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The Canadian compromise on Iraq

The Story

Things are tense at the United Nations as another war in Iraq looms. Three members of the UN Security Council back an invasion, but two others want to give weapons inspectors as much time as they need. A Canadian proposal acknowledges both sides: it gives the inspectors more time, but also specifies a firm deadline by which Iraq must comply with disarmament resolutions. As Eric Sorensen reports in this clip, the plan is getting some attention.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Feb. 26, 2003
GuestS: Bill Graham, Philippe Guelluy, Andrew Mack, Nancy Soderberg, Stefan Tafrov
Reporter: Eric Sorensen
Duration: 3:42

Did You know?

• The compromise was a one-and-a-half-page document called "Ideas on Bridging the Divide." Paul Heinbecker, Canada's ambassador to the UN, said it was a middle ground between the opposing views on the Security Council.
• Canada's solution called for a deadline of March 28, 2003, after which Iraq could be invaded if it failed to disarm.
• France, Germany and the United States rejected the Canadian plan immediately, but Mexico and Chile were interested enough to study it further.
• The plan went to the UN Security Council for consideration on March 3, 2003. On March 6, U.S. President George W. Bush said delays wouldn't provide a solution.
• Elements of the Canadian plan, such as a series of disarmament tests for Iraq, were still under discussion on March 11, but the disarmament deadline stood at March 17.
• On March 19, without the backing of the Security Council, a coalition of U.S., British and Australian forces invaded Iraq. Without Security Council support, Canada did not join the attack.


Peacekeepers and Peacemakers: Canada's Diplomatic Contribution more