H. E. MR. KOICHI HARAGUCHI
Permanent Representative of Japan
At the Public Meeting of the Security Council on the Situation in Iraq
12 March 2003
Thank you for convening today’s meeting. I also wish to express my appreciation to Executive Chairman Blix and to Director-General El Baradei for their reports to the Council on the 7th this month.
Based on their reports, Japan considers that even though some progress has been observed recently, Iraqi cooperation is still insufficient and limited, despite the ever stronger pressure from the international community. We think there is a common recognition in this regard in the international community including the members of the Security Council.
The peaceful solution which the international community, including Japan, is hoping for hinges on whether or not Iraq changes its attitude drastically and takes the final opportunity it has been given.
The Government of Japan recently dispatched the Prime Minister's Special Envoy to Iraq and urged the Iraqi Government to take the final opportunity and disarm, but Iraqi response was insufficient. Nor has there been a fundamental change in Iraq's attitude since then. We consider it necessary for the international community to clearly demonstrate to Iraq its determined attitude and to apply further pressure in order to make Iraq cooperate with the inspections immediately, fully, unconditionally as well as proactively, and comply with its disarmament obligations.
The revised draft resolution proposed by Spain, the UK and the US on the 7th of this month makes a truly final effort to maintain international solidarity, to place the consolidated pressure of the international community on Iraq, and to lead Iraq to disarm voluntarily, and therefore Japan has expressed its support for this draft resolution. Iraq should take seriously the fact that it is being pressed to make a decision whether or not to take this final opportunity.
At this moment, consultations among the members of the Security Council and other countries are continuing in earnest. If a new resolution is not adopted and the international community is divided, not only will it benefit Iraq, but it will also raise grave doubts as to the authority and effectiveness of the United Nations. The Government of Japan hopes that the Security Council will be united, demonstrate clear and resolute judgment, and fulfill its responsibility for international peace and security.
Thank you very much.