Conflicts in Countries
& the Security Council


Background of the ACC Statement to
UN Press Conference on Iraq

1. In September 2002, ACC 12 adopted resolutions 23 & 24, which expressed support of the United Nations strategy for disarming Iraq, and the lifting of sanctions, and specifically supported the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA (ECUSA) in his many statements emphasizing the need to work multilaterally through the UN and opposing the War. These resolutions were conveyed to UN and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Societies, as well as the German delegation that visited New York in February 2003 to support their government in opposing the war.

2. The Anglican UN Office has been hosting all the meetings of the UN/NGO Working Group on Iraq since the beginning of 2003 and was exposed to direct information from NGO representatives in Iraq on the situation there before and after the war. The Iraqis are determined to rule on their own with the assistance of the UN and without further interference from outside, including the occupying powers. Furthermore, International Law, including the Geneva Accord, clearly indicates that the occupying nations (or belligerent powers) should be fully responsible for the rebuilding and repair of damages done during the war. In a statement to the UN Secretary General on March 28th, the UN/NGO Group stressed, “The matter must be resolved in a way that maximizes benefits to Iraqi civilians and is consistent with established international humanitarian law. We urge you to continue to highlight the combatants’ operations-related obligations.”

3. The UN/NGO group believes that the UN has the expertise to rebuild Iraq with peace keeping forces as well. Last week Hans Von Sponeck (who is well known for his experience in Iraq and who resigned from the UN in opposition to the sanctions) confirmed this and supported the petition by NGOs for the UN to have full authority in rebuilding Iraq and not to be just a “sweeper” of the damages caused by belligerent governments. Hence, whilst the members of the Security Council could be over-influenced by commercial considerations, it was felt that the true position of the United Nations could only be voiced at an Emergency Session of the General Assembly.

4. With the above in mind, the statement was drafted by the Anglican Observer at the United Nations with the support of the Secretary General of ACC and was duly approved by the Chairman, and endorsed by the President, before it was delivered yesterday at the UN Press Conference by the Revd. Dr. Jeff Golliher of the Anglican UN Office.


Published by the Anglican Communion Office ©2002 Anglican Consultative Council