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


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>


Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>


Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>


Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels