Full Text Of Resolution 661 of the United Nations Security Council

Adopted by the Security Council at its 2933rd meeting on 6 August 1990 The Security Council,

Reaffirming its resolution 660 (1990) of 2 August 1990,

Deeply concerned that that resolution has not been implemented and that the invasion by Iraq of Kuwait continues with further loss of human life and material destruction,

Determined to bring the invasion and occupation of Kuwait by Iraq to an end and to restore the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Kuwait,

Noting that the legitimate Government of Kuwait has expressed its readiness to comply with resolution 660 (1990),

Mindful of its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security,

Affirming the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence, in response to the armed attack by Iraq against Kuwait, in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Determines that Iraq so far has failed to comply with paragraph 2 of resolution 660 (1990) and has usurped the authority of the legitimate Government of Kuwait;

2. Decides, as a consequence, to take the following measures to secure compliance of Iraq with paragraph 2 of resolution 660 (1990) and to restore the authority of the legitimate Government of Kuwait;

3. Decides that all States shall prevent:

(a) The import into their territories of all commodities and products originating in Iraq or Kuwait exported therefrom after the date of the present resolution;
(b) Any activities by their nationals or in their territories which would promote or are calculated to promote the export or trans-shipment of any commodities or products from Iraq or Kuwait; and any dealings by their nationals or their flag vessels or in their territories in any commodities or products originating in Iraq or Kuwait and exported therefrom after the date of the present resolution, including in particular any transfer of funds to Iraq or Kuwait for the purposes of such activities or dealings;
(c) The sale or supply by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels of any commodities or products, including weapons or any other military equipment, whether or not originating in their territories but not including supplies intended strictly for medical purposes, and, in humanitarian circumstances, foodstuffs, to any person or body in Iraq or Kuwait or to any person or body for the purposes of any business carried on in or operated from Iraq or Kuwait, and any activities by their nationals or in their territories which promote or are calculated to promote such sale or supply of such commodities or products;

4. Decides that all States shall not make available to the Government of Iraq or to any commercial, industrial or public utility undertaking in Iraq or Kuwait, any funds or any other financial or economic resources and shall prevent their nationals and any persons within their territories from removing from their territories or otherwise making available to that Government or to any such undertaking any such funds or resources and from remitting any other funds to persons or bodies within Iraq or Kuwait, except payments exclusively for strictly medical or humanitarian purposes and, in humanitarian circumstances, foodstuffs;

5. Calls upon all States, including States non-members of the United Nations, to act strictly in accordance with the provisions of the present resolution notwithstanding any contract entered into or licence granted before the date of the present resolution;

6. Decides to establish, in accordance with rule 28 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Security Council, a Committee of the Security Council consisting of all the members of the Council, to undertake the following tasks and to report on its work to the Council with its observations and recommendations:

(a) To examine the reports on the progress of the implementation of the present resolution which will be submitted by the Secretary-General;
(b) To seek from all States further information regarding the action taken by them concerning the effective implementation of the provisions laid down in the present resolution;

7. Calls upon all States to co-operate fully with the Committee in the fulfilment of its task, including supplying such information as may be sought by the Committee in pursuance of the present resolution;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to provide all necessary assistance to the Committee and to make the necessary arrangements in the Secretariat for the purpose;

9. Decides that, notwithstanding paragraphs 4 through 8 above, nothing in the present resolution shall prohibit assistance to the legitimate Government of Kuwait, and calls upon all States:

(a) To take appropriate measures to protect assets of the legitimate Government of Kuwait and its agencies;
(b) Not to recognize any regime set up by the occupying Power;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the progress of the implementation of the present resolution, the first report to be submitted within thirty days;

11. Decides to keep this item on its agenda and to continue its efforts to put an early end to the invasion by Iraq.

As we headed towards the oblivion that was the Gulf War, the U.N. Security Council quickly decided that with the exception of medicine, food, and other direct humanitarian aid, there would be a trade embargo imposed on Iraq.

To enforce the first part of the resolution, the Council enacted a committee (now known as the 661 Committee) to oversee and approve all proposed trades with Iraq.

The 661 Committee is still in effect today, 13 years after the resolution was passed. Among the items embargoed: pencils, staples, chlorine, and glow-in-the-dark watches. Sanctions imposed on Iraq have caused the deaths of, by many estimates, at least 250,000 and, in a few others, as many as 1 million people.

The most interesting part of this is that in July of 1990, Iraq had attacked Kuwait directly. They had taken over several of the oil derricks on the northern border of the small country and were threatening a complete takeover of the country.

Iraq was at war.

And yet it took almost 5 months for then-President George Bush to generate enough support among the U.N. Security Council and his Chiefs of Staff to send in troops to Kuwait to liberate the people there.

This was a just war. Another country, a charter member of the United Nations, was being attacked, and it was the duty of the other U.N. members to protect them and their sovereignty.

And it took 5 months to create action! Two weeks after the first incursion, they were only getting around to banning military equipment sales to Iraq. (It should be pointed out that the largest military exporter to Iraq from 1980-1990 was the United States, followed closely behind by France and Russia.)

Perhaps I have overextended the meaning of this resolution into the current situation in Iraq: yet it is precisely these sorts of resolutions that are being used to railroad the world into a battle royale with Iraq at this very moment. It is always important to keep history close at hand, lest we fail to see its impact on the activities of today.