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Iraq

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure the implementation of UN resolution 57/232 to deploy human rights monitors in Iraq. [114318]

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he will take to assist the United Nations Security Council in playing an effective role in the promotion and protection of human rights in post-conflict Iraq. [115456]

The fall of Saddam Hussein's regime has brought to an end a long period of violations of the Iraqi people's human rights. The draft UN Security Council Resolution, put forward by the UK, US and Spain, proposes that there should be a UN Special Representative whose responsibilities would include the promotion of human rights. Working to support the people of Iraq in moving toward the establishment of a representative government affording equal rights and justice to all Iraqi citizens will be the best means of ensuring that their human rights are protected.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to secure the establishment by the United Nations Security Council of an impartial commission to examine and analyse information regarding (a) war crimes, (b) crimes against humanity and (c) genocide committed in Iraq. [115455]

The draft resolution tabled in the Security Council by the UK, US and Spain calls on all member states of the UN to support action to bring to justice members of the previous Iraqi regime responsible for crimes and atrocities. The UN Special Representative is given a specific mandate to encourage international efforts to promote legal and judicial reform. We believe that the process of dealing with past crimes should be led by the people of Iraq. A team of experts is currently assessing the capacity of the Iraqi judicial system to deal with such crimes, and the extent of international assistance that will be needed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to ensure that the Occupying Powers in Iraq report to the United Nations Security Council their provisions for the promotion and protection of human rights for Iraqi civilians. [115457]

The UK and US, as Occupying Powers, intend to report regularly to the UN Security Council on all aspects of their responsibilities in Iraq. The draft resolution currently under discussion in the Security Council reflects this intention, as well as providing for regular reporting by the Secretary-General on the activities of his Special Representative. The latter is specifically charged with promoting the protection of human rights.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what amendments he plans to table to the draft UN resolution on reconstruction in Iraq to enable UN expertise in post-conflict institution building to be exercised in rebuilding Iraq. [115458]

The role of the Special Representative of the Secretary General, as envisaged by the draft resolution currently under discussion in the UN Security Council, covers a wide range of institution-building activities, specifically:

Working intensively with the Authority (the occupying powers), the people of Iraq, and others concerned to advance efforts to restore and establish national and local institutions for representative governance, including by working together to facilitate a process leading to an internationally recognised, representative Government of Iraq;
facilitating the reconstruction of key infrastructure, in cooperation with other international organisations;
promoting economic reconstruction and the conditions for sustainable development, including through coordination with national and regional organisations, as appropriate, civil society, donors and the international financial institutions;
encouraging international efforts to contribute to basic civilian administration functions;
promoting the protection of human rights;
encouraging international efforts to rebuild the capacity of the Iraqi civilian police force; and
encouraging international efforts to promote legal and judicial reform.
We believe that this adequately addresses the UN role, and have not, therefore, proposed further amendments to the text.