Dáil Éireann - Volume 565 - 09 April, 2003
Written Answers. - Foreign Conflicts.
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
174. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs Ireland's likely stance at the UN in the future in the wake of the war in Iraq with particular reference to the prerequisite to the taking of military action in such circumstances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10262/03]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): Ireland's stance at the United Nations will remain as it was prior to the current conflict in Iraq: expressly, an abiding belief in the primacy of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security and firm adherence to the multilateral system of collective security represented by the UN. Accordingly, the Government is of the view that any threat to international peace and security should be dealt with through the United Nations and in accordance with the charter of the United Nations. This has informed our approach to the United Nations and is reflected in the continuous participation since 1958 of our Defence Forces in United Nations peacekeeping operations and in multinational peacekeeping forces sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council.
The Government foresees no change in this situation. It will continue to engage in efforts at the United Nations to bring about reform of the Security Council to make it better able to fulfil its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. In the case of Iraq, the Taoiseach and I have on a number of occasions expressed the Government's regrets that the Security Council was unable to forge a unified response to the failure of the Iraqi administration to seize the final opportunity afforded by Resolution 1441 to comply with the obligations imposed on it by of the Security Council. The Government, on the other hand, welcomed the unity more recently shown by the council in the adoption of Resolution 1472, which gave the Secretary General, Mr. Annan, the flexibility needed in the current circumstances to ensure that the oil for food programme is adapted to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people.
The Taoiseach has emphasised to Mr. Annan, as well as to President Bush and the British Prime  Minister, Mr. Blair, the importance to the Government of the UN's being afforded a central role in the recovery and reconstruction of Iraq.
Question No. 175 answered with Question No. 58.
Dáil Éireann 565 Written Answers. Foreign Conflicts.