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Will Clark Sign Her Integrity Away?

Will Clark Sign Her Integrity Away?

Prime Minister Helen Clark's integrity is on the line if she signs the Tony Blair initiative at the Left-leaning conference on progressive governments," ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"Tony Blair's initiative asserts that the international community has a right, and a responsibility, to interfere in the internal affairs of a failing state," Mr Shirley said.

"The key section says, `Where a population is suffering serious harm, as a result of internal war, insurgency, repression or state failure, and the state in question is unwilling or unable to halt or avert it, the principle of non-intervention yields to the international responsibility to protect.'

"It is interesting to note that the US did not assert this right to justify its military action against Saddam Hussein but, rather, relied upon Hussein's programmes for the development of weapons of mass destruction.

"In refusing to join the Coalition of the Willing against Saddam Hussein, Ms Clark was at great pains to state that nations do not have a pre-emptive right to interfere in the sovereignty of other countries.

"If the Prime Minister is now abandoning that principle, then the question remains as to why she failed to take the appropriate stance against the Saddam Hussein regime - which, surely, is the perfect example of a failing state," Mr Shirley said.

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