Part One

REPUBLIC OF IRAQ

MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

PRESENTATION OF THE DELEGATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ IN THE DIALOGUE WITH THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS

 

NEW YORK 26-27 FEBRUARY 2001

Baghdad

The present publication contains the complete presentation of the Delegation of the Republic of Iraq in the sessions of the Dialogue with H.E. Kufi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Held in New York during the period 26-27 February 2001.

OPENING STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ

New York, 26 February 2001

Excellency,

I should like to express our thanks to Your Excellency for this opportunity to embark on a dialogue in regard to the relationship between Iraq and the Security Council in order to get out from the present impasse and proceed towards the final lifting of the embargo on Iraq. This step has been long overdue. As you know, my Government has always favoured dialogue, and has been calling for it for a long time. But the response has not been forthcoming. All we received has been nothing but impositions, or mere neglect, instead of a hard look at the record of implementation in order to do justice to the obligations provided for in the resolutions of the Security Council.

At the outset, I should like to state that we intend to make a comprehensive presentation of the facts as we see them on the relationship between Iraq and the Security Council. Since this is the first round of a dialogue, it is important in our view that a factual presentation of the record should be as comprehensive as possible within the constraints of time at our disposal. While I shall concentrate on the fundamental points, I shall, with your permission, call on my colleagues to intervene to elaborate on the topics as necessary.

Iraq has implemented all the obligations under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.

The provisions of the cease-fire resolution (686) were implemented in full.

The various obligations under resolution 687 were also implemented. Iraq recognized the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Kuwait, and its borders as demarcated by the United Nations. It has cooperated with the United Nations and fulfilled its obligations fully in regard to the deployment of the UN Observers Unit. It has fulfilled all the requirements of paragraphs 7 to 13 related to disarmament along with the relevant resolutions related thereto, namely those dealing with ongoing monitoring and the import/export mechanism. Iraq returned all Kuwaiti property items found and committed itself to return all items to be found in the future. Furthermore, Iraq accepted the principle of liability under international law as required by the resolution 687. Iraq repatriated all prisoners of war and performed, and continues to perform, the duty to cooperate in accounting for missing persons. Finally, it has implemented the demand to denounce all kinds of international terrorism.

I should like to emphasize that the obligations imposed upon Iraq in the resolutions of the Security Council have been unusually harsh and transcended normal legal bounds required for the restoration of international peace and security. In the process of implementation of these obligations, Iraq had to confront all kinds of unusual procedures, including abnormal twists and moving the goal post, in relation to which it has no choice. While we will try to show this during this dialogue, the point I want to make now is that Iraq spared no effort to implement the obligations imposed on it, hoping in the meantime that it will lead to a position on the part of the Security Council commensurate with its clear obligations towards Iraq as it has provided in its resolutions.

In this connection, a fundamental point needs to be made. As I affirmed, Iraq implemented all the obligations under the resolutions of the Security Council. But for argument’s sake, whatever is the position of certain members of the Security Council in regard to the implementation by Iraq of the obligations imposed upon it, a question in regard to which the views in the Council are not uniform, the fact remains that what Iraq has fulfilled, by any conceivable percentage, would have been sufficient to induce the Council years ago to adopt a resolution at least to reduce the embargo in accordance with paragraph 21 of resolution 687 and to implement paragraph 22 of the said resolution. This is the only position, which shows respect on the part of the Council to its own resolutions. But it has not taken place so far. The position of the Council remained rigid and strict as a result of the American and British attitudes, with their political agenda against Iraq contrary to the resolutions of the Council and which were facilitated by the hegemony of the United States and their veto power.

So, and as we shall show later on during this dialogue, we witness in the field of the resolutions adopted by the Council a clear denial of the rights of Iraq, not only in the conception of the obligations imposed, but also in regard to the process of implementation.

In addition, there are aspects of the relationship between Iraq and the Security Council, which fell outside the resolutions of the Council. But these aspects were totally neglected by the Council despite the fact that it was its duty under the Charter to act upon them.

No-fly zones were imposed in Northern Iraq in 1991, and in Southern Iraq in 1992. The latter was extended in 1993. Furthermore, since the declaration of a formal cease-fire under resolution 687, the United States committed three acts of aggression against Iraq in January 1993, June 1993, and September 1996. In addition it committed together with the United Kingdom two acts of aggression in December 1998 and February 2001. In fact, since December 1998, the Anglo American acts of aggression, including supporting, financing and training terrorist groups aiming at destablizing Iraq and threatening its territorial integrity, continued unabated.

There is also a fundamental paradox here. The Security Council has continued to call upon Iraq to comply with its resolutions, despite the fact that Iraq has done so. Yet, the Council has not reacted to date to the forcible imposition of the no-fly zones by the United States and the United Kingdom over Iraq without any authorizing resolution from the Council, and contrary to the conditions of the formal cease-fire provided for in resolution 687. Also, there has not been any reaction from the Council in respect to the acts of aggression committed against Iraq. This situation which has been maintained by two permanent members of the Council constitute, from the legal and practical viewpoints, a violation of the cease-fire under resolution 687, and in the ultimate sense a destruction of the very foundation of the resolution and all that has resulted from it unless the Security Council corrects the situation, and compensates Iraq on the same basis underlying the decisions it had adopted to impose compensation upon Iraq. This paradox contradicts the essence of justice. It is also an example of an implicit, if not explicit, abdication of responsibility contrary to the duty of the Council to exercise its powers and functions under the Charter.

Is it not a strange paradox to request any State to adhere to the resolutions of the Council at a time when two permanent members (the United States and the United Kingdom) do not abide by the resolutions adopted by the Council in relation to Iraq, although these two States were the prime movers behind the adoption of the said resolutions?

This also applies to the rulers of Kuwait, who participate directly in the American and British violations in the southern no-fly zone by giving all the required facilities, including financial support, to the operation of American and British planes, which carry out the aggression against Iraq, despite the benefits they reaped from resolution 687, such as recognition, the borders, and compensation. Needless to mention, of course, that Kuwait does not refrain from intervening in the internal affairs of Iraq through renderpolitical, material and moral support to the so-called Iraqi opposition, which represents a grave violation of the relevant provisions of the resolutions of the Security Council.

On the basis of the above, the main conclusion in this respect is that the action is required from the Security Council, and not from Iraq. Through seven and one half years (since April 1991 to December 1998) Iraq, despite the huge sacrifices it had to make, has fulfilled its commitment to implement fully its obligations under the Council’s resolutions, while the Security Council has not honoured its obligations under the same resolutions towards Iraq, on the one hand, and resolution 687 has been violated by the United States, the United Kingdom and Kuwait, on the other.

What is required now is to correct the present grave situation so that Iraq can feel that the Security Council is dealing with it in a just, balanced and equitable manner, rather than simply calling on it to do what is considered to be duties on Iraq by those who have hidden agendas against it. The embargo on Iraq should be lifted, its sovereignty should be respected and all acts of intervention in its internal affairs should cease.

In addition to the central point in the situation exposed above, without the consideration of which a balanced relationship between Iraq and the Security Council on the basis of mutual obligations cannot be established, there are important grievances by Iraq, which require a just and balanced consideration.

Compensation, which amounted to hundreds of billions of dollars, has been imposed on Iraq as a result of remaining for seven months in Kuwait. But the Council has not considered at all Iraq’s well-founded rights to compensation in regard to the illegal imposition of the no-fly zones and the great losses and damage it has suffered through eleven years resulting from the acts of the United States, the United Kingdom and Kuwait. The damage and the losses cover the following:

The destruction suffered by Iraq during the 1991 in regard to aggression against civilian installations, which were alleged to be related to Iraq’s presence in Kuwait.

The destruction that has taken place in Iraq as a result of the imposition of the illegal no-fly zones in Northern and Southern Iraq, the bombardments and the resulting destruction of the American aggression twice in 1993, and 1996, and the American and British aggression in 1998 and 2001with the support of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which continues to-date.

The human, material, and spiritual damage and losses suffered by Iraq as a result of the comprehensive embargo and its unjustified continuation, which is in contravention of the Charter.

Threats against the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence, external and internal security and intervention in internal affairs.

Iraq demands compensation on all the losses and damage incurred in this regard and stands ready to present all the relevant items whenever the question is discussed seriously. Iraq considers the satisfaction of its right to compensation from the United States, the United Kingdom, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in this respect a fundamental factor to resolve the present impasse.

If this imbalance remains in dealing with Iraq, it would be strange to continue to show Iraq at fault and call on it to implement obligations under international law, while others escape from the responsibility to implement the obligations incumbent upon them as a result of their violations of international law and resolution 687 for all those years?

Moreover, there are numerous transgressions in the various fields covered by the resolutions of the Council or otherwise. The field of disarmament comes first. On this question Ambassador Samir al-Nimah will intervene. No less important are the transgressions in respect to the no-fly zones and the acts of aggression under various pretexts and the continuation of aggression. This will be taken up by Under-Secretary Riyadh al-Qaysi. Next comes the important area of compensation, which will also be handled by Under-Secretary al-Qaysi. The supposedly humanitarian resolution 986 and the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Secretary-General, have witnessed transgressions, on which Ambassador Saeed al-Musawi will speak. Finally, Under-Secretary al-Qaysi will finally speak on the questions of the demarcation of boundaries and missing persons as well as certain aspects of the transgressions with particular reference to the destruction inflicted on Iraq and the continuation of the embargo against it. The contributions of the members of my delegation will be made in a concentrated form. The details thereof will be presented in the following rounds of the dialogues.

On the basis of the above, it is not logical or just to request Iraq now to present any additional thing to what it had already done, without any legal ground. It is the Security Council, which is called upon to secure respect by others to its resolutions, especially the United States, the United Kingdom and the rulers of Kuwait, to correct the inequities, to compensate the loss and damage to Iraq and to restore the balance in dealing with it.

Excellency,

It is our hope that our views and grievances will be presented to the Security Council. The Council should consider the ways and means to eliminate the inequities, compensate the losses and damage, and to restore the balance, so that in the light thereof, the Council could continue the dialogue with Iraq to reach a balanced, equitable agreement in harmony with international law.

Part Two