The Guardian October 23, 2002


World nations reject US war

At an enlarged meeting of the UN Security Council last week speaker 
after speaker from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Latin America 
told the US and its very few supporters that war against Iraq was not 
acceptable or justified.

The UN ambassadors from these countries supported the return of weapons 
inspectors as the "first step". They warned that a war against Iraq would 
add to the suffering of the Iraqi people, could engulf the whole of the 
Middle East in a wider conflict and would have dire consequences on global 
stability and the world economy.

"This war is useless because its motives are not well-founded", said the UN 
Ambassador from Tunisia.

South Africa's representative, whose country heads the Non-Aligned Movement 
embracing 115 countries said, "The overwhelming majority supported our 
position: Let the inspectors go back. Let Iraq live up to its 
responsibility".

The enlarged Security Council meeting was held at the behest of the Non-
Aligned Movement.

Even Kuwait's representative whose country was invaded by Iraq in 1990, 
refused to back military action against Iraq.

Iraq's Ambassador said that Iraq would cooperate with inspectors "in every 
possible way". He said that the adoption of a new resolution as demanded by 
the US would serve as "a pretext to cover aggression against Iraq."

The US aim he said is "colonising our country and imposing American 
domination on our oil as a first step towards imposing American colonialism 
in the region as a whole, controlling its oil and allowing Israel to 
continue its war of genocide against the Palestinian people."

The only countries to support the US were Britain, Australia, Canada and 
New Zealand but even these countries stopped short of supporting a 
resolution to include a green light for military action.

The opposition to an American invasion of Iraq has been led by France which 
proposes a two stage resolution with a second resolution only giving 
consideration to force in the event the weapons inspectors fail to achieve 
Iraqi compliance. Russia and China also support the French position. All 
three countries have the power to veto a UN Security Council resolution.

The 15 members of the UN Security Council are still negotiating over a 
final resolution but what has been shown by the debate is that only those 
nations which make up the Anglo Club are pushing for an invasion and war.

Following the overwhelming opposition to an American invasion of Iraq 
expressed at the enlarged meeting of the UN Security Council and the 
massive demonstrations on the streets of cities around the world, it 
appears that the US is beginning to modify its position.

A UN Security Council resolution may be finalised soon.

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