UN must resist Bush’s bullying

Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke is urging the Government to stand firm against any US attempts to pressure the UN into endorsement of armed action against Iraq.

“George Bush is trying to panic the UN into action with his preparations for an invasion,” said Mr Locke.

“We fully support the use of independent weapons inspectors to inspect suspect sites in Iraq but the fact is there is no current evidence of a nuclear, biological or chemical threat from that country.

“The most immediate threat to the stability in the region comes from Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in violation of repeated UN resolutions. Israel also has weapons of mass destruction, namely nuclear weapons.

“If flouting UN resolutions qualifies a country for invasion, Israel would have been invaded long ago.

“That is a course of action that we would oppose as resolutely as an invasion of Iraq. In both cases, continuing dialogue and diplomatic action are the best means of producing lasting, peaceful resolutions.

“This is an important time for New Zealand to use its influence to resist White House bullying and blandishment, and to help redirect to that country’s leadership into a rational course of action.

“The Labour government has a clear mandate to oppose war in Iraq. This morning’s National Business Review poll showed a clear majority of the population opposed to a US invasion and to any New Zealand involvement,” said Mr Locke.