World Losing Patience : Mckinnon

  • Don McKinnon
Foreign Affairs and Trade

"The world is rapidly losing patience with Saddam Hussein flagrantly and directly challenging the authority of the Security Council," Foreign Minister Don McKinnon said today.

"He cannot expect the international community to accept this indefinitely."

Mr McKinnon's comments follow reports that Iraq is still blocking the work of UNSCOM weapons inspectors one week after the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1205, demanding Iraq recommence cooperation immediately and unconditionally.

"There is a clear way forward. Resolution 1205 indicates that the Security Council is willing to undertake a comprehensive review of UNSCOM's disarmament programme and the impact of the sanctions regime. Iraq should resume cooperation so that the comprehensive review can proceed."

Mr McKinnon said New Zealand unreservedly supported the actions taken by the Security Council as there are still significant questions that need answering about Iraq's ability to produce weapons of mass destruction.

"Iraq's decision to up the ante and suspend all cooperation with UNSCOM was a grave development. Their continued failure to resume cooperation is a direct challenge to the authority of the Security Council and the United Nations," Mr McKinnon said.

"Saddam Hussein should know by now that all options are open to the Security Council under the UN Charter. Time is rapidly running out, and Iraq should resume cooperation with the UN immediately."