Declaration of the African Union on the Iraqi crisis

03 February 2003 (Press and Information Division) - The Central Organ of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution of the African Union, meeting in its 7th Ordinary Session at Summit level on 3 February 2003 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, expresses its deep concern over the heightened international tension arising from the issue of the disarmament of Iraq.
The Central Organ is of the view that a military confrontation in Iraq would be a destabilizing factor for the whole Region and would have far reaching economic and security consequences for all the countries of the world and, particularly, for those of Africa.

The Central Organ, under these circumstances, reiterates its commitment to the effective implementation of Resolution 1441 which requires that all weapons of mass destruction in Iraq should be eliminated and that Iraq should cooperate fully with the UN Inspection Team in this regard.

The Central Organ declares that the territorial integrity of Iraq should be respected and underlines that all diplomatic means should be pursued by International Community to ensure that the Iraqi Government complies fully with the provisions of Resolution 1441 and that in any case, any new decision on the matter should emanate from the UN Security Council, after a consideration of the final Report of the Inspection Team.

The Central Organ urges all the parties to make sustained efforts to avoid the use of force, while ensuring the implementation of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.

Finally, the Central Organ reaffirms the central role of the United Nations and, particularly, the Security Council, in any action or initiative aimed at maintaining and strengthening peace and international security.

Addis Ababa, 3 February 2003