Minister Cowen welcomes UN Security Council Resolution on Iraq
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Brian Cowen TD, has welcomed the unanimous adoption today of UN Security Council Resolution 1441 on Iraq.
Minister Cowen said
“Ireland supports this new Resolution because it offers the most likely means of achieving the three goals we set ourselves, namely, to obtain Iraq's compliance with its disarmament obligations, to avoid a military conflict, and to preserve the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.”
The Minister further said that
“Ireland took an active part in the Security Council debate over the past two months. We took the view that military action against Iraq was not inevitable and that, on the contrary, war could be averted if the Security Council adopted a strong Resolution which sends the arms inspectors back into Iraq with a reinforced mandate to complete their work. This Resolution gives Iraq a final opportunity to comply with the disarmament obligations imposed on it by the Security Council.
This is a Resolution about disarmament and not about war.
Today's resolution is to be welcomed for the fact that the Security Council has been able to express, in a unified fashion, its concerns and its intentions regarding Iraq. It has enhanced the inspectors' ability to fulfil their mandate, both by strengthening their hand in valuable ways and by demonstrating the Security Council's determination to ensure that Iraq will, on this occasion, meet its obligations.”
The Minister added that
“The Government believe that the integrity of the UN Charter, and the prerogatives of the Security Council, are fully preserved in the terms of this resolution. The resolution provides for a clear sequential process, whereby the inspectors will report back to the Council on Iraq's compliance with its obligations under Security Council resolutions. This will then be assessed by the Security Council itself, which will decide whether material breach of Iraq's obligations has occurred and what ensuing action is appropriate.
Iraq has been offered a rigorous and fair way forward towards meeting its disarmament obligations, while avoiding the use of force. However, there can be no doubt that Iraq must now cooperate fully with arms inspectors, and reassure the world, finally, that it has divested itself of weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.”
In conclusion the Minister said that
“The Government hope that the Iraqi authorities will now respond by assuming their own responsibilities, both to the international community and to their own people. The Iraqi people have waited far too long for their chance to recover from a decade of war followed by a decade of sanctions. Ireland calls on the Iraqi authorities to choose the path of peace, to cooperate fully with the inspectors, to comply with all their other obligations under Security Council resolutions, and thereby to allow their country to resume the path of peaceful economic and social development, which is so strongly desired and deserved by the Iraqi people.”Top