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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


Security Council
4726th Meeting (Resumed)(AM)
SC/7707
27 March 2003



SECURITY COUNCIL CONCLUDES TWO-DAY DEBATE ON MILITARY ACTION IN IRAQ; NEED

FOR IMMEDIATE HUMANITARIAN AID, PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS STRESSED

Broad Majority Say War Violates International Law, UN Charter;
United States, United Kingdom Defend Action as Necessary, Authorized



The Security Council concluded its first debate on Iraq since the beginning of hostilities on 19 March today, with many speakers calling for a halt to what they described as “illegal aggression”, while the United States and the United Kingdom defended the military action as necessary to disarm Iraq and authorized by existing Council resolutions.

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Statements

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LIBERATA MULAMULA (United Republic of Tanzania) ...

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The decision to resort to the use of force against Iraq was null and void as it had not complied with the requirements of resolution 1441, she said.  The decision by the United States and coalition partners to invade Iraq militarily was against the requirements, procedures and ethics of the international community, as well as the provisions of the United Nations Charter.  The United States' decision, and that of her coalition partners, not only weakened the United Nations, but also had the potential of endangering international peace and security.  The Palestine question had been calling for urgent action, to no avail.  The United Nations had been established out of the need to save future generations from the scourge of war, and that mission had not changed.  The war would definitely cause the loss of many innocent lives in Iraq and would further inflame the political and social problems currently facing the world, particularly that of international terrorism.

NASSER AL-KIDWA, Observer for Palestine, said that the Council was meeting today to discuss the destructive war waged against Iraq and its repercussions, including the suffering of the Iraqi people.  He hoped the Council would be able to put an end to what was taking place.  It had become clear that the war was waged outside the purview of the Council, and that the majority of the members of the Council and the United Nations were against the war.  The war would entail far-reaching and deep repercussions on the Middle East region and on the system of international relations.  Therefore, the international community must think deeply to arrive at an acceptable solution.

The Palestinian people could not but oppose the use of force in settling international disputes, he stated.  They stood in full solidarity with the Iraqi people in their suffering, caused by military operations by forces led by the United States.  He supported the resolutions adopted by the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Arab Summit, as well as that of the Ministerial Council of the League of Arab States.  He called for the immediate cessation of war and the withdrawal of foreign forces from the territory of Iraq.  He condemned any attempt to erode Iraqi independence.

In addition, he urged full respect for the Geneva Conventions.  He welcomed the new interest and importance attached by some to those Conventions.  Change could not come from outside or be imposed on peoples, particularly by military force.  Political systems could also not be imposed from outside.  There were apprehensions that Prime Minister Sharon and his Government would escalate their bloody campaign against the Palestinian people.  He called on the Council to pay attention to the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories in the coming weeks.

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JOSE LUIS GUTERRES (Timor-Leste) ...

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Timor-Leste knew from its own experience that when the Security Council was willing to act, it had proven to be effective in the restoration of peace, international legality and stability, as well as in building sound foundations for a democratic country in which human rights flourished.  He also shared the conviction on the need to address the demands for freedom and independence of the Palestinian people.  He welcomed the renewed commitment of the United States and the European Union in that regard.  He urged the Council to search for solutions to those and other conflicts with determination and unity.

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FRED BEYENDEZA (Uganda) said his Government had decided on 21 March to support the United States-led coalition to disarm Iraq by force.  Uganda also reaffirmed its strong support for the people of Palestine to have a State of their own, side by side with Israel.  ...

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JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) ...

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He said an equal priority was to restore the Middle East peace process to health.  That meant both publication and implementation of the “Road Map” and progress on security, as well as other issues.  The peace process must not be sidelined because of Iraq, nor must it be promoted only because of Iraq.  Justice for Palestinians, security for Israelis and Palestinians alike, and a comprehensive regional settlement must all be urgent proposals in their own right.  Looking ahead, the United Kingdom was clear that the United Nations must take a central role in the future of Iraq.  He hoped that the Council would play its part, ensuring a well-functioning Iraq that no longer presented a threat to international peace and where a representative government provided effectively for its people and managed natural resources for the exclusive benefit of all Iraqis.

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