Subject: TLGOV: Statement to Security Council on Iraq

Delivered by JOSE LUIS GUTERRES

27/03/2003

Security Council 4726th Meeting (Resumed)(AM)

Mr. President,

We would like to thank you and the members of the Security Council for this opportunity to address an issue of major concern to the international community.

The agenda before us has been here for many years. The Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait, a small and neighbouring country, the record of the same Government in Iraq, in the use of chemical weapons against its Kurdish population, and in the aggression against Iran, are matters of most serious concern to all of us. The lack of serious commitment by the Government of Iraq up to now to fully comply with the Security Council resolutions has contributed to the grave situation we are facing today.

As a member of the Non Aligned Movement, we share the views expressed in the final documents of the Kuala Lumpur Summit, in particular the need for the Iraqi Government to fully comply with the Security Council resolution 1441(2002).

The Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste issued a statement on March 19th, which, inter alia, expressed its consternation on the inability of the Security Council to reach a consensus on the implementation and enforcement of its resolutions on Iraq. As a small and peace-loving country, we stand for the multilateral approach in seeking solutions to the problems that affect the world.

Mr. President,

It is our hope that in the present military intervention, all sides will respect the International Humanitarian Law, in particular the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocol I, on the treatment of civilians and prisoners of war.

We appeal to the Secretary General and the members of the Security Council to continue to focus their attention on this grave situation and to build a consensus not only for the provision of adequate and urgent humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people, but also to bring about a lasting peace with respect for territorial integrity, and to work on scenarios for the post conflict situation.

Timor-Leste knows from its own experience that when the UN system, in particular the Security Council, is willing to act, it has proven to be very effective in the restoration of peace, international legality, maintenance of stability and in creating the sound foundations of a democratic country in which human rights and freedom will flourish.

In this difficult moment, we would like to extend our solidarity to the people of Iraq in their struggle for a lasting peace, freedom, democracy, human rights and national reconciliation.

Mr. President,

We share the convictions expressed here by many countries that we must also address the demands of freedom and independence for the people of Palestine in order to achieve lasting peace, justice and stability in the region. We welcome, therefore, the renewed commitment of the United States of America and the European Union in this regard.

Yesterday, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan, made an urgent appeal for unity and common purpose in the Security Council. In echoing his appeal, we urge the Security Council to continue to search for solutions to these and other conflicts with determination and unity; fulfilling their obligation under the UN Charter.

Thank you Mr. President.


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