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by the General Confederation of Trade Unions concerning
the threat of military aggression against Iraq
Moscow, 24 January 2003

The General Confederation of Trade Unions (GCTU) affiliating trade union centres in CIS countries and industrial Trade Union Internationals of the region expresses its great alarm at the bellicose statements and active war preparations by the United States, Britain and some of their NATO allies for aggression against the Republic of Iraq.

Realisation of this threat against a sovereign state, whatever the excuses and arguments, cannot be justified either from the moral or from the legal point of view. The ongoing preparations violate all rules of international law, and run counter to world public opinion and the position held by most of UN member states

Ignoring the report of the UN commission of experts and the opinion of the world community, the USA and Britain a priori accuse Iraq of evil intent and production of mass destruction weapons, while building up hastily their military presence in defiance of the mass protests that have swept actually across the world.

Unleashing a war on Iraq would result in unpredictable growth of tension in that explosive region, huge ecological damage, numerous victims among the civilian population and workers, destruction of houses and social objects, and heavy damage to the country's economy that has been suffering from economic sanction for many years.

The General Confederation of Trade Unions calls on the ICFTU, WFTU, WCL, ETUC, ICATU, OATUU, and all national trade union organisations to combine their efforts in order to stop the impending threat of a new war on Iraq. We particularly address our counterparts in the USA and Britain, first of all the AFL-CIO and the TUC, urging them to use their prestige and their influence on their respective governments to avert the unprovoked aggression against the Iraqi people.

The GCTU appeals to the United Nations to prevent the attack by the USA and its allies on Iraq, find the ways to a peaceful settlement of the conflict, and, eventually, let the Iraqi people live and work in peace in their own country.

We call on our affiliates to express their support for and solidarity with the people and workers of Iraq, and join with the protests by the world public in their demand that the approaching tragedy be stopped immediately.

General Confederation of Trade Unions