Peter Willetts, Professor of Global Politics
Documents and Speeches on the Crisis over Iraq
This collection is intended to be a useful archive of important primary materials. The texts of the documents has not been amended, but usually some copy-editing of the lay-out has been done.
Downloaded from www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2002/SC7564.doc.htm on 9 November 2002.
SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS IRAQ IN ‘MATERIAL BREACH’ OF DISARMAMENT OBLIGATIONS,
OFFERS FINAL CHANCE TO COMPLY, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1441 (2002)
Instructs Weapons Inspections to Resume within 45 Days
Recalls Repeated Warning of ‘Serious Consequences’ for Continued Violations
Holding Iraq in “material breach” of its obligations under previous resolutions, the Security Council this morning decided to afford it a “final opportunity to comply” with its disarmament obligations, while setting up an enhanced inspection regime for full and verified completion of the disarmament process established by resolution 687 (1991).
By the unanimous adoption of resolution 1441 (2002), the Council instructed the resumed inspections to begin within 45 days, and also decided it would convene immediately upon the receipt of any reports from inspection authorities that Iraq was interfering with their activities. It recalled, in that context, that the Council had repeatedly warned Iraq that it would face "serious consequences" as a result of continued violations.
Under the new inspection regime established by the resolution, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would have “immediate, unimpeded, unconditional and unrestricted access” to any sites and buildings in Iraq, including presidential sites. They would also have the right to remove or destroy any weapons, or related items, they found.
The Council demanded that Iraq confirm, within seven days, its intention to comply fully with the resolution. It further decided that, within 30 days, Iraq, in order to begin to comply with its obligations, should provide to UNMOVIC, the IAEA and the Council a complete declaration of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, including chemical, biological and nuclear programmes it claims are for purposes not related to weapons production or material. Any false statement or omission in the declaration will be considered a further material breach of Iraq’s obligations, and will be reported to the Council for assessment.
Following this morning’s vote, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the Security Council resolution adopted today had strengthened the cause of peace and given new impetus to the search of security in an increasingly dangerous world. The adoption represented an example of multilateral diplomacy serving the cause of peace and security. He urged the Iraqi leadership to seize the opportunity, and thereby begin to end the isolation and suffering of the Iraqi people. “If Iraq’s defiance continues, however, the Security Council must face its responsibilities”, he said.
He said, “This is a time of trial -– for Iraq, for the United Nations and for the world. The goal is to ensure the peaceful disarmament of Iraq in compliance with Council resolutions and a better, more secure future for its people.” How the crisis was resolved would affect greatly the course of peace and security in the coming years in the region, and the world, he said.
Also speaking after the vote, Council members said that their views had been taken into account in the final version of the draft, which was co-sponsored by the United States and the United Kingdom. The representative of France welcomed the two-stage approach required by the resolution, saying that the concept of “automaticity” for the use of force had been eliminated. The representatives of China and the Russian Federation stressed that only UNMOVIC and the IAEA had the authority to report violations by Iraq of the resolution’s requirements.
The United Kingdom’s representative said the resolution made crystal clear that Iraq was being given a final opportunity. The Iraqi regime now faced unequivocal choice: between complete disarmament and the serious consequences indicated in the resolution.
The representative of the United States noted that, while primary responsibility rested with the Council for the disarmament of Iraq, nothing in the resolution constrained any Member State from acting to defend itself against the threat posed by that country, or to enforce United Nations resolutions protecting world peace and security.
The representatives of Mexico, Ireland, Bulgaria, Syria, Norway, Singapore, Colombia, Cameroon, Guinea and Mauritius also spoke.
The meeting, which began at 10:15 a.m., adjourned at 11:40 a.m.
The original UN Press Release contained the text of Resolution 1441 (2002) at this point. To see the text as a separate web page click here
Statement by Secretary-General
Secretary-General KOFI ANNAN said the Security Council resolution adopted today “has strengthened the cause of peace” and given new impetus to the search of security in an increasingly dangerous world. It set out clearly Iraq’s obligations to the United Nations in ensuring disarmament of its weapons of mass destruction. He urged the Iraqi leadership –- for the sake of its own people and for the sake of world security and world order -– to seize the opportunity, and thereby begin to end the isolation and suffering of the Iraqi people. “If Iraq’s defiance continues, however, the Security Council must face its responsibilities”, he said.
The resolution was based on law, collective effort, and the unique legitimacy of the United Nations, he said. It represented an example of multilateral diplomacy serving the cause of peace and security. It reflected a renewed commitment to preventing the development and spread of weapons of mass destruction, and the universal wish to see that goal obtained by peaceful means. He knew negotiations on the resolution had not been easy, but, he said, “whenever the Council is united, it sends a very powerful signal”. He recognized those countries, especially members of the League of Arab States, who had persuaded Iraq to change its previous position and said it was important that governments with influence on Iraq remained engaged in the effort to obtain Iraq’s compliance with its international obligations.
He said the road ahead would be difficult and dangerous. But, empowered by the resolution, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stood equipped to carry out their vital task. To succeed, they would require full and unconditional cooperation on the part of Iraq, and the continued determination of the international community to pursue its common aim in a united and effective manner. He said, “This is a time of trial -– for Iraq, for the United Nations and for the world. The goal is to ensure the peaceful disarmament of Iraq in compliance with Council resolutions and a better, more secure future for its people.” How the crisis was resolved would affect greatly the course of peace and security in the coming years in the region, and the world, he said.
JOHN NEGROPONTE (United States) said that the resolution constituted the world community’s demand that Iraq disclose and destroy its weapons of mass destruction. The new course in that effort would send a clear message to Iraq insisting it disarm or face the consequences. Describing the text, he said that Iraq had ignored obligations essential to peace and security.
The resolution, he said, confirmed what had been clear for years -– that Iraq had been and remained in violation of disarmament obligations. To redress that situation, the resolution gave UNMOVIC and the IAEA a new, powerful mandate. But the inspections would not work unless the regime cooperated fully with those organizations. He hoped that all Member States now would press Iraq to undertake that cooperation. Every act of Iraqi non-compliance would be a serious matter, because it would mean that Iraq had no intention of disarming.
The resolution contained, he said, no “hidden triggers” and no “automaticity” with the use of force. The procedure to be followed was laid out in the resolution. And one way or another, Iraq would be disarmed. If the Security Council failed to act decisively in the event of further Iraqi violation, the resolution did not constrain any Member State from acting to defend itself against the threat posed by that country, or to enforce relevant United Nations resolutions and protect world peace and security.
The message to Iraq, he said, was that non-compliance was no longer an option. The message to the Security Council was one of partnership. He urged Mr. Blix and Mr. El Baradei to make full use of the tools given them in the resolution. To the Arab world, including the people of Iraq, he said that the resolution opened the way to the peaceful disarmament of Iraq. The United States was not seeking to wage war on the Arab world. Nothing could be further from the truth. He urged those peoples to join in the common effort to assure peace and security in the region.
The resolution afforded Iraq a final opportunity, he said. He concurred with the Secretary-General’s remark that the Security Council must face its responsibilities if Iraq’s defiance continued. Members, he said, could rely on the United States to live up to its responsibilities, if the Iraq regime persisted with its refusal to disarm.
JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) said no shadow of a doubt remained that Iraq had defied the United Nations over the last 11 years. With the adoption of the resolution, the Council had clearly stated that the United Nations would no longer tolerate that defiance. The resolution made crystal clear that Iraq was being given a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations. The regime in Baghdad now faced an unequivocal choice: between complete disarmament and the serious consequences indicated in paragraph 13 of the resolution. The overwhelming support of Council members sent the most powerful signal to Iraq that it could no longer evade its obligations under United Nations resolutions.
He said a key part of the resolution was the provisions giving inspectors the “penetrating” strength needed to ensure the successful disarmament of Iraq. Those provisions would reinforce international confidence in the inspections. He hoped it would also lead Iraq away from a fatal decision to conceal its weapons of mass destruction. He had full confidence in Hans Blix and Mohamed El-Baradei and their teams, and full respect for their integrity and independence. He said there was no “automaticity” in the resolution. If there was a further Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations, the matter would return to the Council for discussion. He expected the Council then to meet its responsibilities.
Ultimately, the choice lay with Iraq as to whether to take the peaceful route to disarmament. He hoped that Iraq would fully cooperate with the United Nations, meet its obligations, and take the path back to the lifting of sanctions, laid out in resolutions 1284 and 687. “But if Iraq chooses defiance and concealment, rejecting the final opportunity it has been given by the Council in operative paragraph 2, the United Kingdom -– together, we trust, with other members of the Council -– will ensure that the task of disarmament required by the resolutions is completed”, he said.
JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France) said he believed that the resolution was a good one, because it strengthened the role of the Security Council, which was the main objective of his country during the negotiations. If the inspection authorities reported to the Council Iraq had not complied with its obligations, the Council would meet immediately and decide on a course of action. France welcomed the lack of “automaticity” in the final resolution. Moreover, the resolution gave the IAEA and UNMOVIC better tools to do their job, and ensured impartiality. The inspectors would, however, have to rely on the full cooperation of the Iraqi authorities.
France, he said, had full confidence in Mr. Blix and Mr. El Baradei. Their teams must proceed quickly to Iraq. The resolution was a success for the United Nations and the Security Council. It must now become a success for peace. All of France’s efforts in the past few weeks had been directed at giving peace a chance; that was, to disarm Iraq peacefully, with the stability of the region in mind. The process set up by the resolution was demanding and required full cooperation of Iraq, which must understand that it was their last opportunity.
ADOLPHO AGUILAR ZINSER (Mexico) said the pace of negotiations had enabled the Council to devise a text that properly reflected the concerns of Member States about the fact that Iraq must comply with its international obligations. In case of failure to comply, the Council would act on determinations it would make on whether international peace and security was threatened. The Council decision preserved the legitimacy, effectiveness and relevance of the Council, in compliance with its mandate to maintain international peace and security. It strengthened the Council, the United Nations, multilateralism and an international system of norms and principles.
Those who had advocated the automatic recourse to the use of force had agreed to afford Iraq a final chance, he said. Iraq was now obliged to fully comply with its international obligations. The resolution had eliminated “automaticity” in the use of force as a result of material breach. He welcomed the acceptance of the two-stage approach, in accordance with which any failure to comply by Iraq should be taken on the basis of two prerequisites. There should be two time periods: a process of credible inspections of real Iraqi military capabilities; and the agreement of the Council on ways and means to be adopted should the inspection process detect a threat to international peace and security.
He said the resolution preserved the neutrality and impartiality of UNMOVIC and strengthened the principle that the inspectors must respond to the Council, not to individual countries. Mexico placed its trust in the integrity, professionalism and independence of Mr. Blix and Mr. El Baradei. He emphasized that it was important that Council decisions continue to comply with the principles of the Charter and international law, on the basis of objectively verifiable facts. The use of force was only valid as a last resort, with prior, explicit authorization of the Council.
RICHARD RYAN (Ireland) said that the unanimous adoption of the resolution was a strong statement of the Council’s unity. The resolution was about disarming Iraq without the use of force, which must always remain a last resort. Iraq must, however, understand that it must disarm. The purpose of the resolution was avoiding a military conflict and strengthening the role of the Security Council in the maintenance of peace and security.
The resolution, he said, provided for a clear, sequential process for Iraq compliance. Developments would be then examined by the Council itself, which had the primary responsibility to decide whatever action needed to be taken. He was confident that it would, in the words of the Secretary-General, face its responsibilities.
He knew that the inspection teams were fully conscious of the fact that they acted on the part of the international community. He was confident that they would be impartial, and focus on their primary responsibilities. The time had come for Iraq to resume the path of peace and economic development. The Council had given Iraq an opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations. Ireland called on Iraqi authorities to choose the path of peace and comply with the provisions of all Security Council resolutions, in the interests of its own people and peace.
SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said his country’s intention had been from the beginning that the international inspectors be sent as soon as possible to Iraq. Sharing the concern of Council members to ensure the most effective inspection regime possible, his delegation had cooperated with others to ensure inspections and a comprehensive solution of the question, including lifting of sanctions. He emphasized that the resolution did not contain any provisions for the automatic use of force and underlined that the sponsors of the text had affirmed that today.
He said it was of fundamental importance that there was clear confirmation in the resolution that all members respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. Noting the strengthened procedures for inspections, he said those procedures would be applied by the heads of UNMOVIC and the IAEA in a sense of professionalism and impartiality. His country had supported the resolution, guided by its special responsibility as a permanent member to maintain international peace and security. The resolution opened the road to diplomatic settlement. In case of dispute, it was UNMOVIC and the IAEA that would report it to the Council, who would then consider the situation that had developed.
He also noted the clarifications authorized by the sponsors of the draft. For example, regarding operative paragraph 3, stipulating that Iraq must also submit information on non-military programmes, he said it would not be seen as a violation if that process might take more than 30 days. He noted that operative paragraph 7 affected the status as independent international personnel. Operative paragraph 8 referred to personnel of UNMOVIC, the IAEA and additional personnel that members of the United Nations might provide to UNMOVIC and the IAEA on the latter’s request. He emphasized the need for Iraq to comply with all its disarmaments obligations on the basis of today’s resolution and Baghdad’s declared intention to do that. Implementation of the resolution would require goodwill of all involved, he said, their willingness to concentrate on moving forward and not yielding to unilateral interpretation of the resolution, and preserving the unity of the Council.
STEFAN TAFROV (Bulgaria) said he voted for the resolution because it gave a full chance for peace; one final opportunity for Iraq to show the international community that it possessed no nuclear weapons, or was willing to disarm of any it had. He welcomed the unanimous adoption of the draft, as well as the fact that his delegation’s views had been taken into account.
The resolution did not provide a pretext for the automatic use of force, but instead a firm insistence on the accomplishment of its objective, the disarmament of Iraq. He extended his delegation’s full support for the inspection teams and its leaders and called on Member States to lend them their support, as well.
He further welcomed the fact that the resolution categorically reaffirmed the unanimity of the Council in the decision-making process, and multilateralism as a primary principle in international relations. The resolution also sent a strong message concerning consequences for failure to comply with Security Council resolutions. The Iraqi authorities had, in their hands, the future of their country, including the lifting of sanctions against it.
FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) said Syria had voted for the resolution in order to achieve unanimity in the Council and because of its commitment to the United Nations Charter and international law be it in the case of Iraq, or the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and the Palestinian cause. His country had voted in favour after having received from the United States and United Kingdom, as well as France and the Russian Federation, reassurances that the resolution would not be used as pretext to strike Iraq and did not constitute a basis for “automaticity”. The resolution should not be interpreted in any way that any entity could use force. Permanent members of the Council had assured Syria that the resolution had strengthened the inspectors’ mandates and preserved the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and neighbouring States, and would lead to a comprehensive solution of the crisis.
OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said, bearing in mind the overall objective of disarming Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, the Council had afforded Iraq with a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations. The Council had enhanced the system of inspections and committed itself to using that body to resolve a serious crisis and, thus, signal its determination to uphold the authority of the Organization and respect for international law.
He said his country wanted the conflict with Iraq to be resolved peacefully. The resolution set out very clearly that the Iraqi authorities had a choice. In case of Iraqi non-compliance, the resolution set out a procedure where the Council would convene immediately in order to secure international peace and security. He hoped Iraq would choose to fully cooperate with the United Nations.
CHRISTINE LEE (Singapore) said the resolution was consistent with positions Singapore had espoused in the Council. There was a message to Iraq from that Council; it had a full and final opportunity to comply with its obligations. The difference between successful and unsuccessful inspection may be the difference between peace and war. In that context, she hoped that Iraq proceeded wisely and complied with the resolution fully.
ALFONSO VALDIVIEZO (Colombia) said from the outset his country had stressed the need for a new resolution because of new circumstances surrounding the Iraqi question, as well as a clear message that the international community did not intend to wait any longer for Iraq’s compliance with demands of the Council. The resolution was not authorizing the use of force, but provided a final opportunity to Iraq to comply. Iraq must now show its will to rejoin the family of nations. The declaration required of Iraq in operative paragraph 3 within 30 days was absolutely essential. The resolution would make it possible to move forward in the crisis, as it showed that the Council intended to respond to any new challenges.
MARTIN BELINGA-EBOUTOU (Cameroon) expressed appreciation for the role of the Secretary-General throughout the negotiations on Iraq of the past weeks. The text was a truly compromise text, without a victory for any side. It was a victory, instead, for peace and security. Now the ball was in Iraq’s corner. He made an appeal to that country to cooperate fully with UNMOVIC and the IAEA. In that way, Iraq could be true to itself once again -– a land of water and light.
He welcomed the clear statements made by the sponsors of the resolutions, spelling out the lack of a trap, trigger or automaticity in the resolution. He appreciated their expression of the importance of the Security Council’s core role in peace and security. He wished the inspector teams good luck; they had an enormous responsibility, having a valuable tool in their hands, along with the firm support of the Council.
MAMADY TRAORE (Guinea) said his country welcomed the adoption of the resolution by consensus. It was a clear message to Iraq. It would make possible a peaceful resolution of the crisis, and reaffirmed the key role of the Council in maintaining international peace and security. He reaffirmed his trust in the inspectors. He appealed to Iraqi authorities to comply with their international obligations.
BIJAYEDUTH GOKOOL (Mauritius) said the unanimous vote had strengthened the unity of the Council, which was a prerequisite for implementation of the resolution. He hoped Iraq would now comply with its international obligations and called on all to help in the resolution’s implementation. He also affirmed his country’s trust in the inspectors.
ZHANG YISHAN (China), the President of the Council, speaking in his national capacity, said his delegation voted in favour of the resolution, because it supported viewpoints that China had maintained during the negotiations, including a multilateral, diplomatic approach, and a way towards suspending and eventually lifting sanctions. He welcomed the efforts of international parties to break the deadlock on Iraq, and welcomed, as well, last month’s moves by Iraq to allow inspectors to return. He supported a practical inspection regime and called on all to fulfil their responsibilities in a fair and expedient manner.
He was pleased to note that the co-sponsors of the resolution had accommodated his country’s concerns. The purpose was to disarm Iraq, and it no longer contained any “automaticity” for the use of force. The Council must meet again if there was non-compliance by Iraq.
In adopting the resolution, the Council maintained its role in maintaining peace and security. He hoped that Iraq complied with its responsibilities, in order to bring the situation to an early conclusion. He suggested, in addition, that the inspection teams learn lessons from the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), for a successful completion of their tasks.
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For a summary of the debate in the Security Council on 16-17 October 2002 at the request of the Non-Aligned Movement, click here.
For the text of Security Council Resolution 1441 (2002), click here.
For the text of the joint letter from the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, Hans Blix, and the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed El-Baradei, to General Amir H. Al-Saadi, of the Iraqi Presidential Office, dated 8 October 2002, and annexed to Resolution 1441 (2002), click here.
For the text of the Joint Statement of 8 November 2002 by China, France and Russia interpreting Security Council Resolution 1441 (2002), click here.
For the explanation of the vote of the United Kingdom, click here.
For the explanation of the vote of the United States, click here.
For the State Department press briefing on Resolution 1441 (2002), click here.
For other documents on the Iraq crisis, click here.
Copyright Peter Willetts, 2002.
The text of this web page may be freely used provided that the author and the website address www.staff.city.ac.uk/p.willetts/IRAQ/INDEX.HTM are cited.
Centre for International Politics, School of Social Science, City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB.
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Last updated on 10 November 2002.