Minister Cowen welcomes adoption of the Goods Review List
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen TD, welcomed the unanimous adoption of Resolution 1409 today by the United Nations Security Council.
"This Resolution places the system of economic sanctions against Iraq on a new basis. It is expected to drastically reduce the number of imports which are being held up under the present system. This will result in a major improvement in the living conditions of the Iraqi people Once the new system gets up and running, any and all goods may be imported freely into Iraq, apart from arms and items on a carefully-defined Goods Review List that have a potential military application, which must be cleared by the Sanctions Committee.
Ireland has long held the view that the sanctions, whose purpose is to prevent the regime from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, must be designed and implemented in such a way as to inflict the minimum hardship on ordinary people. Ireland has worked hard with other delegations on the Security Council over the past year and more to bring about the comprehensive agreement embodied in Resolution 1409, in order to help the Iraqi people to recover from the long years of hardship and arrested economic development that they have suffered due to war, oppression and economic sanctions.
From now on, decisions regarding the flow of food and medicines, as well as of consumer and capital goods, will rest primarily with the Iraqi authorities. The use of Iraqi resources will be entirely a matter for the Iraqis themselves, subject to certain controls directed towards ensuring that the Iraqi regime does not again acquire the means to threaten peace and security in the region. I call on the Iraqi authorities, in the interests of the people of Iraq, to cooperate fully with the United Nations in the implementation of the new system.
The aim of the international community is to bring about the implementation of Security Council resolutions by Iraq, thus safeguarding peace and stability in the region and leading to the suspension and ultimately the lifting of sanctions.
The Government looks forward to the day when the sanctions are lifted altogether, a matter which is entirely within the power of the Iraqi Government if they choose to comply with the decisions of the Security Council. The Minister urged the Iraqi authorities to cooperate with the United Nations in the implementation of the Oil-for-Food Programme and also in the implementation of their obligations under Security Council resolutions and in particular to admit arms inspectors. For that reason he welcomed the two rounds of talks that Secretary-General Annan has held with the Foreign Minister of Iraq this year, and expressed the hope that forthcoming rounds will be substantive and productive."