Magazine article UN Chronicle

The UN Acts

Magazine article UN Chronicle

The UN Acts

Article excerpt

The UN Acts

In an emergency meeting convened just before dawn on 2 August, shortly after Iraqi troops entered Kuwait, the Security Council condemned the Iraqi invasion and demanded that Iraq immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its forces to the positions in which they had been located on 1 August.

The Council called on Iraq and Kuwait to begin immediately intensive negotiations to resolve their differences and supported all efforts in that regard, especially those of the League of Arab States. Resolution 660 (1990) was adopted by 14 votes in favour to none against. Yemen did not participate in the vote, explaining that its representative had not received instructions from his Government.

In preambular paragraphs, the Council said it was "alarmed by the invasion of Kuwait" by Iraq's military forces on 2 August. It determined that there existed "a breach of international peace and security as regards the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait" and affirmed that it was acting under Articles 39 and 40 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which deal with action with respect to "threat to the peace, breach of the peace, and act of aggression".

The resolution was sponsored by Canada, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Council met in response to Kuwait's urgent request (S/21423), as well as a similar request from the United States (S/21424).

Kuwait: 'A false and unwarranted

pretext to invade'

Mohammad A. Abulhasan of Kuwait said a sisterly country, Iraq, had occupied Kuwait at dawn, with Iraqi forces reaching Kuwait's populated area. Kuwait was "exposed" to military invasion and to the "overthrow of all its constitutional institutions". The Emir, the Prime Minister and the Government of Kuwait remained in control in the country and were defending its security, he said. Iraq's pretext for invading an independent, sovereign State was false and unwarranted.

It was "appalling", he went on, that the invasion should come less than a day after a round of high-level talks between Iraq and Kuwait in Saudi Arabia, at which all points of view and disagreements between the two countries were discussed. Kuwait had expressed its willingness to continue bilateral negotiations to reach a just and honourable solution that would take into account the legitimate rights of both countries. "The only way to deal with this matter . . . is to solve the problem by peaceful means and negotiations, and not through the use of force."

Iraq: 'It's an internal matter'

Sabah Talat Kadrat of Iraq replied: "The events taking place in Kuwait are internal matters which have no relation to Iraq." The "Free Provisional Government of Kuwait" had asked Iraq to assist it to establish security and order "so that the Kuwaitis would not have to suffer". Iraq, which desired good-neighbourly relations with Kuwait, was providing such assistance "solely on that basis".

Iraqi forces would withdraw as soon as order had been restored. Iraq rejected the "flagrant intervention" by the United States in those events, which was further evidence of the "co-ordination and collusion" between the United States Government and the previous Government of Kuwait. Iraq hoped that order would be swiftly restored in Kuwait and that the Kuwaitis themselves would decide upon their future, free from any outside intervention.

'Big Five': From condemnation

to dialogue

Thomas R. …

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