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 3 IRAQ—COMMITMENT TO COALITION IN THE GULF

Mr Howard (Prime Minister) moved—That this House:

(1) condemns Iraq's refusal, over more than 12 years, to abide by 17 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council regarding the threat it poses to international peace and security;

(2) recognises:

 (a) that Iraq's continued possession and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, in defiance of its mandatory obligations under numerous resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, represents a real and unacceptable threat to international peace and security;

(b) that Iraq's behaviour weakens the global prohibitions on the spread of weapons of mass destruction, with the potential to damage Australia's security; and

(c) that, as more rogue states acquire them, the risk of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists multiplies, thereby presenting a real and direct threat to the security of Australia and the entire international community;

(3) abhors:

 (a) Iraq's continued support for international terrorism; and

(b) the institutionalised widespread and grave abuse of the human rights of the Iraqi people over many years;

(4) notes that United Nations Security Council resolutions adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, in particular resolutions 678, 687 and 1441, provide clear authority for the use of force against Iraq for the purposes of disarming Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and restoring international peace and security to the region;

(5) endorses the Government's decision to commit Australian Defence Force elements in the region to the international coalition of military forces prepared to enforce Iraq's compliance with its
international obligations under successive resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, with a view to restoring international peace and security in the Middle East region;

(6) expresses its unequivocal support for the Australian service men and women, and other personnel serving with the international coalition, our full confidence in them and the hope that all will return safely to their homes;

(7) extends to the innocent people of Iraq its support and sympathy during the military action to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction and the reconstruction period that will follow; and

(8) notes that the Government is committed to helping the Iraqi people, including through humanitarian assistance, to build a new Iraq at peace with itself and its neighbours.

Member ordered to withdraw

At 2.17 p.m. the Member for Grayndler (Mr Albanese) was ordered, under standing order 304A, to withdraw from the House for one hour for continuing to interject after a warning had been given from the Chair, and he accordingly withdrew from the Chamber.

Mr Howard continued.

Member ordered to withdraw

At 2.17 p.m. the Member for Swan (Mr Wilkie) was ordered, under standing order 304A, to withdraw from the House for one hour for continuing to interject after a warning had been given from the Chair, and he accordingly withdrew from the Chamber.

Mr Howard continued.

Papers

Mr Howard presented the following papers:

Iraq—

Use of force against Iraq—Memorandum of advice provided by Bill Campbell, QC, First Assistant Secretary, Office of International Law, Attorney-General's Department and Chris Moraitis, Senior Legal Adviser, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 12 March 2003.

Legal basis for use of force against Iraq—Advice provided by Lord Goldsmith, Attorney-General, United Kingdom.

Transcript of interview between Michael Costello, former Head, Department of Foreign Affairs and Sally Loan, ABC 702 Sydney, 14 March 2003.

Mr Howard continued.

Member ordered to withdraw

At 2.44 p.m. the Member for Bass (Ms O'Byrne) was ordered, under standing order 304A, to withdraw from the House for one hour for continuing to interject after a warning had been given from the Chair, and she accordingly withdrew from the Chamber.

Mr Crean (Leader of the Opposition) moved, as an amendment—That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: "This House:

(1) insists that Iraq must disarm under the authority of the United Nations;

(2) believes that, in the absence of an agreed UN Security Council resolution authorising military action against Iraq, there is no basis for military action to disarm Iraq, including action involving the Australian Defence Force;

(3) insists that there should be no commitment of Australian troops to a war in Iraq outside the authority of the United Nations;

(4) concludes that Australian involvement in a war in Iraq without UN authorisation is not in Australia's national interests or in the interests of maintaining international peace and security; and

(5) expresses its confidence in our servicemen and women and our full support for them and their families".

Debate continued.

Adjournment negatived

It being 9 p.m.—The question was proposed—That the House do now adjourn.


Mr Brough (Minister for Employment Services) requiring the question to be put forthwith without debate—

Question—put and negatived.

Debate continued.

Debate adjourned (Ms Gillard), and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for the next sitting.