Greens urge Clark not to wait for ‘miracle’

The Green Party is calling for Prime Minister Helen Clark to urgently lobby for an emergency session of the UN General Assembly.

“There is a provision for the General Assembly to be called together when the Security Council is not able to fulfil its mandate to maintain international peace and security,” Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke said today.

“The provision has been used several times in the past, most successfully in 1956, when America, through the General Assembly, forced British and French forces to withdraw from Suez.

Under UN General Assembly Resolution 377, adopted in 1950, either seven members of the Security Council or a majority of UN members can call the General Assembly into emergency session.

“This might be our last chance to avoid war. George Bush and Tony Blair are portraying certain members of the Security Council as being obstructive. If the General Assembly was called together it is certain the US and British leaders would get the clear message of the overwhelming opposition to war against Iraq.

“If New Zealand took this diplomatic initiative, many other nations would quickly join in to get the Assembly meeting convened,” said Keith Locke.

“This is not the time for inaction based on pessimism. We can’t let hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis be killed and maimed, when we didn’t try every avenue to avert it.

“Helen Clark has said it will take a ‘miracle’ to avoid war. The Greens are asking our Prime Minister to try to be a miracle-maker.”

Mr Locke has sent a letter urging Helen Clark to immediately lobby for the UN General Assembly to be called into emergency session, and outlining the procedures involved.