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A futile attempt, in 2002, to prevent the invasion of Iraq PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Written by Joan Russow
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 07:32

BY Joan Russow Global Compliance Research Project  

Given the social, economic, ecological, health and psychological consequences of war, under no circumstance or condition is war legal or just;




The enclosed is a November 2002 statement that was  sent out internationally. In December 2002, the Uniting for Peace Coalition was formed to lobby member states to invoke the Uniting for peace resolution and call for an emergency session of the UN General Assembly to prevent the US from invading Iraq. The Uniting for Peace Coalition brought together many international NGOs to draft a petition which was sent out internationally and to the ambassadors to the UN.  The US found out about the Campaign and sent an intimidating letter to all state delegations threatening them if they supported an emergency UN General assembly Uniting for peace emergency meeting. The ambassador from Chile made the letter public to the press.


NOVEMBER , 2002, I co-drafted a proposal for a UN General Assembly resolution invoking the UNITING FOR PEACE RESOLUTION



(UNGA RESOLUTION 377 v.; 7 October 1950).


AFFIRMING as in the Uniting for Peace Resolution that the first two stated Purposes of the United Nations are the following:


(i) To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity .with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace, and


(2) To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self- determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace, reaffirming that it remains the primary duty of all Members of the United Nations, when involved in an international dispute, to seek settlement of such a dispute by peaceful means through the procedures laid down in Chapter VI of the Charter, and recalling the, successful achievements of the United Nations in this regard on a number of previous occasions, finding that international tension exists on a dangerous scale,


CONCURRING with the Uniting for Peace Resolution, that failure of the Security Council to discharge its responsibilities on behalf of all the Member States, particularly those responsibilities referred to in the two preceding paragraphs, does not relieve Member States of their obligations or the United Nations of its responsibility under the Charter to maintain international peace and security,


RECOGNIZING, as was noted in the Uniting for Peace Resolution, that such failure does not deprive the General Assembly of its rights or relieve it of its responsibilities under the Charter in regard to the maintenance of international peace and security,



NOTING further that although there was unanimity in the support by the Security Council for UN Security Council resolution 1441, on Iraq, passed November 7, 2002, there was and continues to be an absence of unanimity related to what constitutes a " material breach";


ACKNOWLEDGING that "serious consequences" is not "code" for military invasion, and that under the Convention on the Law of Treaties, terms in international agreements must be understood in their ordinary language meaning;


CONVINCED that a second UN Security resolution declaring a perceived military breach and supporting a military invasion of Iraq, will jeopardize the work of the inspectors;


DISMAYED that two permanent members of the Security Council have without the consent of the Security Council or the General Assembly set up a no-fly zone in a region of Iraq; and that these two permanent members continue to aggressively provoke Iraq through their bombing in the no-fly zone, and through their building up of military offences in the border states surrounding Iraq;


DISMAYED also that those states promoting the military invasion of Iraq, are stating publicly that the UN will lose its relevance if it does not support the use of military force; and affirming that the relevance of the UN will be determined by its ability to implement the provisions in the UN Charter of the United Nations, and in the international agreements related to peace, social justice, human rights, and environmental protection.



AWARE that the March 1999 report of the UN Expert Panel on Disarmament concluded that "the bulk of Iraq's proscribed weapons programs has been eliminated" and that ...100% of verification may be an unattainable goal". They also noted that in the March report it was stated that: "the country [Iraq] has experienced a shift from relative affluence to massive poverty...infant mortality rates in Iraq today are among the highest in the world...chronic malnutrition affects every fourth child... only 41% of the population have regular access to clean water...the gravity of the humanitarian situation of Iraqi people is indisputable and cannot be overstated." (Statement from the Canadian Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, 2000)


Aware that many other states have weapons of mass destruction that do pose a threat to international peace and security;


Deeply concerned that in the past undue pressure and influence has been used to secure support in the UN Security Council, and that after recent reports to the UN Security Council, over 9 member states expressed opposition to military intervention;


Concurring with the Uniting for Peace resolution that failure of the Security Council to discharge its responsibilities on behalf of all the member states, particularly those responsibilities referred to in aforementioned paragraphs of the United Nations Charter does not relieve Member States of their obligations or the United Nations of their responsibility under the Charter to maintain international peace and security,





Will convene an emergency General Assembly session as provided for under the "Uniting for Peace resolution" to address the unprovoked aggression against Iraq, to oppose military intervention into Iraq, and to end the sanctions against Iraq:


and to support complete disarmament with UN inspectors being authorized to inspect and destroy weapons of mass destruction in the possession of all member states of the United Nations


Please send this proposal to your President or Prime Minister and if possible to UN missions in New York (see list of missions on the web site)


For further information, please contact: Joan Russow (PhD) 1 250 598-0071, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 07:56

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