Resolution on Iraq

ROME COUNCIL - For a More Equal Global Society, 20-21 January 2003

The world is living under the threat of war that creates fears around the world. We the Socialist International stress that war is not inevitable. We should do everything possible in order to avoid war: we must give peace a chance.

Therefore we give full support to the UN Secretary General to continue his endeavours in cooperation with the Security Council members, towards the fulfilment of UN Weapon Inspections, and to continue ensuring that all required conditions for their success are met and for the UN to assume its responsibilities in line with Kofi Annan statements.

The Socialist International,

- stresses that the mission is to achieve complete disarmament of Iraqi chemical, bacteriological, radiological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction, in order to remove any threat to the Iraqi people and the region. Even if they appear in a residual manner, it is the inspectors who must oversee the destruction of these weapons. The UN disarmament inspectors must have all the time they need. If necessary they should be instituted in a permanent form.

- considers that UN Security Council Resolution 1441 does not authorise automatically recourse to the use of force, any further steps must be taken by the Security Council, after a full assessment of the situation and on the basis of a new resolution. Under the present circumstances, we should pursue the logics of UN political diplomacy, instead of a logic of war.

- expresses its opposition to any unilateral military action and believes that a pre-emptive strike would not be in accordance with international law and furthermore could break up the international coalition against terrorism and lead to a deeper crisis involving other countries in the region; everything must be done to avoid military action;

- expresses once again its solidarity and support to those forces fighting for democratic and peaceful change in Iraq;

- expresses its concern with the current humanitarian situation that affects women and children especially;

- will continue to implement the Casablanca resolution which points out constructive steps for the SI member parties work towards a peaceful solution;

- The Socialist International feels that the best way to achieve peace in the Middle East is to stop violence and counter violence. In this regard it urges the Palestinian Authority to commit itself unreservedly to preventing and combating all attacks against Israeli civilians, and urges Israel to stop the use of force against the Palestinian population as well as stopping settlement activities in the Palestinian territories. Those who believe that peace will be possible without offering a clear vision for the future of the Palestinian people and the State to which they have a right are deluding themselves. It wishes to see this State fully democratic, coexisting with the state of Israel and with full guarantees for the security of both;

- expresses its support for the Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts for a return to negotiations and for combating terrorism and its motives;

- calls on the Quartet to place the Roadmap on the Israeli-Palestinian agenda immediately following the upcoming Israeli elections, and to demand its adoption by the parties.

The use of force to keep or enforce the peace must stem not from the unilateral judgement of the powerful, but from respect for international law and at the behest, or at least with the express consent, of the United Nations Security Council. This, imperfect as it is, is the only body which has the legitimacy to take decisions in the name of the international community. It is in this light that we view the recent developments in the Iraq and North Korea crisis. We wish to reaffirm our conviction that military solutions must always be the last resort in seeking a just peace, when all other political and diplomatic means have been exhausted, and that the international community and its legitimate representative bodies must act on the basis of clear criteria and with no trace of political or economic opportunism. Equally, we cannot allow the international community to be held hostage by a single state. This is the only way to maintain confidence in the institutions, which govern international relations.

We the Socialist International confirm our commitment to re-launching a multilateral approach in international relations and consider that the respect of the role of the UN and its bodies is the best way to reinforce this perspective.