World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Annan makes new appeal for UNSC unity on Iraq

Annan makes new appeal for Security Council unity on Iraq

11 March – United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan made a new appeal today for Security Council unity in the face of differing approaches to ridding Iraq of banned weapons of mass destruction, repeating earlier statements that war should only be a last resort.

"Obviously, we need to exhaust all possibilities to resolve this issue peacefully before force is considered," Mr. Annan said during a press encounter in The Hague, where he attended the inaugural session of the International Criminal Court (ICC). "But a united Council working with unity of purpose and direction can make that difference and I think attempts are being made, as difficult as it is, by the Council to come together and to move forward."

The United States, United Kingdom and Spain have introduced a draft resolution that presents Iraq with a 17 March deadline to cooperate fully with disarmament demands, which France says it will veto. France, Germany, the Russian Federation and other Council members have voiced opposition to action at this time and seek continued and enhanced weapons inspections.

Asked about the effect of a French veto on Council unity, Mr. Annan said: "Not very good for the unity but we have seen this before. Many vetoes have been cast, I hope we will be able to come together on this one but to be able to come together on this one and avoid the vetoes implies that we need to come with a compromise that everybody can rally around and say this is the direction we are going to go and put pressure on the Iraqi authorities to disarm."

Despite the different approaches, Mr. Annan said everybody was agreed on disarmament itself. "The people in the streets, the government, everybody, is insisting on disarmament and that is why the public mood must not be misread by the Iraqi authorities," he added.

Before attending the ICC ceremony, the Secretary-General met with Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkanende of the Netherlands and Foreign Minister Jaap G. de Hoop Scheffer for over half an hour, and discussed a wide range of issues. He is scheduled to meet later today with Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim before returning to New York tomorrow.

Monday evening in New York, top UN weapons inspector Hans Blix said Iraq should have declared a remotely piloted plane, but when asked by reporters whether that provided the "smoking gun" of Iraqi non-compliance, he replied, "No, we're not yet at that stage at all. We're investigating what the drones are."

Mr. Blix, Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), said that for the drone to be illegal it would have to have a reach longer than 150 kilometres and be linked to the delivery of bio-chemical weapons. He said Iraq had given the range as 55 kilometres and that they had been flying it for 10 minutes.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC