I wish to thank you and the members of the Council for allowing Jamaica to participate in this open debate in response to the request of the Permanent Representative of South Africa, acting on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. This is a matter of great importance for the world community.
Under Article 24 of the Charter, the Security Council is entrusted with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security on behalf of the membership of the Organization. It further requires that in discharging these responsibilities, the Council shall act in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations. As it is thus accountable to the wider membership, it is fitting and proper that the Council should hear the views of member states on a matter of major importance involving the issue of war and peace. There is a great deal at stake as the eyes of the world are on the Security Council and on the United Nations and whatever is decided will have significant implications for the future of the Organization and for the maintenance of international peace and security.
At the heart of the matter is the question of compliance with the decisions of the Council by member states and the enforcement options that the Council may choose to exercise.
The Council's resolutions 661, 687, 715 among others, imposed certain obligations to be fulfilled by Iraq which may only have been partially implemented. It should be clear that Iraq is obliged to comply with these resolutions requiring the destruction and the cessation of further development of weapons of mass destruction and the fulfillment of certain obligations with respect to the return of Kuwaiti property and missing persons. These should be fully implemented. Iraq should give unfettered access to the UNMOVIC inspectors for the purposes of verification of compliance with its disarmament obligations. Jamaica is hopeful that such arrangements can be made in view of the assurances given by Iraq and in the light of the agreement reached on September 30 with the Head of the UNMOVIC, Mr. Hans Blix. We believe that the matter can be resolved by peaceful means. The prospect of war should be avoided with all its manifold consequences, including death and destruction and the humanitarian tragedy which is the bitter legacy of war.
There is not much information available to us on the direction in which the Council is moving but we would expect the Council to make reasonable arrangements for the inspections to be carried out in Iraq as soon as possible.
We must also register our concern at aspects of the decision-making process in the Council, especially with respect to the role of the elected members and the pre-eminence of the veto powers. Our view is that the full involvement of the elected members of the Council at all levels of the decision-making process is vital for giving legitimacy and authority to the Council's decisions.
We ask that the Security Council act in a fair and objective manner bearing in mind its responsibilities for the maintenance of peace and the avoidance of military confrontation. We are concerned that the integrity of the system of collective security under the Charter will be endangered by any unilateral actions which would weaken the fabric of international law. We make these observations because of the value we place in the United Nations system and the scheme for collective security under the Charter. It is of great importance for all of us in the international community and particularly for small states. We should strengthen it and guard against the acceptance of any doctrines or policies which would circumvent the multilateral system and undermine the principles that sustain a world order of peace and security; the non-use of force, the peaceful settlement of disputes; the sovereign equality of states. Jamaica would urge that whatever action the Council should take, it should not compromise these principles.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations
October 17, 2002