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Iraq: Sovereignty, the United Nations, and Human Rights

2004 Action of Immediate Witness

WHEREAS Unitarian Universalists have long supported human rights, the United Nations, and international law;

WHEREAS the Unitarian Universalist Association has worked within interfaith groups to urge the United States government not to invade Iraq without the concurrence of the Security Council of the United Nations;

WHEREAS human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere violate the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and legalistic rationalizations of torture by the administration of President George W. Bush are morally unacceptable; and

WHEREAS the opportunity to have influence and impact on the political decisions made for Iraq is at a critical juncture;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the delegates of the 2004 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association support the United Nations process and hold the United States government accountable for its commitments under the recently passed United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 to transition from occupation to the complete restoration of Iraqi sovereignty. This includes a) respecting the end date for a multinational force in Iraq of no later than December 31, 2005, when a newly elected permanent Iraqi government is to be established, and b) terminating that mandate earlier if requested by Iraqi authorities. In addition, we urge the replacement of current multinational forces where possible by United Nations--authorized peacekeepers gathered from smaller nations with no conflicting interests in Iraq;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that delegates urge the Unitarian Universalist Association and its Office for Advocacy and Witness to:

  • Support a truly sovereign Iraq that controls all sectors of its economy, including oil, and the broad internationalization of the reconstruction of Iraq with continued help from not only the United States but also the entire international community;
  • Urge that the United States adequately compensate families of innocent civilians seriously injured or killed in the war;
  • Call for the United States to comply fully with the Geneva Conventions and all conventions mandating the humane treatment of prisoners of war, enemy combatants, and detainees;
  • Support efforts in Congress to make public the documents and processes involved in prisoner of war and torture decisions and to hold accountable government officials at all levels;
  • Join with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s new campaign against torture and work with our congregations to educate our members about the urgency of abolishing torture; and
  • Urge full cooperation with tribunals held according to international standards to establish accountability for war crimes and violations in Iraq of international occupation law.

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