Global Policy Forum

United Nations Iraq Press Conference

April 28, 1998

A correspondent drew attention to several developments: the Council had met under the Arria formula to hear the Iraqi point of view; it had decided to resume reviewing sanctions every two months; and the United States' representative had recognized progress. Did Iraq consider those developments to be positive, and how would it build on them from now to October?

Arria formula is an informal consultation process, initiated by Diego Arria of Venezuela, which affords members of the Security Council the opportunity to hear persons in a confidential informal setting. The meetings are presided over by a member of the Council serving as facilitator for the discussions, and not by the Council President.]

It was important to ask why Iraq had for years been prevented from exercising its right to meet with the Council under the Arria formula, Mr. Al- Sahaf said. The Council was dealing with issues of concern to Iraq, yet it prevented the country from sending its representative to provide it with information. Iraq had been prevented from benefiting from the Arria formula because certain parties had sought to monopolize the Council and present allegations, lies and twisted information in order to distort its view and prevent it from lifting sanctions.

Now that the Council was allowing the Iraqi delegation to participate through the use of the Arria formula -- a practice he hoped would be repeated -- the United States was threatening to use the veto power if any suggestion on lifting sanctions was put on the table, he continued. There were threats that the veto might be used on the Russian Federation's draft resolution regarding the nuclear file. If there was any justice in the Security Council, there should be an immediate end to the sanctions, he added.



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