Statement by H.E. Gints Jegermanis Permanent Representative of the Republic of Latvia to the United Nations at the Security Council
March 26, 2003
Latvia has aligned itself with the statement of the European Union, however, we deem it necessary to express our views on this critical issue. Situation has utterly changed since we addressed the issue last time in the UN Security Council open debate.
Twelve years of prolonged effort by the international community to disarm the Hussein regime by peaceful means have not been successful and diplomatic resources have been exhausted. Latvia regrets that Saddam Hussein has managed to polarize the international community making any further diplomatic efforts to resolve the situation impossible. The Iraqi regime is solely and exclusively responsible for the consequences of its actions.
On March 20 the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia has taken the decision "On the Support of the Implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1441" pledging its support and readiness to join the efforts of the international coalition aimed at the disarmament of Iraq.
Latvia believes that everything possible must be done to avoid civilian casualties in the course of military operation.
Latvia will offer humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, take part in the rebuilding of the country and work to eliminate the legacy of totalitarianism.
In order to handle swiftly the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people we support the UN Secretary General-s proposal to exploit the oil-for-food program by adjusting it to the new situation. The international community in general and the UN Security Council in particular at this critical moment have to act in unity to avoid humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq.
Latvia will support the involvement of the UN in the process of rebuilding and the establishment of a democratic Iraq that has to be at peace with its neighbors and not in possession of weapons of mass destruction. We are convinced that active involvement of the UN during and after the current crisis in Iraq will secure the authority of the UN in the international community.
I thank you, Mr. President!