asked to appoint a high-level coordinator on the matter, and report to the Council every four months. He also was pleased that operative paragraph 6 of the draft emphasized having qualified members from both the technical and cultural standpoint in the new commission. It had been the lack of cultural sensitivity in the past that that often jeopardized relations.
ANA MARIA RAMIREZ (Argentina) said her delegation had been stressing the need to achieve consensus to convince Iraq to resume cooperation with the United Nations. It had further supported the view that the opinions of Iraq should have some role in the process.
There were certain core aspects of the draft, she said. There was the right kind of restoration of interaction between the Council and the new commission. It would be the Council's responsibility to adopt the work programme for the commission and for the IAEA. For their part, the UNMOVIC and the IAEA would have to return to Iraq and work out their work programmes after having determined the current state of affairs on the ground. The concept of the suspension of sanctions was placed on firmer footing, to encourage compliance with Council resolutions. Cooperation without reluctance or reservation was an indispensable element of the draft.
Once adopted, the draft would have to be implemented, she said. Most of the measures of a humanitarian nature of section C would be applicable immediately after the draft was adopted, for the benefit of the Iraqi population. The definitive lifting of the oil ceiling, and the establishment of a simplified system for approving humanitarian goods would have immediate effect. To arrive at sanctions suspension, it was not only Iraq that must comply with its obligations. The Council would have to approve the work programmes and agree on a financial monitoring system.
With creation of UNMOVIC, a new phase in the disarmament of Iraq was opening, she said. All the necessary precautions were available to maintain objectivity, a technical approach and professionalism, to guarantee that the UNMOVIC would maintain impartiality in fulfilling its tasks. The new Commission would also build on the experience of UNSCOM.
QIN HUASUN (China) said that in formulating new comprehensive policies towards Iraq, three core issues must be addressed. First, a new inspection commission should be established to replaced the infamous UNSCOM and the new institution must be objective, transparent and accountable. The UNSCOM had scored some achievements in monitoring, inspecting and destroying Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, but under the leadership of its former executive chairman, it had concealed information from the Council, deceived and misled the Council and even acted without Council authorization. Thus, it played a dishonorable role in triggering the crisis that was unfolding at that time.
More than once, he continued, UNSCOM delivered chemical agents into Baghdad without asking the Council’s permission or reporting after. While hundreds of inspections had gone well and only a few caused minor problems, UNSCOM had concluded that there was lack of full cooperation. Further, on such a crucial issue as its withdrawal from Iraq, UNSCOM had bypassed the Council and made decisions on its own. The new Commission must not repeat the path of UNSCOM. The Council must exercise absolute control and supervision over it.
Second, the remaining Iraqi disarmament issues should be defined clearly and precisely, and resolved gradually and effectively, he continued. There had been tremendous progress in the disarming of Iraq, especially regarding the nuclear files and missile files. Problems remained, but the key remaining tasks should not be either denied or exaggerated. The new inspection commission should conduct a true fact-finding mission and the Council should review the key remaining tasks. The Iraqi Government could address those tasks in accordance with an approved list, so that the Council would lift all sanctions in a timely manner.
Third, he added, there was urgent need to relieve the Iraqi people of their tremendous suffering. Nine years of sanctions had inflicted physical and psychological sufferings on Iraqi civilians, as documented by United Nations agencies and humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Council had not imposed sanctions for the purpose of hurting innocent persons. Therefore, it had every reason to remove, rather than prolong, the humanitarian suffering of the Iraqi people.
While China was not satisfied with the draft as a whole, it was an improvement over earlier texts, he said. But it was questionable whether the draft could be implemented. Without Iraqi cooperation, implementation of any resolution was hardly possible. If Iraq could not see light at the end of the tunnel, why would it comply and cooperate? he asked. Iraq was obligated to implement the relevant Council resolutions, but the Council too was obligated to implement its own resolutions honorably, to objectively assess Iraq’s implementation, and gradually lift or at least suspend the sanctions accordingly.
Therefore, he said, in the draft, reinstatement of disarmament inspections and suspension of sanctions against Iraq should be linked together. If the new commission reported positively on Iraq’s cooperation, the sanctions should be suspended automatically. The draft should contain specific provisions which would make it easier to implement, and help avoid possible misunderstanding and disputes among Council members. To vote a draft resolution where consensus was not reached after prolonged consultations would not solve the Iraq issue, or maintain the Council’s authority. Therefore, China would abstain from the vote.
The Iraqi and Kosovo crises had demonstrated that the willful use of force, especially unilateral actions without Council authorization, severely damaged the Council’s status and authority and further complicated the situation, he said. The role of the Council in maintaining international peace and security could not be substituted by force. The no-fly zone in Iraq had never been authorized or approved by the Council. Members concerned should cease immediately such actions that flouted international law, and the Council’s authority. Those members must show real sincerity if they wished to address the Iraq issue.
GELSON FONSECA JR. (Brazil) said it did not seem possible to achieve the objective of attaining normalcy and lifting sanctions immediately. Although its goals remained, the system established by resolution 687 (1991) seemed to have exhausted itself. No sign was more clear than the lack of inspections in Iraq for almost a year. It was important to look critically at the past to learn lessons that might pave the way towards implementing the draft resolution. Progress and suspension were important milestones that could be achieved in the medium term, but it was imperative to recognize that they would have to be built politically.
He said the first meaningful step in reconstituting a unified stance towards the Iraqi questions and how to restore United Nations authority in Iraq had been the establishment of the three panels led by Celso Amorim. Their report offered viable technical solutions for the Council's consideration. He regretted that it had not been possible to reach consensus earlier.
The current document was a balanced draft which incorporated many, if not all, the recommendations of the three panels, he said. Perhaps it was not ideal, but it was close to the best possible result, taking into account profound differences. The alternative was the status quo, which was a precarious balance of non-compliance and absence. That was not acceptable since Council resolutions were not being implemented and the Iraqi people continued to suffer. He wanted to see the Council in full control of a process that could lead to the implementation of its resolutions and the return of normalcy in Iraq.
He stressed the need for "healing diplomacy”. The Council would need the help of all those with a capacity of dialogue and influence on the Iraqi Government. He would vote in favour of the draft because it represented the start of a new phase in the relations between the United Nations and Iraq.
BABOUCARR-BLAISE JAGNE (Gambia) said the draft before the Council offered the first prospect of light at the end of the tunnel. There was no hidden agenda. Operative paragraph 7 was clear about where the Council wanted to go.
The issue of Kuwaiti Prisoners of War, archives and property was an important issue which, under the current draft, would not be relegated to a secondary position. The draft resolution also addressed the humanitarian dimension of the Iraqi problem in a way that he hoped would go a long way to alleviate the suffering of the people of Iraq. Iraq would not be able to sell as much petroleum and petroleum products as it could. It would remove the most depressing constraint on the Iraqi programme, and create room for more humanitarian goods to reach Iraq as and when required.
He noted that the Sanctions Committee was directed to take a decision on all applications in respect of humanitarian and essential civilian needs within two working days. The ball was now in Iraq's court, and he urged Iraqi authorities to seize the opportunity to set the process in motion for the countdown to suspension of sanctions and their eventual lifting. What was being offered in the draft resolution was the lowest common denominator. The Council should endeavour to set and maintain high standards, consistent and even-handed at all times. If the Council made the mistake of changing or lowering its standards, it would set a dangerous precedent. The Council must guard against giving special treatment to any country. Accordingly, he vehemently opposed the idea of "implementable" because it was synonymous with "palatable" and therefore a non-starter.
He would vote in favour of the draft resolution because it showed the way forward, making it possible for Iraq, provided it cooperated, to join the ranks of those countries which had earned respect and admiration on the basis of an enlightened pursuit of economic miracles rather than military might.
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said the vote followed by one and a half years the crisis that erupted in summer 1998 because of Baghdad’s refusal to cooperate with UNSCOM. The draft took into account the difficulties in implementing resolution 687 (1991). The Council must turn in the future -– to ensuring the disarming of Iraq. In the short term, it was essential to ensure that sanctions did not target the population of Iraq, whose humanitarian situation was deteriorating daily. The Council had heard that message, and also had agreed that relations between it and Iraq must be put on a new footing. The creation of the panel of experts had enabled a new and impartial response. France would have liked the recommendations emanating from those panels to be fully taken on board and enacted by the Secretary-General, starting in April. The current text was a combination of successive projects from diverse sources, which had undergone significant reshaping. The Council was now calling on Iraq to return missing Kuwait persons and property. Today's draft improved on resolution 687, with the elimination of the oil ceiling as a key factor.
But there was a refusal to break the isolation of the Iraqi population, he said. The resolution did not allow the resumption of aviation traffic and did not provide any real exemption for religious purposes, since that was dependent on the Sanctions Committee. One positive factor was that the new commission would act on a basis of professionalism and accountability. It would have the same powers and duties as its predecessor, but its behaviour and organization would envisage machinery to provide realistic incentives for the Iraqi authorities. Sanctions were striking at the people of Iraq, and the Council could not abandon its responsibility in the face of this real humanitarian disaster. If cooperation with Iraq resumed in a satisfactory manner, therefore, sanctions would be lifted. The machinery for suspension was linked to solid guarantees. The suspension could occur only by a new Council decision. If Iraq did not cooperate, sanctions would be automatically restored.
The draft contained an unknown and an ambiguity, both of which should have been resolved, he said. The unknown was that the details of the financial mechanism had not been specifies. Iraq had been called on to accept the inspectors without knowing what would occur in the aftermath. The ambiguity pertained to the criteria for the suspending and lifting of sanctions, which gave rise to different interpretations. Operative paragraph 7 meant, to France, that one the work programme was completed it would be possible to lift the sanctions, with suspensions as an interim measure on accordance with resolution 687 (1991). Progress must be the criterion for cooperation, and in line with paragraph 33, cooperation was the criterion for suspension. A different interpretation would make suspensions very uncertain. The text should have been clarified on the criteria for suspension.
The Council then adopted resolution 1284 (1999) by a vote of 11 in favour to none against with four abstentions (China, France, Russian Federation, Malaysia).
PETER BURLEIGH (United States) said the vote today had not been unanimous, but no member had asserted that Iraq had met its obligations under the Council's resolutions. He expected all members of the Council, regardless of their vote, to join in pressing Iraq for full and immediate implementation.
He said he supported the resolution because it provided a serious response to a serious issue. It was consistent with past resolutions and was clear, reasonable and could be implemented. As in the past, the United States would closely monitor Baghdad's response to the new resolution. Compliance or non-compliance with the resolution would be simple for the Council to measure.
After acknowledging, on behalf of the United States, several individuals "whose extraordinary contributions helped to make the resolution possible", he said the text would advance the central objective of arms control, humanitarian assistance and issues relating to Kuwait. The Council had never put any prohibition on the religious practices of the Iraqi people, and he supported the provision to exempt from sanctions air travel by Hajj pilgrims. However, no measure in the resolution should be seen as a step towards any broader relaxation of the air embargo. The United States continued to oppose easing the strictures on air travel, as it would greatly complicate the task of sanctions enforcement.
Continuing, he said the unimpeded operation of the United Nations arms inspections teams on the ground in Iraq was essential. He attached great importance to the provisions calling for establishing a reinforced monitoring and inspection effort in Iraq, and he looked forward to the Secretary-General's appointment of a suitably qualified candidate to become Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC. The United States would provide full support to the new Executive Chairman and to the IAEA.
He went on to say that if Iraq fulfilled its key remaining obligations, the Council could decide whether to recognize that cooperation and compliance by suspending sanctions. Similarly, if Iraq met the full range of obligations mandated in the Council's resolutions, the Council could make a decision regarding the lifting of sanctions. He was not seeking an excuse to use force. He would welcome a favourable Iraqi response to the resolutions. Iraq held the key to its own reentry to the community of nations.
Before considering suspensions, the Council would need to set guidelines on the means of delivering civilian imports during suspension. The present resolution did not define the details of those measures or stipulate what means of delivery would or would not be authorized. The United States attached the utmost importance to that requirement for effective control measures.
Also important was the Council=ðs determination that suspension would be temporary. If Iraqi cooperation with UNMOVIC and the IAEA ceased during the suspension, then suspension would automatically end. The Council had placed the onus squarely on Iraq to demonstrate that it was continuing to satisfy Council requirements. Iraq's history of "cheat and retreat" with weapons inspectors meant it could expect no benefit of the doubt.
JASSIM MOHAMMED BUALLAY (Bahrain) said the Council had voted on a resolution that was one of the most important texts tabled in the past two years. His delegation hoped it would be implemented credibly and objectively. The Council had dedicated strenuous efforts and long hours in the process of preparing the resolution. Its implementation would require complicated and widescale efforts. He truly hoped the crisis between Iraq and the Council would not be repeated and that constructive cooperation would prevail, to allow for the destruction of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, the return of Kuwaiti prisoners of war and of Kuwaiti property.
Iraq must continuously implement Council resolutions, including today’s, he said. That would mean that Iraq had carried out the demands made of it, so it could dedicate its efforts to economic and social efforts, as other countries in the region. The Council was modifying its approach, allowing for even a partial recognition of what had been realized. The Council had shown readiness to suspend sanctions provided Iraq cooperated in the field of disarmament.
Iraq had already declared its total rejection of the text, even before it was adopted, he said. How could the Council cooperate with a party that refused cooperation? he asked. That party had made cooperation conditional on the suspension of sanctions. But how could sanctions be suspended when resolution 687 (1991) relevant to destruction of weapons of mass destruction had not been implemented, nor had property or prisoners of war been released? It should not be argued that the number of prisoners was less than the number in other wars. One prisoner meant the whole world to his family. Also, it should not be said that the Kuwaiti property was archives –- rather, it was the identity of the state, stolen to obliterate that entity.
Today’s resolution represented a serious attempt by the Council to deal with the issue, he said. Iraq must respond, so both parties could realize the desired results. He was delighted that the Council showed readiness to evince more flexibility in the area of humanitarian supplies, and exempted Hajj pilgrimages. Regarding the goal of making the Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction, Israel posed great danger to the entire region, he stressed. The Council must bring the Iraqi question to an end; Iraq must cooperate by implementing Council resolutions and coexisting peacefully with its neighbours. Then peace and development would have a chance in the region. Today’s resolution was the first step. DANILO TURK (Slovenia) said his delegation welcomed the improvements in the effort to address the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people. It would make the work of the sanctions committee more effective. At the same time, there were important tasks incumbent upon the Iraqi Government which remained responsible for the humanitarian situation in Iraq. He stressed that a responsible government could not justify its shortcomings by referring to sanctions.
He noted that the tasks to be accomplished implied considerable difficulty both technical work and in terms of the need for the Council to agree on issues of disarmament. Those issues were not only technical, but also related to the overall perception of the military and security situation in the region and were therefore likely to lead to new difficulties in the future work of the Council.
He said the new system for Iraq established important new arrangements and represented considerable improvement. He hoped the Council in its new composition would be able to make faster progress than had been the case in the past two years and that all issues concerning Iraq would be resolved.
ROBERT FOWLER (Canada) said today’s resolution reflected most of the recommendations made by the three panels proposed by Canada and established in January. It offered the people of Iraq relief from the humanitarian hardships they had endured, while providing the international community with the assurance of continued attention on unresolved disarmament problems. The people of Iraq had paid the highest price over the past nine years, and they were the ones who would gain the most from the swift implementation of the resolution. An important immediate benefit would be the removal of the export ceiling, which would make much new money available. The humanitarian provisions should provide immediate relief, and Canada was determined to work to ensure that the commitments made in the resolution were implemented in letter and spirit.
Canada was committed to improving the situation stemming from Iraq’s isolation and to exploring ways to alleviate the conditions suffered by the most vulnerable segments of Iraqi society, especially children, he said. Canada was also determined to see the same diligence applied to the disarmament side of the Iraq equation. It would contribute to ensuring that the goals set on the disarmament front were clear, precise and consistent with the regional security objectives established by the international community.
He recognized that Iraq and some Council members were not entirely satisfied with the Council’s updated approach, but said that the resolution put in train an important process that would permit a new relationship with Iraq. The resolution carried with it obligations that the international community that respect. But Iraq too must respond positively if it was to realize the dialogue with the Council that it had long sought. The time had long since passed when the people of Iraq could afford the luxury of their Government’s desire to play politics with the will of the international community. The resolution offered the Iraqi people immediate humanitarian relief and the hope of returning to a normal life. Canada urged the Government to seize the opportunity to help its people and move towards closure of the question.
MARTIN ANJABA (Namibia) said he would have preferred a unanimous decision. His main concern, however, was the implementability of a resolution passed by a divided Council. There remained insurmountable differences among Council members. Of equal concern was that the Council, for close to a year, had not been able to assert itself on the Iraqi problem, with the result that some crucial issues had not been attended to. In the future, he would prefer that the issue of Iraq be taken care of in the Council and by all Council members in line with its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
He had voted in favour of the resolution because it represented a vast improvement over where the Council had started a year ago. It addressed most of the outstanding issues while taking into account a large percentage of the Amorim panel recommendations. Furthermore, it provided a roadmap which could ensure the total elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, as well as the suspension and lifting of sanctions.
He hoped that the resolution would allow the Council to reestablish a relationship of cooperation and engagement with Iraq and discourage any possible unilateral action by Member States against it.
PETER VAN WALSUM (Netherlands) said his delegation had been prepared to go along with a large number of concessions in order to accommodate other views. However, over the past few months -– since the permanent five members had taken possession of the drafting process -– it had become clear that the price for enabling the Russian Federation, China and France to vote for the resolution was higher than his delegation was prepared to pay. In the end, he had had to accept that consensus was not possible if the objective of establishing a genuine reinforced ongoing verification system was to be established. He was unconvinced that all delegations were really ready to vote in favour once their concerns had been met, or that they had an interest in voting on a resolution unwelcome to Baghdad. That could explain why the many amendments had not led to a change in the voting pattern that could have been predicted many months ago. Rarely, had so many concessions been so unrewarded.
Permanent members had tried to argue that only if there was consensus in the Council would Iraq cooperate, he continued. But in the statements made by the Iraqi authorities, there had been no indication at all that they would cooperate with the Council except based on an unconditional lifting of the sanctions. And no Council member had been ready to meet that condition. Thus it did not make a great deal of difference that the resolution had not been adopted by consensus. By Article 25 of the Charter, every Member State was obliged to carry out Council resolutions. Consensus resolutions did not have higher degrees of legitimacy, according to the Charter. Therefore, the new resolution was the law of the land. No one expected the Iraqi authorities to welcome the new text, but he hoped it would recognize the promising opening it was being offered by the international community.
For the Netherlands, the primary objective had always been disarmament, he said. Iraq must never again be able to threaten its neighbours, or develop weapons of mass destruction. The previous arms control regime had been instrumental in destroying weapons of mass destruction, and had done an excellent job in the face of continued Iraqi obstruction. The current resolution represented a shift in the approach from active disarmament to ongoing monitoring and verification, while retaining the possibility of addressing unresolved disarmament issues, known as “OMV-plus”. But the concessions referred to above would make it more difficult to achieve the Council’s objectives. The text contained ambiguities. It asked less in the way of Iraqi performance before a possible suspension of sanctions that would have been desired. The complex organizational system could lead to micromanagement and operational paralysis. Before the new system could become operational, the Council would be able to approve steps that would be the chance to ensure that the OMV-plus regime was effective. The Netherlands called on the newly elected Council members to be vigilant on that score.
The thoughtless use of the phrase “light at the end of the tunnel” made it sound like the Council had locked Iraq in a dark cave, but existing resolutions, in particular resolution 687 (1991) had clearly illuminated the way out. Sanctions would be lifted once Iraq had fully complied. The present resolution added to that by offering Iraq suspension of sanctions well before full compliance. For the suspension to materialize, Iraq must have cooperated in all respects for a period of 120 days with UNMOVIC and the IAEA. It was up to the Government of Iraq to trigger the suspension of sanctions. It was not realistic to expect an early positive signal from Baghdad, but in his dual capacity as representative of the Netherlands and Chairman of the 661 sanctions committee, he was relieved that the present resolution provided for a considerable enhancement of the humanitarian program, regardless of whether or not the Government chose to cooperate with the Council.
Mr. FONSECA (Brazil) thanked the members of the Council for the words of praise that had been extended to his predecessor, Ambassador Amorim.
Sir JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) said that for the Council to remain a successful global manager of peace, it must ensure that its decisions were not diluted by defiance. The Amorim panel had provided an excellent start for the work on Iraq. "We now have a new way forward", he said. The resolution preserved the original disarmament standards for Iraq, established a new monitoring and inspection arrangement and met humanitarian concerns. Further, it gave belated recognition to just how dire Iraq's response had been to its obligations on missing Kuwaiti citizens and property. Most significantly, it set out a series of clear, logical steps using the new concept of suspension, to bring Iraq out of sanctions and back into the international community.
He said his Government strongly endorsed the concept of suspension as a valuable step towards the full lifting of sanctions. Some had argued that the resolution should be designed to ensure Iraq's acceptance of it. Given the basis of Iraq's known positions, that would have meant abandoning all previous resolutions. A more serious point was whether Iraq would cooperate with its implementation. Iraq's track record and its recent rhetoric were hardly encouraging. Witness its refusal this week to grant visas to the IAEA.
He regretted that some had been more inclined to listen to the voices of the Iraqi leadership than to the needs of the Iraqi people. The Council now had the policy it needed. This resolution was now the law of the globe.
Mr. HASMY (Malaysia) reminded the representative of the Netherlands that in addition to China, France and the Russian Federation, his delegation had also abstained in the vote. While Malaysia was not a permanent member, it was still a fully fu