07 August 2002

Methodist Church statement on Iraq

The following statement has been made by the Methodist Church on the political situation concerning Iraq:

1. We endorse the view that the prospect of military action always provokes and requires ethical reflection alongside political judgement. The more public debate there is on such ethical issues the better.

2. The determining international resolution relating to Iraq at the present time is UN Resolution 687 which requires unfettered inspection of facilities with the potential for producing weapons of mass destruction. The primary political concern of the British Government should be the unconditional compliance with this resolution.

3. Military action should always be used as a last resort. Prior to military action, every possible opportunity should be taken (however unpromising the prospect) for negotiation, dialogue and persuasion. In particular the Iraqi offer to talk about the re-admittance of the weapons inspectors should be taken up.

4. Any steps involving military action against Iraq which may be deemed necessary as a last resort must be explicitly authorised by resolution of the UN Security Council.

The Rev David Deeks, Co-ordinating Secretary for Church and Society
Ms Jennifer Potter, Secretary for International Affairs

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