Bush: U.N. could become irrelevant

By NICHOLAS M. HORROCK, UPI Chief White House Correspondent  |  Feb. 18, 2003 at 4:19 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- President George W. Bush said Tuesday that the United States is working with its allies to get a new U.N. resolution on Iraq, but he warned the international body that if it fails to act, it will become irrelevant to maintaining peace.

"I think unless the United Nations shows some backbone and courage, it could render the Security Council irrelevant," he said.

He enumerated the threats he saw in the 21st century: terrorism, proliferation of nuclear arms, and weapons of mass destruction.

"The way to deal with those threats is to have international organizations which are effective. And if the United Nations can't enforce its own resolutions -- a resolution by the way that has been around for 12 years -- it says something about its utility as we head into the future."

But he said that the United States is "working with our friends and allies right now to how best to get a resolution out of the United Nations."

His demeanor and language suggested resistance and public outcry against war have affected him. Asked about a new resolution giving Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein another chance, Bush asked, "You mean another, another, another last chance?"

Bush said Saddam believes that "time on his side. After all, he was quoted in an Egyptian newspaper saying all he's got to do is stall and defy the world and, you know, and coalitions will fall apart."

Later, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer was asked if the United States wanted deadlines or specific accomplishments in the next resolution.

"I think it is going to be a relatively simple and straightforward resolution. It would, as I indicated earlier enforce (Resolution) 1441," which said Iraq would face "serious consequences" if it failed to disarm.

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