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2/27/03 - THE U-N AND IRAQ - 2003-02-27

On February 24th, the United Kingdom introduced a resolution at the United Nations Security Council recognizing that Iraq has failed to comply with U-N requirements that it destroy its weapons of mass destruction. The resolution was cosponsored by the United States and Spain. U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said that a vote in favor of the resolution “will strengthen the role of the council in international politics.”

Established as the Second World War was drawing to a close, the U-N has an important mission. As President George W. Bush said, “The founding members [of the U-N] resolved that the peace of the world must never again be destroyed by the will and wickedness of any man.” After generations of deceitful dictators, broken treaties, and squandered lives, the U-N was dedicated, as President Bush said, to “standards of human dignity shared by all, and to a system of security defended by all.”

Today, these standards and this security are being challenged by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. In 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Had the world responded by trying to appease the Iraqi dictator, he would have continued his aggression. Instead, a U.S.-led coalition and the will of the U-N compelled Saddam to withdraw from Kuwait.

One U-N requirement was that Iraq destroy its chemical and biological weapons stockpiles, destroy its ballistic missiles with a range of more than one-hundred-fifty kilometers, and end its nuclear weapons program. For twelve years, Saddam refused. Under U-N Security Council resolution fourteen-forty-one, passed unanimously in November, Saddam Hussein was given one last chance to disarm. But the Iraqi dictator has failed to cooperate with the U-N, and now time has run out. The U.S., said President Bush, is “going to work with the members of the Security Council in the days ahead to make it clear to Saddam Hussein that the demands of the world and the United Nations will be enforced. For the U-N, President Bush said, "It's a moment to determine...whether or not it is going to be relevant, as the world confronts the threats [of] the 21st century.”