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United Future backs UN role in Iraq conflict

United Future backs UN role in Iraq conflict

United Future New Zealand leader, Peter Dunne, today called for a fresh United Nations mandate for any military action in Iraq.

Speaking in Parliament in response to the Prime Minister's Statement, Mr Dunne, who is chairman of Parliament's foreign affairs and trade select committee, said United Future did not favour unilateral action by any nation.

"Saddam Hussein must be disarmed," he said, "but we live in a rules-based international system and that must be respected, otherwise international anarchy ensues.

"Any New Zealand involvement should only be on the back of a fresh UN Security Council resolution and it should be in the areas we do best, such as logistical support; medical aid; and peacemaking and peacekeeping roles such as we did in East Timor and Bosnia.

"Sadly, it seems that United States intervention - with or without UN sanction - is inevitable, given the apparent rejection of compromises and alternative proposals advanced by France, Germany, Russia and China."

Mr Dunne also raised what he described as a bigger issue: assuming there was a swift and surgical strike against Iraq with the removal of the Hussein regime, what happened next?

"Who will lead the recovery of Iraq that will be necessary? Will it be an American-imposed pro-consul or a United Nations-led role?" he asked.

He said United Future believed the UN, not any one country, has to lead any post Hussein-recovery programme to ensure genuine democracy is established.

He added that the real contribution of the United States in the longer term has to be using its influence to resolve the ongoing Israeli/Palestine conflict, which lies at the heart of so much current international tension.

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