Amnesty International has today sent an urgent letter to the President of the European Council, George Papandreou, calling on the European Union and EU Member States on the United Nations Security Council, to actively support the inclusion of the following human rights provisions in the Draft UN Security Council Resolution on Iraq.
As the letter states (see text below), Amnesty International views the human rights language of the Draft Resolution as extremely weak, and calls on the Security Council to:
Establish an impartial Commission of Experts to examine information on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Iraq;
Establish a human rights field presence in Iraq to monitor and report on the past and current human rights situation;
Ensure the “Authority” in Iraq reports regularly to the UN Secretary General on the discharging of its obligations under international humanitarian law and on the observance of its obligations to promote and protect the human rights provisions to which Iraqi civilians are entitled.
Letter from Amnesty International
Mr. George Papandreou
President-in-office of the Council of the European Union
15 May 2003
Re: Draft UN Security Council on Iraq – Urgent Call on the EU to strengthen human rights component
Dear Mr. Papandreou,
We are contacting you to express Amnesty International’s deep concern regarding the draft United Nations Security Council resolution on Iraq proposed by Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The human rights language of the draft resolution is extremely weak (for example, the draft resolution speaks of the need to “promote” but not to “protect” human rights) and needs to be substantively strengthened if a break is to be made with the appalling human rights violations suffered by Iraqi civilians during the last decades, and if lasting peace and security are to be secured for Iraq. Amnesty International urges the European Union and Member States to ensure that at the very minimum the following human rights provisions are incorporated in the resolution:
1. A request to the Secretary-General to establish, as a matter of urgency, an impartial Commission of Experts to examine and analyze information regarding war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Iraq, to recommend appropriate steps to ensure individual accountability for these crimes and for the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the conclusions of the Commission of Experts;
2. for the Council to establish an effective, well-funded human rights field presence in Iraq with a mandate to monitor and report on the past and current human rights situation and to advise on the rebuilding of Iraq’s judicial institutions;
3. for the ‘Authority’ (unified command of Coalition forces), as envisaged in the draft resolution, to report regularly to the Secretary-General on the discharging of its obligations as the Occupying Power under international humanitarian law and on the observance of its obligations to promote and protect the human rights provisions to which Iraqi civilians are entitled under the major human rights instruments to which Iraq is a party.
We call on the EU Presidency to actively support these recommendations and take the necessary steps to engage EU Member States who are members to the United Nations Security Council to include these essential human rights provisions in the resolution. We are looking forward to hearing from you about the results of your efforts.
Thank you for your urgent consideration and support on this matter.
Amnesty International EU Office
Amnesty International Greek Section
For further comment/background and interviews:
Amnesty International EU Office (Brussels):
Email: [email protected]