Greens applaud NZ Call for end to hostilities

Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke has welcomed New Zealand’s UN Ambassador’s call today for an end to hostilities in Iraq.

This morning, Ambassador Don Mackay explained to the UN Security Council New Zealand’s objectives to end hostilities and to fully engage the UN in humanitarian and reconstruction work.

“The government should follow up its call for the warring parties to ‘end hostilities’ with a direct appeal to the American forces to end their advance and negotiate a ceasefire with Iraq,” said Mr Locke.

“It was clear from the UN debate today that most nations want an end to the war and the death and destruction accompanying it.

“A ceasefire is particularly important right now for the people of Basra, who are without water or electricity and are desperately short of food.

“The Green Party fully supports New Zealand being engaged in an aid and reconstruction effort under UN auspices.

“But to be effective, the war must stop. To do effective reconstruction, we must first stop the destruction.

“The UN can only work with proper authority if the United States pulls its forces out of Iraq. New Zealand should champion this course.

“It would be hugely difficult for the UN to do effective relief work if the conflict continues,” said Mr Locke.