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Parent's Centre Letter to Helen Clark on Iraq

19 February 2002

Rt Hon. Helen Clark
Prime Minister
Parliament Buildings

Dear Miss Clark

Re: Treats of war on Iraq

Parents Centre New Zealand is opposed to war on Iraq. We believe New Zealand has a role to play within the forum of the United Nations - as an advocate for the rights of the children, their parents, and the communities of Iraq. We believe the voice of New Zealand must be used to speak for those who cannot be heard.

Parents Centre New Zealand supports the Government’s view that finding a peaceful solution through diplomatic initiatives is the most responsible course of action. We believe a concerted diplomatic effort by the United Nations must be advocated at every opportunity. In supporting this view we believe working toward a non-violent resolution to the build-up of tension between the US and Iraq is the only truly courageous course of action.

Parents Centre New Zealand acknowledges the commitment New Zealand has made to uphold the principles outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. War is an abuse of power, and a corruption of our responsibility toward the children of Iraq. War and the use of violence strategies and bullying tactics contravene the word and the spirit of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Parents Centre New Zealand recognises the rights of Iraqi parents to raise their children in an environment free from the threat of war. We, therefore, urge you to continue in your efforts to find the strength of purpose necessary to withstand the pressure exerted by the US Government to fall in behind their war effort. The people of Iraq deserve the freedom to live in a world without war, as we do.

Finally, Parents Centre New Zealand wishes you the wisdom and perseverance to speak in favour of a peaceful resolution in your dealings with world leaders and decision-makers.

Yours sincerely

Sharron Cole President

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