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Meeting of the Parliament
Thursday 9 December 2004
Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.
The meeting opened at 9.30 am.
1. Iraq: Frances Curran moved S2M-2132—That the Parliament notes with grave concern that Iraqi civilians have reported the use of napalm and/or phosphorous cluster bombs by US forces in their attack on the city of Fallujah, that the use of such weapons is banned by the United Nations international treaty to which the United Kingdom is a signatory and therefore utterly condemns any failure of the United States to abide by international treaties and the use of such weapons of mass destruction; notes the International Committee of the Red Cross’s recent call to both parties to the conflict in Iraq which stated that it is prohibited to torture participants or to subject them to any form of inhuman, humiliating or degrading treatment and that both sides must do everything possible to help civilians caught up in the fighting obtain the basics of survival such as food, water and health care, notes that there were reliable reports of US forces cutting off water supplies to Fallujah prior to the assault and therefore, along with the Red Cross, believes that “for the parties to this conflict, complying with international humanitarian law is an obligation, not an option”; believes that the war in Iraq was based on deceit and lies and that far from ending terrorism “American actions have instead elevated the authority of the jihadi insurgents and tended to ratify their legitimacy among Muslims”and that most Muslims thin k that “the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq has not led to democracy there, but only more chaos and suffering”, as stated by the Defence Science Board, notes that the war has resulted in a humanitarian disaster with as many as 100,000 Iraqis having lost their lives and malnutrition amongst Iraqi children having almost doubled and that British and US troops are seen by most Iraqis as occupiers rather than liberators and therefore believes that it is in the best interests of all for all troops to be brought home for Christmas.
Mr Duncan McNeil moved amendment S2M-2132.6 to motion S2M-2132—
Leave out from first “notes” to end and insert—
Alex Neil moved amendment S2M-2132.1 to motion S2M-2132—
Leave out from “all for all” to end and insert—
Phil Gallie moved amendment S2M-2132.3 to motion S2M-2132—
Leave out from first “Iraqi” to end and insert—
Mr Keith Raffan moved amendment S2M-2132.5 to motion S2M-2132—
Leave out from first “notes” to end and insert—
Chris Ballance moved amendment S2M-2132.4 to motion S2M-2132—
Leave out from “it is in the best interests” to end and insert—
After debate, amendment S2M-2132.6 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 54, Abstentions 2). As a result amendments S2M-2132.1, S2M-2132.3, S2M-2132.5 and S2M-2132.4 were pre-empted.
The motion, as amended, was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 32, Abstentions 22).
Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament believes that there should be a peaceful and democratic Iraq and supports all those who are working for world peace and the extension of democracy; recognises the importance of international support for the people of Iraq in their efforts to achieve stability and democracy; reaffirms its support for a route map to peace in the Middle East which delivers a free and viable Palestinian state and security for Israel; affirms the importance of the principles of the rule of law, including respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and of democracy, including free and fair elections; believes that the planned withdrawal of British forces should only occur at the first practicable opportunity after the establishment of a democratic government in Iraq; acknowledges that the United Nations should play the leading role in assisting the Iraqi people, in particular in the formation of institutions for representative government; continues to express its gratitude to UK service personnel and their families including those from Scotland, and offers its sincere sympathy to the families of those members of the armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country.
2. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).
3. Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie); by the Minister for Health and Community Care (Mr Andy Kerr); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.
4. Fisheries: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-2129—That the Parliament supports the Scottish Executive in its efforts to negotiate the best possible outcome from the EU Fisheries Council in December 2004, an outcome that delivers sustainable fisheries, sustainable fishing businesses and sustainable fishing communities based on Total Allowable Catches and management controls that are both fair and effective.
Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-2129.2 to motion S2M-2129—
Insert at end—
After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 31, Against 89, Abstentions 0).
Mr Ted Brocklebank moved amendment S2M-2129.1 to motion S2M-2129—
Leave out from “an outcome” to end and insert—
After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 39, Against 75, Abstentions 6).
Mr Mark Ruskell moved amendment S2M-2129.3 to motion S2M-2129—
Leave out from “based” to end and insert—
After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 9, Against 102, Abstentions 8).
The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 94, Against 24, Abstentions 1).
5. Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2126—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Justice 1 Committee by 7 January 2005 on the draft Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2004 (Incidental, Supplemental and Consequential Provisions) Order 2005.
The motion was agreed to.
6. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1 and 4 as noted above.
7. Excess Winter Deaths: The Parliament debated S2M-2027 in the name of Mrs Margaret Ewing—That the Parliament notes with growing concern that, despite various efforts to reduce fuel poverty, excess winter deaths still continue to rise; believes that additional measures must be implemented to reverse this trend and eradicate this blight in an energy-rich nation, and therefore believes that the Scottish Executive should review the effectiveness of existing schemes.
P E Grice
(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)
The following instruments were laid in draft before the Parliament on 9 December 2004 for approval by resolution—