Pressemelding | Dato: 05.01.2001
Norway takes over the chairmanship of the UN Committee on Sanctions against Iraq
"It is a very demanding task and a great responsibility, Norway has agreed to take on," said Foreign Minister Thorbjørn Jagland in response to the decision today in the UN Security Council to delegate the responsibility for chairing the Sanctions Committee for Iraq to Norway.
"Norway will be chairing a committee marked by pronounced differences between influential countries. Our most important task will be to seek to arrive at solutions that better safeguard the basic needs of the Iraqi civilian population, while at the same time preventing Sadam Hussein from developing weapons of mass destruction and – once more – threatening peace and security in the region," emphasized the Foreign Minister. He underscored Norway’s desire to improve the sanctions regime against Iraq in close cooperation with the other members of the UN Security Council. Norway will attach great importance to humanitarian considerations in its work on the sanctions committee.
The background to the UN sanctions against Iraq is the unwillingness of the Iraqi authorities to comply with UN demand to destroy the country’s weapons of mass destruction (including chemical and biological weapons). The sanctions were introduced following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. They include both economic sanctions and weapons inspections. The task of the Sanctions Committee is, in cooperation with the UN Secretariat, to ensure that the Security Council resolution on sanctions is complied with. This includes ensuring that any import licences issued are in accordance with current rules.
The committee’s task is to administer the sanctions against Iraq, not to alter them. That may only be done by means of a resolution in the UN Security Council.