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

 

Iraqi return of inspectors letter only a beginning

Iraqi letter on return of weapons inspectors only a beginning - Annan

17 September – Iraq's recently announced decision to allow the return of UN inspectors - absent since 1998 - should be seen as a beginning and not an end, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference along with principals of the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East - including the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation and the United States Secretary of State - Mr. Annan said Baghdad's new position, expressed in a letter received yesterday, must be viewed "as a beginning in our effort to return the inspectors who are going to disarm Iraq."

The Secretary-General also recalled that between 1991 and 1996 in particular, UN inspectors "did an incredible job" destroying Iraq's weapons. At the same time, he acknowledged that "given the history of the past, there are delegations and Member States who feel that we should not return business as usual, and that we should take steps to ensure that the inspectors are able to go about their work unimpeded and with the full cooperation of Iraq."

"They would want Iraq to understand that this is not going to be business as usual or a repeat of what happened in the past," he added.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell said "the only way to do make sure that it is not business as usual, and to make sure that it is not a repeat of the past, it seems to me, is to put it in the form of a new UN resolution."

"We have seen this game before," he said, calling for a new and tougher stance to satisfy the needs of disarmament, and adding that other issues must be dealt with as well.

"We note the letter, and now we will go back into consultations with our colleagues in the Security Council to see what appropriate action is now before us," Mr. Powell said. "The Security Council should speak again."

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said the Security Council and the international community have constantly sought to bring about the return of inspectors to Iraq in order to address concerns about the country's possession of weapons of mass destruction - "the central problem about which there are appropriate resolutions."

He welcomed the fact that thanks to international efforts, Iraq had given its consent to the return of inspectors without any preconditions. Of course there would be many opinions regarding whether or not Baghdad could be trusted, but it would be essential to look at the facts alone, he stressed. In order to get the facts, "we need to bring about the speedy return of inspectors to Iraq."

"From our standpoint, we don't need any special resolution for that to occur," said the Russian Foreign Minister. "All the necessary resolutions, all the necessary decisions about that are [on] hand." There were members of the Security Council that sought to adopt a new resolution, and such proposals were under discussion, he added.

Stressing the importance of unity, Mr. Annan said, "from my experience, the Security Council has a lot of impact and gets a lot done when they work in unison, and we should try and retain the unity of purpose that has emerged over the last few days as we move forward."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Covid: 250 Groups Urge WTO Chief To Ditch Pharma-Friendly Approach And Embrace Vaccine Patent Waiver

by Jake Johnson, staff writer An international coalition of 250 civil society groups on Tuesday urged the head of the World Trade Organization to embrace a temporary suspension of coronavirus vaccine-related patents, warning against pursuit of a voluntary ... More>>

Samoa’s Stunning Election Result: On The Verge Of A New Ruling Party For The First Time In 40 Years

Tamasailau Suaalii Sauni , University of Auckland and Patricia A. O'Brien , Georgetown University Samoan politics is on a knife edge. After the country voted in general elections on April 9, counting so far has resulted in a dead heat between the two ... More>>

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Awake At Night: S3-Episode 21: There Is Hope

Brazzaville visit to CSI Pilote du Diabete with Health workers at a local government clinic. 2018 - Photo: ©CSI/Dr. Soumya Swaminathan 'When it comes to a pandemic, it really needs global collaboration and solidarity because the pathogens and viruses More>>

UN: Growing Calls For Revamping Development Financing To Ensure Sustainable Global Recovery From COVID-19 Pandemic

Forum to highlight new initiatives to tackle inequalities exacerbated by pandemic With many economies reeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as inequalities continue to widen, world leaders will discuss options to unlock concrete investments ... More>>

How Can We Vaccinate The World? Five Challenges Facing The UN-Backed COVAX Programme

The aim of the UN-backed COVAX scheme is to get two billion vaccine doses into the arms of around a quarter of the population of poorer countries by the end of 2021. What are the main challenges that need to be overcome, if this historic global effort ... More>>