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Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 14th July 2004 - page 199 / 216





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necessary and proportionate action in order to ensure that Iraq complies with those terms."

  • 7.

    On 14 January 1993, in relation to the UK/US military action the previous day, the then UN Secretary-General said: "The raid yesterday, and the forces which carried out the raid, have received a mandate from the Security Council, according to resolution 678, and the cause of the raid was the violation by Iraq of resolution 687 concerning the ceasefire. So, as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I can say that this action was taken and conforms to the resolutions of the Security Council and conforms to the Charter of the United Nations."

  • 8.

    In relation to the military action undertaken in 1998, the then Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State (now Minister of State) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean stated: "In our previous discussions in this House some of your Lordships asked about the legality of our action. Any action involving UK forces would be based on international law. The Charter of the United Nations allows for the use of force under the authority of the Security Council. The Security Council resolution adopted before the Gulf conflict authorised the use of force in order to restore international peace and security in the region. Iraq is in clear breach of Security Council resolution 687 which laid down the conditions for the ceasefire at the end of the conflict. Those conditions included a requirement on Iraq to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction under international supervision. Those conditions have been broken."

Security Council Resolution 1441 (2002)


It is against that legal background that United Kingdom and the United States brought to the Council the draft resolution which was eventually adopted unanimously as SCR 1441 on 8 November 2002. The preamble to that resolution again expressly referred to SCR 678, confirming once more that that resolution was still in force. It also recognised the threat that Iraq's non-compliance with Council resolutions posed to international peace and security; and it recalled that SCR 687 imposed obligations on Iraq as a necessary step for the achievement of its objective of restoring international peace and security. In paragraph 1 the Council went on to decide that Iraq "has been and remains in material breach" of its obligations under SCR 687 and other relevant resolutions. The use of the term "material breach" is of the utmost importance because the practice of the Security


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