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Green Co-Leaders urge Germany to resist war

Green Co-Leaders urge Germany to resist war

Text of letter from Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald, Co-Leaders, Green Party of Aotearoa-New Zealand, to Joschka Fischer, German Green, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Federal Chancellor.

On behalf of the Green Party of Aotearoa-New Zealand, we congratulate Germany on assuming the presidency of the UN Security Council. As the only nation on the Council in which a Green Party forms part of the Government, Germany carries with it the hopes of Greens around the world that the aims and philosophies that we hold common will find expression in the councils of the world's most important body.

The most pressing issue facing the Security Council during your tenure as President will be the crisis facing Iraq. Greens in New Zealand, like Greens in your own country and so many people from all political persuasions around the world, are desperately concerned about the death and destruction war would inflict. The killing of innocent Iraqi people, the damage to the environment and destabilising of the geopolitical equilibrium of the entire region.

In New Zealand, we have been encouraged by the caution you have expressed in regard to the timeframe for weapons inspectors to complete their work and the warnings you have given the United States over the ramifications of unilateral action.

We hope that you will guide the Security Council to demand conclusive and incontrovertible evidence before giving any legitimacy to US-led military action against Iraq. In particular, that:

1/ Iraq still possesses weapons of mass destruction;

2/ Iraq is planning the imminent use of such weapons against another country;

and 3/ that all other options to resolve the situation have been considered and tried.

As Greens, we support the guiding principles of the United Nations Charter, in particular that the fundamental function of the Security Council is to maintain international peace and security. We believe that if the Security Council was to endorse a war which was in breach of the Charter (regardless of previous resolutions about weapons inspections) it would undermine the credibility of the UN itself, the only international institution we have which is dedicated to preventing war.

That the permanent members of the Security Council all possess weapons of mass destruction is an irony that is not lost on the world. We hope that you share the conviction that "great power" status should be dependent on a nation's reluctance to use such weapons, rather than the swiftness with which they have recourse to force.

The credibility of the Security Council and its ability to deal with "rogue" nations that are prepared to operate outside the framework of the Charter is now on the line. We trust that you will bring Green principles of non-violent conflict resolution and appropriate decision making to your deliberations over the coming weeks.

Our thoughts are with you as you assume what must be both an onerous responsibility and a great opportunity for good. We are sure you will have the courage and wisdom to carry it out.

Yours sincerely,

Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald (signed)

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