chapter  5
15 Pages

Governmentality, sovereign power and intervention: Security Council resolutions and the invasion of Iraq


Security Council Resolution 1483 was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter on the 22 May 2003. Confirming the status of the United States and Great Britain as occupying powers it is the first Security Council Resolution pertaining to Iraq after the invasion. The resolution acknowledges receipt of a letter dated 8 May 2003 from American and British representatives that advises the Security Council of the creation of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and thereby inaugurates the formal process of establishing the occupying powers as responsible for the temporary exercise of the powers of government. Attesting to the new political reality in Iraq, this letter noted that the exercise of this power, while temporary, would seek foremost to ‘provide security, to allow delivery of humanitarian aid, and to eliminate weapons of mass destruction’ while also specifying a whole list of other government functions (UN doc. S/2003/538). The letter and the resolution came only three-and-half months after the world witnessed Colin Powell’s (in)famous Powerpoint case to the Security Council on 5 February 2003 which, even in the absence of the much politicized veto threat by France, failed to convince even a majority of non-permanent members of the necessity for a new resolution authorizing military intervention in Iraq. These first official UN documents on the invasion also came a mere six weeks after the reality of the unsanctioned occupation was symbolically confirmed by the heavily mediatized pull-down of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Fardus Square by US troops on 9 April 2003.