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

 


Annan hopes UN weapons inspectors will return

Annan hopes UN weapons inspectors will return to Iraq

1 April – Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today he hoped United Nations weapons inspectors would eventually return to Iraq, noting that their work had merely been suspended.

Speaking to reporters upon arriving at UN Headquarters in New York, the Secretary-General said that if any weapons of mass destruction were to be found, the inspectors should go back to test them. "I hope the time will come when they will be able to do that," he added.

Asked about what consequences it might have for the legitimacy of military action if such weapons are not found, the Secretary-General noted that, although the issue before the Security Council was one of disarmament, "the Council had not endorsed this war."

As for Iraqi threats concerning suicide attacks throughout the Arab world, the Secretary-General stressed that, "if we were to have suicide attacks around the world, most people would see it as illegal, it would be seen as terror against innocent civilians."

Turning to the humanitarian situation, the Secretary-General said he was concerned about the conditions in the besieged Iraqi cities. "With the hot season coming on, if you have no water and electricity, it can lead to sanitation problems," he said. "I know efforts have been made by the Red Cross and some of the others on the ground to get the water up and running and that is what we would expect."

In reply to a question about what the UN could do "way down the road," Mr. Annan said that while the main focus now was on the humanitarian situation, the Council would discuss the UN's future role and perhaps ask the world body to take on additional responsibilities as it has done in other situations. "It is not excluded that the UN will play an important role but that is a question that the Council will have to deal with," he added.

The Secretary-General was also asked about feelings among Arab ambassadors that he had not been vocal enough about what was happening in Iraq. "I think I have said enough - before the war - and even now I've been saying a lot about war," he replied, adding that those who wanted the war to end and the UN to bring about a ceasefire would obviously want him and the Council to be "a bit more active on that front."

On calls for a General Assembly meeting to condemn the war, the Secretary-General said there had been discussions about it and he was not sure if delegates had agreed on it or not, "but obviously there's lots of unhappiness in this building about the war."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news