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

 

Downing St Iraq Briefings 5-6 November

PRESS BRIEFING: 11AM WEDNESDAY 6 NOVEMBER 2002

IRAQ

Asked if we were expecting a revised text of a new UN Security Council Resolution this afternoon and whether we saw this as the last chance to achieve what we wanted, the PMOS said that as he understood it, a meeting of the Permanent Five members of the Security Council was due to take place today at 2.45pm (GMT) in New York at which it was not impossible that a revised UK/US text might be circulated. People had to exercise a little patience and wait and see what happened. That said, the signals from New York were hopeful. We believed we might be reaching the end of the endgame and that we were closer now to having a new Resolution than we had been in the past.

Questioned about the need for a new Resolution, the PMOS said that the reason we needed a new Resolution was, firstly, to give the UN Weapons Inspectors a new mandate so that they could return to Iraq and do their job properly. Secondly, given Saddam Hussein was in breach of a number of existing Resolutions, it was important for the UN - as the embodiment of the international community - to show its resolve and determination to deal with the issue of Weapons of Mass Destruction. They were a real threat and clearly could not be ignored. If, as was looking more likely, a new Resolution was passed, it would be for Saddam Hussein to decide how he should be disarmed - but disarmed he would be.

The PMOS said that we had reached this point in the process as a result of some extremely intensive diplomatic negotiations. It was fair to say that the key paragraphs had been negotiated line by line by the Foreign Secretary, Colin Powell and the French Foreign Minister. Over the last few weeks they had been speaking at least every day, often several times a day. The Prime Minister believed that Jack Straw, Sir Jeremy Greenstock and his team had done a fantastic job. We had to be a little patient as we waited to see whether things would move forward, as we hoped they would. Yes, the noises were encouraging, but we had been at this stage before and he did not want to inflate expectations.

PRESS BRIEFING: 3.45PM TUESDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2002

IRAQ

Asked for the Prime Minister's reaction to Dr Rowan Williams' remarks about Iraq today, the PMOS said the Prime Minister understood that some people had a number of concerns about the prospect of any action against Iraq. However, as Jack Straw had pointed out this morning, we were not at or near the point of any military action. Moreover, as the Prime Minister had said at his news conference in Sedgefield last month, he hated the prospect of war and hoped that Saddam Hussein would recognise and obey the outstanding UN Resolutions so that a military campaign could be avoided. Obviously the best way for that to happen was for Saddam to recognise that not only was the international community united in demanding that his weapons of mass destruction be destroyed, but also that he would face the consequences if they weren't. Clearly it was a very difficult issue. But, as the Prime Minister had said in Sedgefield, it was one where he felt morally bound to ensure that the threat to international security did not increase.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Euro-Med Monitor: Sudan Military Coup Shatters Democratic Path, Threatens With Authoritarian Rule Return
The Sudanese army's seizure of power in the country diminishes the hard-won human rights and civil gains achieved after the December 2018 protests, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said today in a statement...More>>


Weather: Pacific Likely To Experience Double Dip La Niña Episode

The Pacific is likely to experience a rare occurrence of what is called a double dip La Niña in the coming months, Climate models and predictions tools used by Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological services (NMHSs) show...
More>>

CNS: Will India's 1 Billion Vaccination-dose-milestone Be Catalytic For Vaccinating All?

On 21 October 2021, India crossed its milestone of administering over 1 billion (100 crores) doses within 278 days since it began the vaccination rollout (on 16th January 2021)... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Climate: ‘Vague’ Net Zero Promises Not Enough: Planet Still On Track For Catastrophic Heating, UN Report Warns

New and updated commitments made ahead of the pivotal climate conference COP26 in the past months are a positive step forward, but the world remains on track for a dangerous global temperature rise of at least 2.7°C this century even if fully met, a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned... More>>

Pacific: Young Climate Leaders Call For Urgent Climate Action Ahead Of COP26

Eight Pacific Young Climate Leaders shared their experiences of climate resilience and activism in an inaugural dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Mr Henry Puna on 21 October 2021... More>>

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>