Letter from Iraq to the UN Secretary-General: UNIKOM (S/2003/319)

Report
from UN Security Council
Published on 14 Mar 2003
S/2003/319
Letter dated 14 March 2003 from the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United nations addressed to the Secretary-General

On instructions from my Government, I have the honour to transmit to you herewith the text of a letter dated 13 March 2003 from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq, Mr. Naji Sabri, addressed to you, concerning the decision taken by the United Nations Secretariat to withdraw the international observers of the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) from their posts.

I should be grateful if you would have the text of this letter and its annex circulated as a document of the Security Council.

(Signed) Mohammed A. Aldouri
Ambassador
Permanent Representative

Annex to the letter dated 14 March 2003 from the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

We were informed by the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) on 12 March 2003 that it had withdrawn the international observers stationed along the border of the demilitarized zone between Iraq and Kuwait and gathered them in the Mission's two headquarters on either side of the boundary in preparation for full evacuation.

UNIKOM was established in accordance with paragraph 5 of Security Council resolution 687 (1991), which specified that its mandate was "... to deter violations of the boundary through its presence in and surveillance of the demilitarized zone and to observe any hostile or potentially hostile action mounted from the territory of one State against the other".

In its resolution 689 (1991), the Security Council approved the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of paragraph 5 of Security Council resolution 687 (1991) and the deployment of the observer unit. The resolution entrusted the Security Council with the task of deciding whether the unit should be continued or terminated.

In paragraph 1 of resolution 806 (1993), the Security Council "underline[d] once again its guarantee of the inviolability of the international boundary between the State of Kuwait and the Republic of Iraq and its decision to take as appropriate all necessary measures to that end in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, as provided for in paragraph 4 of resolution 687 (1991)".

The hostile American build-up has reached more than 140,000 soldiers in Kuwait and breaches have been made in the demilitarized zone in preparation for an attack on Iraq. Hence, the decision of the United Nations Secretariat to withdraw the UNIKOM observers from their posts along the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border is a measure that is inconsistent with the responsibility of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security and a violation of relevant Security Council resolutions.

I wish to remind you that when the Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations addressed a letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 6 October 1994 (S/1994/1173) complaining about the deployment of Iraqi armed forces in the area of the Iraqi Governorate of Basra, the Security Council rushed to adopt resolution 949 (1994), which condemned the "... recent military deployments by Iraq in the direction of the border with Kuwait" and demanded that Iraq withdraw those forces.

Based on the above, and with a view to preserving the key role of the United Nations in maintaining international peace and security and preventing war and aggression, I appeal to you to intervene immediately to revoke the order to withdraw the United Nations observers from their posts along the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border and instruct them to return to their duties, as mandated in Security Council resolutions, in order to deter border violations and monitor any hostile activity by the American forces amassed in Kuwait for the purpose, as avowed by the American administration and not concealed by the Government of Kuwait, of attacking the Republic of Iraq, which would be in flagrant violation of international law, the Charter of the United Nations and relevant Security Council resolutions and constitute a clear threat to international peace and security.

(Signed) Naji Sabri
Minister for Foreign Affairs