Graf Hans-Christof von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary General - World Against War Conference - December 2007

...We must never give up on this. Laws and justice ...are not just for the weak and for the losers. None of us, no one can escape the moral, the intellectual, the political, and the legal challenges that are emerging out of this Iraq tragedy.

The U.S. Iraq policy has been and remains - I am saying nothing new here - self-serving, illegal and deeply repugnant. The assertion of U.S. concern for human rights in Iraq - for peace, for justice, for democracy - are preposterous, there's no other word I can use.

But we also have to accept, with great shame, that we have political leaders in Europe that have no courage, that have no human-ness. Without exception - I cannot think of any politician in high office in Europe who would not fall into that category, of being without courage and who lacks fundamental human-ness.

But complaining, we can all complain. We must also try at least and think about that dream - that 25 million Iraqis, as we heard from our speaker from the powerful Iraqi oil workers' union - that dream about peace.

...Some of the ingredients in a possible peace plan for Iraq. Of course, number one is the withdrawal of troops - but not just troops, also the mercenaries. There are more mercenaries in that country than there are troops. It also involves the closing of bases, of military bases.

...The organisation in which I worked and lived, I feel I'm a shareholder in that institution. I don't mention it too much, but I feel that there should be a role of the United Nations, of this much discredited international institution. But it has to be retooled. It has to be realigned before we can give and entrust as a people a role to the United Nations in peace building in Iraq.

One part of a peace deal, a peace process in Iraq must also involve debt cancellation. It cannot be that Iraq has to pay back billions of dollars of dubious debts. So one demand must be that the cancellation of all debts transparently shown that are of a dubious nature must be removed from the books of debt.

...Long ago, as early as 1974 and periodically thereafter, there were demands and there were UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions that have argued for the Middle East to become a zone free of weapons of mass destruction. That hasn't been nullified. That is as important if not more important today - and nothing can go forward unless we take such a demand that the whole Middle East is a zone free of mass destruction, is really implemented and followed.