UAE call to avert war against Iraq

KUALA LUMPUR - The United Arab Emirates yesterday urged Iraq to pursue its cooperation with the UN inspectors as per Security Council resolution 1441 in order to avoid the dire consequences of war. "We closely follow up the developments of the Iraqi crisis, which has become a source of grave concern, and its impact on the political, economic, social and security situation - regionally and internationally," said His Highness Shaikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Fujairah.

By (Wam)

Published: Wed 26 Feb 2003, 2:24 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:26 PM

Delivering the UAE address at the 13th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Shaikh Hamad called for finding a peaceful solution to the crisis in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions, especially resolution 1441, to avert the use of military force.

He warned that use of force would result in creating and escalating an environment of tension and instability in the Gulf region and the world as a whole. He told delegates of the 116-member movement: "A military action will further increase and prolong the suffering of the Iraqi people and lead to destruction of infrastructure of various developmental institutions in Iraq."

Thanking the people and the government of Malaysia for hosting the 13th summit conference of heads of state or government of the Non-Aligned Movement, Shaikh Hamad called for revitalising and activating the role of NAM in the international arena and promoting its principles in accordance with the charter of the United Nations and international law. Shaikh Hamad drew the attention of the gathering to the Palestinian crisis and called upon NAM, whose members constitute the majority in the United Nations, to exert additional diplomatic pressure on the international community to force Israel to halt its persistent aggression against the Palestinians.

Following is full text of Shaikh Hamad's address:

"Mr President, Your Majesties and Royal Highnesses, Distinguished Heads of State and Government, Honourable Ministers and Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen. On behalf of His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayn, President of the United Arab Emirates, I would like to thank the people and the government of Malaysia for hosting the XIII summit conference of heads of state or government of the Non-Aligned Movement. Convention of such a summit in your friendly country is a clear demonstration of the confidence NAM member countries have in Malaysia, and its experience in steering the movement in meeting the present challenges. I also thank you for your warm reception and generous cordiality.

"We also appreciate the valuable effort made by the Republic of South Africa during its chairmanship of the movement. Mr President, we meet here today under unstable international conditions which require us, more than ever, to evaluate, develop and strengthen the role of our movement in maintaining the international peace and security, and promoting the principles of justice and equality among the nations of the world. The United Arab Emirates has followed the principles of the movement in its bilateral, regional and international relations through an equitable and balanced foreign policy, which depends on mutual respect and effective cooperation among the countries, and aims at promotion of human welfare. Proceeding from this belief, we call for revitalising and activating the role of NAM in the international arena, and promoting its principles, which call for maintaining the international peace, security and achievement of prosperity for all nations of the world, in accordance with the principles of the charter of the United Nations, and international law.

"Mr President, in spite of the undertakings made by the member states of the movement in the declaration of the Durban summit, which called for elimination of poverty, many member states continue to suffer from poverty, famine and serious diseases due to continuing civil conflicts and foreign occupation. Also the diminishing natural resources due to mismanagement and natural disasters, and the lack of access to modern technology in addressing such cases, have resulted in the degradation of environment in such countries, and destruction of their economy in a manner that created grave concern. Under such circumstances, we have to unify our position, through ensuring full implementation of the resolutions issued by the movement, as well as the UN in respect of the peaceful settlement of disputes, which mostly exist among the member states.

"In this context, we stress the importance of promoting multilateral and international cooperation in improving the economic, social and environmental conditions in the developing countries. We further emphasise the importance of implementing the resolutions and recommendations issued by the Conference for Finance of Development, which was held in Mexico, as well as those issued at Johannesburg summit on sustainable development, which called for assisting the developing countries in taking advantage of the new global economic system, and facilitating their accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) without political constraints.

"We further call for elaborating a number of international mechanisms for the purpose of solving the problem of foreign debts and their accumulative interest, which a large number of developing countries suffer from their negative impact on their programmes of sustainable development. We also stress the importance of South-South cooperation in strengthening the stability and growth of global economy, and in providing an access to the modern technology and information to the developing and poor countries which will enable them to improve their economic, social and developmental institutions, set their priorities, and have a better integration into the global economy.

"Mr President, the Middle East region continues to suffer from an escalating state of security tension which might lead to serious consequences due to the persisting Israeli occupation of the Palestinian and Arab territories, and the establishment of additional illegitimate settlements. During the past two years, we witnessed a serious and rapid deterioration of the humanitarian and economic conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories as a result of the continuing war crimes and acts of aggression committed by Israel against thousands of innocent civilians, which included, inter alia, destruction of the Palestinian properties and agricultural lands, and imposition of siege, which clearly demonstrates the Israeli government's determination to reject all peaceful initiatives which were supported by the international community and called for Israel's complete withdrawal from all the Palestinian and Arab territories occupied since 1967, in pursuance of the principal land for peace, and in accordance with the international legitimate resolution, and the Arab peace initiative, and other relevant initiatives.

"In this context, we, as members of NAM, who constitute a majority in the UN, must exert additional diplomatic efforts to urge the international community, especially the Security Council, the effective members and the quartet, to carry out their political and legal responsibilities which are represented in adopting the necessary resolutions and measures to obligate Israel to cease its continuing aggressions against the Palestinian people, and to ensure its full compliance to the relevant resolutions issued by the Security Council and the General Assembly. We also call for resumption of peace talks in order to reach a comprehensive and equitable peaceful settlement with regard to all relevant and unsettled issues which include, inter alia, establishment of an independent state with capital Al Quds Al Sharif, return of the Palestinian refugee and removal of all illegitimate settlements, as demanded by the international legitimate relevant resolutions issued in this regard.

"The UAE strongly condemns the acts of aggression and violations committed by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people, which constitute a clear violation of the international humanitarian laws. We are also surprised by the silence of the international community towards this issue especially the Security Council, the sole international body which is responsible for maintaining international peace and security and ensuring full enforcement of its resolutions.

"Mr President, we closely follow up the developments of the Iraqi crisis, which has become a source of grave concern, and its impact on the political, economic, social and security situation, regionally and internationally. In this context, we call for finding a peaceful solution for this issue in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, especially resolution 1441, in order to avoid the use of military force which will result in creating and escalating the environment of tension and instability in the Gulf region and the world as a whole. Such military act will further increase and prolong the suffering of the Iraqi people, which started with the imposition of sanctions, and it will also lead to destruction of the infrastructure of various developmental institutions in Iraq.

"We, therefore, call upon the Iraqi government to continue its cooperation with the international inspection teams in pursuance of the resolution 1441, in order to avoid the negative consequences of war. We reiterate that the Security Council is the sole body, which is authorised to evaluate reports of the international inspectors, and determine the level of Iraq's compliance to the resolutions of the council.

"Mr President, all countries, without exception, are facing the danger of terrorism. Combating terrorism has become a reality, which should be dealt with in accordance with the principles of our movement, and out of our sense of responsibility towards maintaining the peace and security of our nations. We, therefore, reiterate our invitation to hold an international conference on terrorism, through which a clear and internationally agreeable definition can be given to the term 'terrorism', In order to differentiate between the act of terrorism and the right of nations to self-determination and self-defence against aggression and foreign occupation.

"In c11onclusion, we reaffirm the importance of our unity and solidarity in defending the principles and goals of our movement in international circuits. We hope, under the wise leadership of the president of the meeting, that this meeting will succeed in realising its goals through the mutual cooperation among the member states, and achieve the desired prosperity, peace and stability during this challenging and momentous time for the world. Thank you, Mr President."

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