H.E. AMBASSADOR MASAO NAKAYAMA
UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL
The situation between Iraq and Kuwait
New York, March 27, 2003
Check Against Delivery
We have gathered here in the wake of the terrible events unfolding in Iraq. Only one week ago a war has started that nobody wanted, neither the Coalition fighting in Iraq, nor the Iraqi people, and certainly not my own country. But the Iraqi regime has missed the chance given by Security Council Resolution 1441 and kept ignoring the will of the International Community at the expense of its own people. We have joined the Coalition under authority of a number of Security Council Resolutions, most notably 678(1991) and 1441(2002), because it was the only way left to disarm the Iraqi regime and fully rid Iraq of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Unhappy that it had to come to military action, we believe that the present course of action will result in a safer and better world for all of humankind, especially for those in the region itself.
We are greatly concerned with the humanitarian situation in Iraq for which the Iraqi regime is fully responsible. It is imperative that supplies can enter in a safe manner and be distributed unimpeded. While initially, supplies will be brought in by Coalition Forces, we hope that the various UN programs will be able to resume their respective roles as soon as possible. Even more, the United Nations has to play a key role in rebuilding Iraq not just from the current war but also from the suffering of the last 20 some years. We urge all governments that can to contribute to this effort.
My Government is appalled by news of Prisoners of War being mistreated and call on the Iraqi regime to adhere to the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War and honor all the obligations therein, especially giving the Red Cross immediate and unconditional access and refraining from any inhumane or degrading treatment.
Addressing the situation in Iraq, my Government in a recent declaration stated, "The United Nations organization must be and remain the keystone of international cooperation as we proceed into the century of Globalization. It would amount to a tragedy for mankind if that organization fails now to be worthy of the challenge so clearly before it."
Clearly, the Security Council must not fail to address the issue of rebuilding Iraq.
Thank you, Mr. President.