HC Deb 26 June 1991 vol 193 c499W
Dr. Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consultations he has had concerning the possible violation of the 1977 United Nations convention on the prohibition of military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques —ENMOD—by the destruction of chemical and nuclear facilities in Iraq during the Gulf conflict; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

We have had no such consultations. Throughout the conflict, the coalition forces were at pains to comply with the rules of international law, including the 1977 ENMOD convention which the United Kingdom has ratified and Iraq has not. This convention prohibits techniques devised to change—through the deliberate manipulation of natural processes—the dynamics, composition, or structure of the earth. There is no question that allied forces ever envisaged the use of such techniques. Moreover, allied attacks on chemical and nuclear facilities in Iraq were carefully planned to minimise the risk to the surrounding area.

Sir Michael Neubert

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he is currently taking independently, and in collaboration with other nations, to prevent the persecution by the Hussein regime of the Shi-ite minority in Iraq.

Mr. Douglas Hogg

We continue to give our full support to the deployment of UN relief workers and guards to the UN humanitarian centre in Basra. We have told the Iraquis that repression of the Shia population would have serious consequences. It would be a clear violation of Security Council resolution 688 and a matter for the Security Council's immediate consideration.

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