Iraq calls on UN members to reject Security Council authority
Iraq called on Wednesday, November 14 on other members of the United Nations to reject the authority of the Security Council in imposing sanctions on Baghdad.
Council decisions are legally binding on all UN member states, but Iraq's foreign minister, Naji Sabri, told the General Assembly that the council had become "a tool" of US policy since it slapped sanctions on Iraq in 1990. He said the council must be reformed to enlarge its membership and overhaul its decision-making processes: a reference to the veto power of its five permanent members. The council has 10 other members, elected for two years.
"Pending the completion of the process of reforming the Security Council... members of the United Nations should reconsider their authorization to the council to act in their behalf," Sabri said. "There is no more obvious case in this regard than that of the comprehensive sanctions imposed on Iraq."
The sanctions imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 included a ban on all trade, oil and weapons embargoes, a freeze of Iraq's foreign assets and a ban on international flights.
In April 1991, the council said the sanctions would be removed only when it was satisfied that Iraq had eliminated all its weapons of mass destruction. Since then, it has allowed Iraq to export unlimited amounts of crude oil under UN supervision and to import food and other necessities, including oil industry equipment and spare parts. The ban on international flights is no longer respected, but the weapons ban remains.
Sabri also condemned what he called "the current discriminatory theories of non-proliferation and the mindset of drawing a distinction between safe and unsafe possession of weapons of mass destruction." He noted that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had said the elimination of such weapons should start with "the huge arsenal of such weapons stockpiled primarily in the United States and secondarily in the Zionist entity". — (AFP, United Nations)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)