NEW YORK, 23 OCTOBER 1997
STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR ANTÓNIO MONTEIRO, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PORTUGAL, TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL 3826th MEETING (the situation between Iraq and Kuwait)
The work of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) is fundamental to achieving the goals that the Council established in adopting resolution 687 (1991). Full cooperation on the part of the Iraqi authorities is essential to this process.
The Security Council must be consistent in its decisions. We cannot forget why resolution 1115 (1997) was adopted last June. The Council must take a firm stand in order to send a clear signal that it cannot tolerate further incidents, such as those reported by the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission, which prevent UNSCOM from carrying out its mission.
We acknowledge that Iraq has been offering some degree of cooperation to UNSCOM lately. But, at the same time, obstruction of UNSCOM inspections has continued. This is unacceptable. Nothing less than full cooperation by Iraq with the Special Commission will enable it to fulfil its task.
We agree with those who say that what is most important is to have access to the truth. The cooperation of Iraq is fundamental in this regard. The Council shall give UNSCOM and Ambassador Butler all the latitude he deems necessary, in accordance with the resolutions of the Council concerning the work of the Special Commission, to establish the most adequate means to achieve its goals.
For these reasons, the draft resolution before us is, in our view, the most appropriate response of the Council in the present circumstances. It sends a clear message to Iraq: Let UNSCOM proceed with its task. Let it find the truth. Let the Commission accomplish its mission. Cooperate fully with it so that sanctions may finally be lifted.
This is why we have co-sponsored this draft resolution.