10 November 200221:10

STATEMENT BY RUSSIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS IGOR IVANOV

2299-09-11-2002

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Unofficial translation from Russian

On November 8, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1441 on the resumption of UN inspection activity in Iraq with a view to implementing the previous UNSC decisions on the questions of the liquidation and non-reproduction of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capability. The UN Secretary General on the same day officially notified Baghdad of the adoption of this resolution. Iraq has until November 15 to inform the UN whether it accepts the conditions of the resolution and undertakes to fulfill them in full.

Moscow considers that Baghdad's cooperation with the UN in implementing Resolution 1441 and all the other earlier adopted Security Council resolutions on Iraq will open the prospect of a comprehensive settlement of the Iraq question, including the lifting of sanctions and consolidation of peace and stability in the Persian Gulf area.

It is of fundamental importance that the resolution was adopted unanimously and has received the broadest support in the world. This is a great success for all those who have consistently been advocating the supremacy in international affairs of the Charter of the United Nations and international law. Russia is firmly committed to this position.

Protracted, complicated consultations had preceded the adoption of the resolution, in the course of which it had been possible to get the principled stand of Russia reflected in it.

Indicative of the intense character of the work on the resolution is the fact that particularly in the last few days leaders of the states which are permanent members of the UN Security Council had directly participated in the process of agreeing the resolution. Russian President Vladimir Putin had several times conversed with the US and French Presidents and the British Prime Minister, which had helped to ensure the correspondence of the resolution to Russia's approaches.

As a result of the intensive work it had been possible to achieve a substantial alteration of the original draft and to exclude from it unacceptable formulations for Russia.

In the adopted resolution there is no automatism in the sanctioning of the use of force. It envisages that in the case of the origination of problems the UN Security Council will convene to examine the situation that has developed and to work out further actions. Thus, a final decision remains to be made by this principal body in the sphere of international peace and security. This is of fundamental importance to the strengthening of the present-day world order on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations. It is equally important that the resolution affirms the commitment of all the UN member countries to the observance of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and all states of the region, and clearly states the necessity of completely implementing Resolution 1382, in which the Security Council members undertook to seek a comprehensive settlement of the Iraq problem, which presupposes the lifting of sanctions as well.

The formulations of the resolution were the product of the most complicated work in the UN Security Council and reflect the compromise achieved. The most important thing is that the resolution wards off the real threat of war and opens up the way for further work in the interest of a politico-diplomatic settlement of the situation around Iraq. Russia has made a principled choice in its support, guided by its special responsibility as a Security Council permanent member for the maintenance of peace and security.

The UN Security Council has adopted a major decision for a political settlement of the situation around Iraq. Yet for all the importance of this decision - it is but a first step. Very big and complicated work is ahead. The success of this work will largely depend on the preparedness of Iraq to cooperate with the UN completely in the implementation of the relevant resolutions and on the preservation of the atmosphere of mutual understanding and cooperation within the UN Security Council itself, which enabled unanimously adopting Resolution 1441.

November 9, 2002

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