Japan and the Middle East — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:55 pm on 14th March 2011.

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Photo of Lord Hannay of Chiswick Lord Hannay of Chiswick Chair, EU Sub-Committee F - Home Affairs 4:55 pm, 14th March 2011

Perhaps I may press the noble Lord a little on the UN aspect. I know that drafting UN resolutions is quite complicated, but it does not take two weeks, which is what we have been saying is going on in New York. Has the time not now come to put down a resolution on the table? It is only when a resolution is on the table that people are forced to take a position on it. With the Arab League now supporting a no-fly zone, the tactical situation should have changed quite a lot.

Will the Leader confirm that, so far as legitimacy or a legal basis is concerned, this country flew sorties to enforce a no-fly zone in Iraq for 12 years without a specific authorisation from the UN? During that time, no one challenged the legality of that, although it was based on a Chapter 6 resolution that had no mandatory force. There is now a Chapter 7 resolution on Libya, which requires Colonel Gaddafi to stop repressing his people. The legitimacy or legality-whichever you like to call it-of acting even without an UN authorisation is therefore rather clear, as was the case also in Kosovo.