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[casi] UK Government sets out to defy the authority of the UN

Press release
Voices in the Wilderness UK
Tuesday February 25th
0845 458 2564/ 0794 7839992

UK Government sets out to defy the authority of the UN

Campaigners from Voices in the Wilderness UK today accused the British and
US Governments of seeking to undermine the authority of the UN by defying a
key UN Resolution (tabled by the UK in December 1999) to suit their own
warmongering ends.

UN Security Council Resolution 1284 requested that 60 days after UNMOVIC
began work in Iraq they set out a work programme of key disarmament tasks
for the Iraqi Government to complete.
 Para. 7 of Resolution 1284: the Security Council  'Decides that UNMOVIC and
the IAEA, not later than  60 days after they have
both started work in Iraq, will each draw up, for approval by the Council, a
work  programme for the
discharge of their mandates, which will include... the key remaining
disarmament  tasks to be completed
by Iraq... and further decides that what is required of Iraq for the
implementation of each task shall be
clearly defined and precise'. <

However Jack Straw is quoted today in the New York Times as rejecting the
idea of setting detailed deadlines for Mr Hussein to comply with UN Weapons
Inspections )

Milan Rai of Voices, author of War Plan Iraq,  explained, 'It looks as if
the US and UK are going to try
to use Hans Blix's list of unanswered questions about Iraqi disarmament as a
list of "30 things Iraq hasn't
done" and use that as an argument for war, when the key UN Resolution on
this, which was a Blair initiative
in December 1999, says that the Blix list ought to be turned into a list of
tasks that need to be done, which
is an argument for more inspections.' Mr Rai added,  'Tony Blair is seeking
to undermine a fundamental
Security Council resolution which he tabled at the  UN. He is doing that
because the US is afraid that
setting out a clear and unambiguous "key disarmament tasks" might actually
avoid a war.'

(For more details see ARROW briefing 31 at )
Mr Rai also accused the US of manipulating the timetable for inspections. He
pointed out that
'according to UNSC Resolution 1284 the key disarmament task list should have
been presented to
the Security Council 60 days after inspections started. The whole world
knows that inspectors returned to
Iraq on November 27th but UNMOVIC spoksperson Ewen Buchanan told me
yesterday that UNMOVIC
decided that their "work" didn't actually "start" until  27 January,
describing the period before 27 January as
a "build up" phase. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has said that some
members of the Security
Council have been applying undue pressure on the inspectors. I believe that
US pressure led to this
bizarre re-timetabling, which pushes the definition of  "key disarmament
tasks" beyond the period when war
is expected to start.'

Call Voices on 0845 458 2564/ 0794 7839992

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