President Halonen at United Nations: Iraq War was illegal
In her address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Finnish President Tarja Halonen expressed the view that the War in Iraq was illegal.
Speaking on the opening day of the General Assembly, President Halonen said that the international community had failed before the war in Iraq began. "Conflicting national interests prevailed over common will", she said.
"There was not enough commitment to act within the boundaries of Security Council resolutions. Some countries resorted to use of force which was not compatible with international law."
At a press conference held before her speech, Halonen said that some kind of an international court would be needed to give a formal decision on the legality of the war.
"However, it is my own impression that the requirements of international law were not met", the President said.
The main focus of President Halonen’s address was on issues that are especially close to her heart: globalisation, worldwide development, and the key role of multilateral cooperation and the UN.
She repeated the view that she had expressed at the previous day’s seminar on globalisation, according to which globalisation in its present form is ethically and politically unsustainable, as it does not pay heed to people’s needs and aspirations.
"We must make the 0.7% target on development assistance a reality", Halonen demanded.
She mentioned at the press conference that Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson had promised on Monday that Sweden would raise its aid level to one percent of GDP in 2006.
Finland is lagging far behind, but Halonen noted that the amount of aid provided by Finland is rising.
During a busy Tuesday, the President met with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and attended a reception hosted by US President George W. Bush.
On the agenda of the meeting with Secretary-General Annan was the plan for a new system with which the UN could act more efficiently in Iraq. Halonen said that Finland is willing, in principle, to take part in such a move.
She emphasised that it is important in Iraq to look ahead, and that the country’s leadership needs international support.
Previously in HS International Edition:
President Halonen at United Nations lashes out at globalisation (21.9.2004)
Statement by President of the Republic of Finland Tarja Halonen at the 59th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York on 21 September 2004