In a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Iraq today indicated its willingness to accept the return of weapons inspectors to the country under the terms of a new Security Council resolution – a move immediately welcomed by the President of the 15-member body.The Council President received copies of the letter through Mr. Annan, according to a UN spokesman.Baghdad will accept Security Council resolution resolution 1441 “despite its bad contents,” said Iraqi Ambassador Mohammad Al-Douri, quoting from the letter.”We are prepared to receive the inspectors within the assigned timetable,” he told reporters in New York. “We are eager to see them perform their duties in accordance with international law as soon as possible.”Iraq has nothing to fear from the arms inspectors because the country “has not and will not have” any weapons of mass destruction, the Ambassador said.”We are always opting for the path of peace,” he added. “We choose always the peaceful ways and means, and this is part of our policy, that is to protect our country, to protect our nation, to protect the region also from the threat of war, which is real.”The Council President, Ambassador Zhang Yishan of China, said he had been contacted by Mr. Al-Douri with the news.“I informed the other members of the Security Council of the message coming from the Ambassador of Iraq,” Ambassador Zhang said, adding that they welcomed the “correct” decision by the Iraqi Government and that they would like to see that resolution 1441 be implemented “fully and very effectively.”
The Royal Ontario Museum has announced the appointment of Dr Kim Tait as the inaugural Teck Chair in Mineralogy. Dr. Tait, a ROM Curator of Natural History and Associate Professor of Geology at the University of Toronto, joined the museum in 2007, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Manitoba, a PhD in Geosciences from the University of Arizona, and is a Fellow of the Canadian Gemmological Association. In her new role, Tait will lead scholarly research, publications and strategic acquisitions. Earth and space are major themes of the ROM that the public can explore through our new ROM Earth & Space Centre of Discovery. Kim will contribute to ROM Earth & Space by developing permanent galleries, major exhibitions, public programming and education.The Teck Chair is a new position at the museum, endowed by Vancouver-based diversified resource company Teck, as part of its commitment to support leading-edge research into earth sciences at the ROM. “The ROM is proud that one of our own world-class experts was chosen for this important role after an extensive international search,” said Janet Carding, the ROM’s Director and CEO. “The Teck Chair in Mineralogy creates new education and research opportunities for the museum that will significantly expand our understanding of the dynamic geological environment in which we live. It also reflects Teck’s leadership role in inspiring Canadians to learn more about the complexities of meteorites, rocks, precious minerals and gems and their impact on our world.”The ROM’s precious minerals and gem collection contains more than 56,000 objects, and over 2,800 of these objects, including a piece of the rare Tagish Lake meteorite, are on display in the museum’s Teck Suite of Galleries which engage ROM visitors in interactive ways with touch screens, digital games and more. The announcement is a result of Teck’s support of ROM, first announced in 2007, which also helped to establish the Teck Suite of Galleries, the Teck Digital Education Module in Earth Sciences, and the new Teck Endowed Chair in Mineralogy.