Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


NZ "Re-think" on Iraq supported by Doctors

NZ "Re-think" on Iraq foreign policy supported by Wellington doctors

New Zealand's new foreign policy stance on Iraq sanctions was today supported by the Iraq Sanctions Medical Alert Group (ISMAG), a group af Wellington-based doctors and lawyers.

AN ISMAG spokesman, Dr. Marten Hutt, said today that the recent statements by Phil Goff and Helen Clark have been widely reported internationally by Reuters and others as a significant policy shift. It is not generally realised how strong a supporter of sanctions NZ was under the National government in the last decade, including sending three frigates to the Gulf.

Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff has been reported as favouring a "re-think" on Iraq sanctions policy: "Sanctions as currently structured do not appear to be having the effect we would want them to have...[they] don't seem to have an effect on the elite that are living well in Iraq" (NZ Herald, 24/2/00). Prime Minister Helen Clark later noted that she favoured more targeted sanctions, and that she felt ISMAG had had justified concerns about the humanitarian effect of the sanctions (Evening Post. 29/2/00).

While the US and UK have been at the forefront of pro-sanctions activity, there have been many indications in recent weeks that those countries that have sent naval vessels to support the sanctions: New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, are wavering in their support for sanctions. ISMAG notes that New Zealand is taking a lead in a re-consideration of policy. Its voice is well-respected in the UN, said Dr. Hutt.

ISMAG is non-partisan, so it is pleasing to see, in recent communications, that both NZ First and the Greens are also seriously considering their policy on Iraq sanctions. ISMAG believes these parties eventual policy positions will be compatible with the Labour/Alliance [centre-left Government] position.

Dr. Hutt concluded by saying that he hoped that all NZ political parties would be able to meet with Denis Halliday, the UN Humanitarian co-ordinator who resigned in protest at the sanctions, when he visited NZ next month. Halliday and ISMAG would be urging further policy advice be developed around de-linking economic from military sanctions. Dr. Hutt commented that it is clear that the new NZ Government is prepared to do far more than merely "hold the line" against pressure to lift sanctions, and is instead prepared to fundamentally question the civilian impact of sanctions. This is a bold and important foreign policy shift by New Zealand which we fully endorse.

ISMAG contact: Dr. Marten Hutt wk ph: (04) 463 6527 / hm: 389 1706 Fax: (04) 463 6568 marten.hutt@vuw.ac.nz

http://come.to/ISMAG


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news