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Cablegate: Un/Iraq: Syg Makes Statement to Council On Iraq,

O 192148Z MAR 03
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4503
INFO IRAQ COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5/DDPMAW// IMMEDIATE
JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5/UNMA// IMMEDIATE
NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
OSD WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
WHITEHOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000766

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PARM UNSC IZ
SUBJECT: UN/IRAQ: SYG MAKES STATEMENT TO COUNCIL ON IRAQ,
MARCH 19 (FULL TEXT)

1. (U) IN REMARKS TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL MARCH 19, SYG ANNAN
EXPRESSED REGRET THAT THE COUNCIL DID NOT REACH A COMMON
POSITION ON IRAQ, CALLING IT A "SAD DAY" FOR THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. ANNAN STATED THAT "THE
RESPONSIBILITY FOR PROTECTING CIVILIANS IN CONFLICT FALLS ON
THE BELLIGERENTS; IN ANY AREA UNDER MILITARY OCCUPATION,
RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WELFARE OF THE POPULATION FALLS ON THE
OCCUPYING POWER." THE UN WOULD PROVIDE WHATEVER ASSISTANCE
IT COULD TO THE IRAQI PEOPLE "WITHOUT IN ANY WAY ASSUMING OR
DIMINISHING THAT ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY." THE FULL TEXT OF
THE ANNAN'S SPEECH IN INCLUDED AT PARA 2.

2. (U) BEGIN TEXT.

THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT.

EXCELLENCIES,

NEEDLESS TO SAY, I FULLY SHARE THE REGRETS EXPRESSED BY MANY
MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL AT THE FACT THAT IT HAS NOT BEEN
POSSIBLE TO REACH A COMMON POSITION. WHATEVER OUR DIFFERING
VIEWS ON THIS COMPLEX ISSUE, WE MUST ALL FEEL THAT THIS IS A
SAD DAY FOR THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY.

I KNOW THAT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD SHARE THIS
SENSE OF DISAPPOINTMENT, AND ARE DEEPLY ALARMED BY THE
PROSPECT OF IMMINENT WAR.

LET ME HERE PAY TRIBUTE TO THE UNITED NATIONS STAFF BOTH
INTERNATIONAL AND IRAQI WHO HAVE WORKED SO HARD IN IRAQ UP TO
THE LAST POSSIBLE MOMENT. THAT INCLUDES THE INSPECTORS,
WHOSE WORK HAS NOW SADLY BEEN SUSPENDED. I WOULD LIKE TO PAY
SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO DR. (HANS) BLIX, DR. (MOHAMED) EL BARADEI
AND (RAMIRO) LOPES DA SILVA, THE HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR,
UNDER WHOSE LEADERSHIP THE STAFF WORKED IN IRAQ.

MR. PRESIDENT, IT IS THE PLIGHT OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE WHICH IS
NOW MY MOST IMMEDIATE CONCERN, AND I HAVE BEEN GLAD TO HEAR
THAT SENTIMENT SHARED BY ALL THE SPEAKERS IN THIS DEBATE.

IN THE PAST TWENTY YEARS, IRAQIS HAVE BEEN THROUGH TWO MAJOR
WARS, INTERNAL UPRISINGS AND CONFLICT, AND MORE THAN A DECADE
OF DEBILITATING SANCTIONS.

THE COUNTRY'S VITAL INFRASTRUCTURE HAS BEEN DEVASTATED, SO
THAT IT NO LONGER MEETS THE MOST BASIC NEEDS FOR CLEAN WATER,
HEALTH OR EDUCATION.

ALREADY, IRAQ'S MOST VULNERABLE CITIZENS THE ELDERLY, WOMEN
AND CHILDREN, AND THE DISABLED ARE DENIED BASIC HEALTH CARE
FOR LACK OF MEDICINE AND MEDICAL EQUIPMENT.

ALREADY, NEARLY ONE MILLION IRAQI CHILDREN SUFFER FROM
CHRONIC MALNUTRITION.

ALREADY, IRAQIS ARE HEAVILY DEPENDENT ON THE FOOD RATION
WHICH IS HANDED OUT EACH MONTH TO EVERY FAMILY IN THE
COUNTRY. FOR MORE THAN SIXTY PER CENT OF THE POPULATION,
THIS RATION IS THEIR MAIN SOURCE OF INCOME. YET MANY FAMILIES
HAVE TO SELL PART OF IT TO BUY CLOTHES OR OTHER ESSENTIALS
FOR THEIR CHILDREN.

ALL THAT IS TRUE AS WE SPEAK. AND IN THE SHORT TERM, THE
CONFLICT THAT IS NOW CLEARLY ABOUT TO START CAN ONLY MAKE
THINGS WORSE, PERHAPS MUCH WORSE.

MR. PRESIDENT,

I AM SURE ALL MEMBERS OF THIS COUNCIL WILL AGREE THAT WE MUST
DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO MITIGATE THIS IMMINENT DISASTER,
WHICH COULD EASILY LEAD TO EPIDEMICS AND STARVATION.

UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW, THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR PROTECTING
CIVILIANS IN CONFLICT FALLS ON THE BELLIGERENTS; IN ANY AREA
UNDER MILITARY OCCUPATION, RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WELFARE OF
THE POPULATION FALLS ON THE OCCUPYING POWER.

WITHOUT IN ANY WAY ASSUMING OR DIMINISHING THAT ULTIMATE
RESPONSIBILITY, WE IN THE UNITED NATIONS WILL DO WHATEVER WE
CAN TO HELP.

AS YOU KNOW, THE HUMANITARIAN AGENCIES OF THE UNITED NATIONS
HAVE FOR SOME TIME BEEN ENGAGED IN PREPARING FOR THIS
CONTINGENCY, EVEN WHILE WE HOPED IT COULD STILL BE AVERTED.

WE HAVE DONE OUR BEST TO ASSESS THE POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF WAR,
IN TERMS OF POPULATION DISPLACEMENT AND HUMAN NEED, AND TO
POSITION OUR PERSONNEL AND EQUIPMENT ACCORDINGLY. FOR THESE
PREPARATIONS WE REQUESTED 123.5 MILLION DOLLARS FROM DONORS A
MONTH AGO, BUT ONLY 45 MILLION HAVE BEEN PLEDGED, AND 34
MILLION DOLLARS RECEIVED, TO DATE. I'M AFRAID WE SHALL VERY
SOON BE COMING BACK WITH AN APPEAL FOR MUCH LARGER SUMS, TO
FINANCE ACTUAL RELIEF OPERATIONS AND I EARNESTLY HOPE THAT
MEMBER STATES WILL RESPOND WITH GENEROSITY AND SPEED.

WE HAVE ALSO EXAMINED THE SITUATION CAUSED BY THE SUSPENSION
OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAMME IN IRAQ, AND
WAYS THAT THE PROGRAMME COULD BE ADJUSTED TEMPORARILY, TO
ENABLE US TO CONTINUE PROVIDING HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO
THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ DURING AND AFTER HOSTILITIES.

SUCH ADJUSTMENTS WOULD REQUIRE DECISIONS BY THIS COUNCIL. I
WILL THEREFORE SUBMIT MY SPECIFIC PROPOSALS FOR THE COUNCIL'S
CONSIDERATION - AS SUGGESTED IN YOUR NOTE, MR. PRESIDENT.

IN CONCLUSION, MR. PRESIDENT, LET ME EXPRESS THE HOPE THAT
THE EFFORT TO RELIEVE THE SUFFERINGS OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE, AND
TO REHABILITATE THEIR SOCIETY AFTER SO MUCH DESTRUCTION, MAY
YET PROVE TO BE THE TASK AROUND WHICH THE UNITY OF THIS
COUNCIL CAN BE REBUILT.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.


NEGROPONTE

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