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Cablegate: Un/Iraq:Secretary-General Annan Questions

O 102122Z MAR 03
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4250
INFO UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
IRAQ COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
WHITEHOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000633

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNSC PARM IZ
SUBJECT: UN/IRAQ:SECRETARY-GENERAL ANNAN QUESTIONS
LEGITIMACY OF ACTION WITHOUT UNSCR

1. (U) SECRETARY-GENERAL ANNAN, IN THE HAGUE MARCH 10 FOR
CYPRUS UNIFICATION TALKS, ADDRESSED THE PRESS ON IRAQ. WHEN
ASKED IF AN ATTACK ON IRAQ WITHOUT SECURITY COUNCIL
AUTHORIZATION WOULD VIOLATE THE UN CHARTER, ANNAN SAID "IF
THE U.S. AND OTHERS WERE TO GO OUTSIDE THE COUNCIL AND TAKE
MILITARY ACTION, IT WOULD NOT BE IN CONFORMITY WITH THE
CHARTER." ANNAN SAID PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WANT A PEACEFUL
RESOLUTION TO THE IRAQ CRISIS, AND EMPHASIZED THAT "WAR MUST
ALWAYS BE A LAST RESORT." HE NOTED THAT THE UN HAS "A DUTY TO
SEARCH UNTIL THE VERY END FOR THE PEACEFUL RESOLUTION OF
CONFLICTS."

2. (U) ANNAN NOTED THAT THE SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS "NOW
FACE A MOMENTOUS CHOICE," ADDING, "IF THEY FAIL TO AGREE ON A
COMMON POSITION, AND ACTION IS TAKEN WITHOUT THE AUTHORITY OF
THE SECURITY COUNCIL, THE LEGITIMACY AND SUPPORT FOR ANY SUCH
ACTION WILL BE SERIOUSLY IMPAIRED." HE CONTINUED, ADDING
THAT THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
WOULD CRUCIALLY AFFECT ITS ABILITY TO DEAL WITH OTHER
PROBLEMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, THE KOREAN PENINSULA AND AFRICA.
ANNAN ALSO NOTED THE IMPORTANCE ATTACHED THE WORLD OVER TO
THE SECURITY COUNCIL AND THE UN, AND SAID, "AS THEY APPROACH
THEIR GRAVE DECISION, I MUST SOLEMNLY URGE ALL MEMBERS OF THE
COUNCIL TO KEEP THIS IN MIND, AND TO BE WORTHY OF THE TRUST
IN THEM THAT THE WORLD'S PEOPLE HAVE SHOWN."

3. (U) HIS REMARKS WERE DISTRIBUTED BY UN NEW YORK'S PRESS
SPOKESMAN.


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