IGOR IVANOV (Through interpreter): Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General,
distinguished colleagues, the Iraq problem has many aspects to it. On
the one hand, we all agree that we must achieve full and effective disarmament
of Iraq, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution
1441. On the other hand, it is quite clear that the way in which we
resolve this problem will determine not just the future of Iraq. In
essence, we are now laying the foundations for ensuring peace and security
in our time.
Herein lies the special responsibility we have at the moment and the
choice which we will have to make. If we succeed, through our joint
efforts, at resolving the Iraq crisis, pursuant to the United Nations
Charter, this of course will have a positive effect on our efforts at
settling other conflicts. And most importantly, it will become an important
step towards a new, just and secure world order.
This is why Russia has consistently and unswervingly been striving
to resolve the Iraq problem on the basis of international law and United
Nations Security Council resolutions. And today we have, more than ever
before, grounds for stating that this is not only the real but the most
The report submitted by Mr. Blix demonstrates that thanks to our common
energetic work, thanks to the pressure which has been brought to bear
on Baghdad from all sides, including through a buildup of military presence,
we have been able to achieve essential progress in implementation of
Let us take a look at the facts.
In Iraq there has been introduced, and there is under way, an enhanced
inspections regime. The international inspectors are being given immediate,
unimpeded, unconditional, unrestricted access to any sites. During the
course of the inspections, active use is being made of helicopters and
aircraft, and this is also for aerial surveillance purposes. On the
whole, the level of cooperation of the Iraqi authorities with the inspectors
is thoroughly different from the practice we saw under the previous
United Nations Special Commission.
Mr. Blix and Mr. ElBaradei have pointed out repeatedly, and this includes
in their latest reports, problems in conducting interviews with Iraqi
specialists. We agree with the view that the Iraqi leadership must more
energetically encourage its citizens to take part in these interviews
Judging from the latest reports, such interviews are gradually beginning
to become the norm. During the process of the inspections, qualitatively
new changes have taken place in carrying out concrete tasks -- qualitative
changes. I repeat: For the first time in many years, in Iraq, there
is a process of real disarmament underway. Weapons banned by Security
Council resolutions are being eliminated. These are the Al-Samoud 2
missiles, which were officially declared by the Iraqi side and are now
being destroyed under UNMOVIC's supervision. These are the discovered
120-mm shells which can carry poisonous chemical substances. The Iraqis
have transmitted to the inspectors for analysis fragments of more than
100 R-400 aerial bombs. The experts are working on the possibility of
analyzing ground soil in areas where the VX gas and anthrax growth media
have been destroyed. Baghdad has transmitted to the inspectors some
dozens of new documents, which are now being analyzed.
I repeat, all of these are facts, and these are two facts which show
that the process of the activities of the inspectors is developing.
In principle, we agree with the view of Mr. Blix that if the latest
positive steps taken by Baghdad had been undertaken earlier, then the
results right now would be more convincing. But it is important that
these steps have been taken. And as the leader of UNMOVIC and the leader
of IAEA have pointed out, they open up the way to solving remaining
problems. I would like to emphasize once again, they open up the way
to resolving remaining problems. This is important in principle.
Furthermore, I would like to draw your attention to yet another aspect
which Mr. Blix highlighted, and that is long-term monitoring for the
non-production of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This is yet another
important safety machinery which safeguards that Iraq will not produce
weapons of mass destruction in future either.
In this connection, the question arises, is it now reasonable to halt
the inspections and in that way eliminate the momentum gained in the
process of Iraq's disarmament? Let us take another look. What is really
in the genuine interests of the world community? Continuing the albeit
difficult but clearly fruitful results of the inspectors' work, or resorting
to force, which inevitably will result in enormous loss of life and
is fraught with serious and unpredictable consequences for regional
and international stability? It is our deep conviction that the possibilities
for disarming Iraq through political means do exist. And they really
exist. And this cannot but be acknowledged.
Now, we need not new Security Council resolutions. We have enough of
those. We need now active support of the inspectors in carrying out
Russia is firmly in favor of continuing and strengthening the
inspections activities and making them more focused in nature. This
goal would be furthered by the speedy, in the days to come, submission
for approval by the United Nations Security Council of an UNMOVIC
program of work with the inclusion in it of a list of key remaining
disarmament tasks. Such tasks should be formulated with the utmost
clarity and should be realizable. This would enable us objectively to
evaluate the level of cooperation of Iraq, and most importantly, to
provide an exhaustive answer to all the remaining open questions on
banned Iraqi military programs.
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, of course we all face a
difficult choice. Hardly anyone from among us could claim to be in
possession of the absolute truth. Therefore, it is quite natural that
during the course of our discussion different points of view be
expressed. But such differences should not lead to a rift among us.
We are all standing on the same side of the barricade. We all share
common values. And only acting in solidarity can we effectively face
up to new global threats and challenges.
We are certain that the United Nations Security Council must
emerge from the Iraq crisis not weakened and divided, but united and
strong. And Russia will work further towards that goal.
Thank you, sir.