I.P.O. Information Service


War on Iraq -- United Nations

Call by international NGOs for Invoking Uniting for Peace Resolution
 

Vienna, 27 March 2003/P/RE/18121c-is

In response to an initiative launched by the International Progress Organization on 15 March 2003, international non-governmental organizations from all continents have endorsed an appeal to the member states of the United Nations General Assembly for invoking the Uniting for Peace Resolution. According to the provisions of General Assembly resolution 377A (V), the General Assembly may convene in an emergency session if the Security Council is prevented from discharging its responsibilities for the preservation or restoration of international peace and security.

Because the war of aggression against Iraq is being waged by two veto-wielding members of the Security Council (the United States and the United Kingdom), the Security Council is effectively incapacitated in regard to its enforcement powers for the restoration of peace and security under Chapter VII of the Charter. The Uniting for Peace Resolution -- which was adopted by the General Assembly on 3 November 1950 in a similar situation of Security Council paralysis -- provides that

"if the Security Council, because of the lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security ..., the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to making appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures ... to maintain or restore international peace and security."

According to the provisions of the resolution, an emergency session of the General Assembly may be convened within 24 hours if at least nine members of the Security Council or the simply majority of member states of the General Assembly so demand.

In a message delivered on 15 March 2003 to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan, and to the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Jan Kavan, the President of the International Progress Organization, Professor Hans Koechler, urged them to support this initiative vis--vis the United Nations member states.

A worldwide signature campaign of NGOs is now under way to convince United Nations member states to undertake urgent action for the restoration of international peace and security at a time and in a situation where the Security Council is prevented from acting by the veto power of the very states that undertake the war of aggression against Iraq. The fate of the people of Iraq must not be left to the law of brute force being exercised in defiance of the Security Council. The future and legitimacy of the United Nations Organization as such are at stake. If the invasion of Iraq by the United States and the United Kingdom is left unchallenged, global anarchy will rapidly replace the system of collective security as it has existed in the framework of the United Nations since the end of World War II, the President of the I.P.O. said in a statement commenting on his organization's appeal.

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