United Nations Security Council Resolution 678
|UN Security Council
Iraq (green) and Kuwait (orange)
|Date||29 November 1990|
|Vote||For: 12 — Abs. 1 — Against: 2|
|Security Council composition|
United Nations Security Council resolution 678, adopted on 29 November 1990, after reaffirming resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674 and 677 (all 1990), the Council noted that despite all the United Nations efforts, Iraq continued to defy the Security Council.
The Council, recognising its responsibility to uphold international peace and security, offered Iraq one final chance to implement Resolution 660 (1990) which demanded that Iraq withdraw its forces unconditionally from Kuwait to the positions in which they were located on 1 August 1990, the day before the invasion of Kuwait. If Iraq did not implement the resolution by 15 January 1991, Member States were authorised to use all necessary means to uphold and implement Resolution 660 (1990), requesting Member States to keep the Council informed on their decisions. This was the legal authorisation for the Gulf War, as Iraq did not withdraw by the deadline.
Resolution 678 was adopted by 12 votes to 2 against (Cuba, Yemen) and one abstention from the People's Republic of China. China, which had usually vetoed such resolutions authorising action against a state, abstained in an attempt to ease sanctions placed on it after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, and Cuba's position was contradictory as it had voted for or abstained on previous resolutions relating to Iraq, but did not support Resolution 678. Various members of the Council were rewarded with economic incentives as a result of their 'yes' vote, and those who initially opposed the resolution were discouraged from voting 'no' with the idea of economic penalties, particularly by the United States. Yemen, which voted against, saw its workers expelled from Saudi Arabia and had aid programmes to the country stopped by the United States, World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
The relatively clear authority granted to Member States in this case contrasts with the disputed legality of U.S. actions in the Iraq disarmament crisis of 2002–03. The extent of authority that United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 gave is the subject of disagreement.
- Gulf War
- Iraq–Kuwait relations
- List of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 601 to 700 (1987–1991)
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