Iraq – Reconstruction and Solidarity

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2005 National Delegate Conference
28 February 2005
Carried as Amended

Conference condemns:

1)the occupation of Iraq by British and American troops arising from an illegal war;

2)the destruction of Fallujah and the slaughter of innocent civilians, the majority of whom continue to be killed by coalition troops;

3)the use of torture and the inhumane treatment of Iraqi detainees by British and American troops as instanced in Abu Ghraib, but also by Iraqi police as documented by Human Rights Watch;

4)the assassination of Iraqi trade unionists and the continuation of the labour code imposed by Saddam Hussein;

5)the refusal to write off Iraq’s national debt and the conditions imposed on aid to Iraq, necessitating the wholesale privatisation and deregulation of its economy;

6)the restrictions placed on the media in Iraq and the enforced closure of Al Jazeera.

Whilst Conference recognises the right of the Iraqi people to resist the occupation it cannot support the bombing of mosques, the indiscriminate targeting of civilians, and the murder of trade unionists.

Conference notes the January elections were held in the most difficult circumstances and recognises that they were an important step in the reconstruction of civil society in Iraq. Conference further notes that most political parties campaigned on the basis that the occupation must end, including the United Iraqi Alliance, which received the biggest share of the votes. Conference welcomes the stated intention that the new national assembly and government must be broadly based with representatives of the Sunni population encouraged to participate. Conference also welcomes the fact that in the elections the party lists had to include at least 25 per cent women candidates. Conference believes, however, that there can be no real democracy in Iraq while US and British troops remain.

Conference believes that the occupation of Iraq is responsible for the high level of violence being experienced. Therefore the occupation must end and the troops brought home. United Nations resolution 1546 provides both a process and timetable for the withdrawal of occupying troops, following the establishment of an elected government and the adoption of a new constitution. Conference demands that the British and United States governments set out precise timetables for the early withdrawal of all troops but certainly no later than the end of this year, when the United Nations mandate expires. Conference recognises that there will be pressure to keep some troops in occupation of Iraq beyond this deadline, but insists that the withdrawal of all British troops from Iraq must not be further delayed and must be fully completed without fail before the end of 2005. Conference further demands that Iraq’s assets must be under the full control of the Iraqi people, that international aid for the reconstruction of Iraq is provided unconditionally, and that debt accrued under Saddam Hussein is cancelled.

Conference calls upon the National Executive Council to:

a)continue to work with the Stop the War Coalition, Military Families Against the War and others to demand the withdrawal of British and American troops;

b)call on the British government to renew its commitment to provide aid for construction;

c)work with all legitimate, independent and democratic trade unions in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan, and to further develop UNISON’s capacity-building and solidarity work with the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions;

d)promote the Trade Union Congress Iraq solidarity appeal and encourage regions and branches to do likewise;

e)send, subject to security considerations, a UNISON delegation to Iraq and Iraq Kurdistan to assess the situation on the ground and to develop links with the appropriate unions.