Vienna, 25 August 1998/P/K/16093c-is

In a statement issued today, the International Progress Organization supported the calls of the Arab League, the Islamic Conference Organization and other international bodies for the formation of an international commission of inquiry to investigate the U.S. allegations about a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan.

The U.S. missile attack on the factory near Khartoum constituted a clear-cut act of aggression and a violation of Art. 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter which prohibits the use of force in international relations, the I.P.O. statement said. As confirmed by many experts of international law, the U.S. claim of having acted on the basis of Art. 51 of the Charter is legally not valid in this particular case. Sudan has not conducted any act of armed aggression against the United States. Only such an act, according to the provisions of Art. 51, would justify an act of self-defense.

The International Progress Organization further stated that the UN Security Council may not be in a position to undertake an objective investigation into the matter. As one of its permanent members (that enjoys the veto privilege according to Art. 27 of the Charter) has carried out the aggression against Sudan, it is unlikely that this member State will allow decisive and unbiased action on the basis of Chapter VII of the Charter (including the formation and independent functioning of a commission of inquiry in regard to the nature of the pharmaceutical factory). Only in the case of decisions on the basis of Chapter VI of the Charter (Pacific Settlement of Disputes) does an obligation to abstain from voting exist for an involved party. In matters related to threats against peace and acts of aggression, however, no such obligation exists for an involved party, i.e. for the state that has carried out the act of aggression. In the history of the United Nations, this has usually led to the paralysis of the Security Council when a permanent member or one of its allies was involved in an act of aggression. The non-action on the issue of Palestine and Jerusalem is the most drastic example of this predicament of the Security Council, the statement of the I.P.O. explained.