United Nations : Iraq

  • Jenny Shipley
Prime Minister

"The responsibility for the air strikes against Iraq rests with Saddam Hussein," Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said today.

"For years Saddam Hussein has systematically flouted the authority of the United Nations. After last month's crisis over Iraq's obstruction of UN's weapons inspectors, Saddam Hussein's regime pledged to resume full cooperation with the United Nations.

"UNSCOM's latest report to the Security Council, on 15 December, shows clearly that Iraq has not cooperated fully, and has introduced new restrictions on the inspectors.

This report made clear three things:

that the UNSCOM group were continuing to be denied access to facilities that they believe they required access to; it was clear that they were not being provided with the data requested; during the reporting period undeclared dual capable items and materials subject to chemical and biological monitoring were also discovered.

"Saddam Hussein cannot be allowed to develop biological and chemical weapons. These weapons and Saddam Hussein's regime are a direct threat to regional and global security."

"New Zealand regrets that air strikes have been necessary and that innocent civilians will be inevitable casualties. The New Zealand Government nevertheless supports the actions taken by the United States and the United Kingdom. Saddam Hussein must face the consequences of his regime's blatant breach of United Nation's obligations.

"We hope Iraq will now allow the weapons inspections to proceed so that further strikes are not necessary and that UN sanctions can be lifted," the Prime Minister concluded.