Minister discusses reform of Iraq Sanctions
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., today, July 25 2001,
met with Mr.Hans von Sponek, former head of the UN's humanitarian assistance programme in Iraq, and Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, founding President of Pax Christi in the US, to discuss the issue of UN sanctions on Iraq.
Both Mr. von Sponek and Bishop Gumbleton are leading advocates for the lifting of sanctions on Iraq. They asked that Ireland, as a member of the UN Security Council, continue to give priority to this issue.
The Minister reiterated his grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Iraq. He said that Ireland, as a member of the Security Council, is committed to reform of the sanctions, eliminating the suffering of the Iraqi people. Ireland's objective in the Security Council negotiations is to achieve a Resolution which will provide, to the fullest extent possible, for the normalisation and development of the Iraqi economy for the benefit of the people of Iraq. Ireland supported measures to permit normal trade in civilian goods, to restore Iraq's infrastructure and production capacity, and to allow for foreign investment and international service contracts, while strengthening the necessary controls to prevent the Iraqi regime from further developing weapons of mass destruction and threatening its neighbours.