Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the committee held a number of hearings on the subject of Iraq, meeting with NGOs and other Canadian experts, and we have put forward our submissions in this written report.
No one seeks to rewrite history to absolve Saddam Hussein of blame for the events in the gulf war, but the international community was rightly united on the need to find and destroy Iraq's capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction. Yet the fact is that the international regime designed to maintain pressure on the Iraqi regime, including both sanctions and the separate enforcement of no-fly zones in Iraq, had a terrible humanitarian impact on the people of that country.
The committee feels, therefore, that it is possible to remedy the human tragedy in Iraq with all due expediency while satisfying the imperatives of security. It has therefore adopted this report in the form of a resolution in order to make these recommendations available to the Government of Canada without delay.
Canada has already played an important role in this issue in the year since it joined the security council, and can still do more. As president of the security council this month, Canada is pursuing the reform of sanctions and we urge them to do more.