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Greenpeace Calls on the World to Unite for Peace

Greenpeace Calls on the World to Unite for Peace

Auckland Thursday 14 March 2003: Greenpeace and the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York called on countries to support a new resolution by all members of the United Nations to uphold the UN Charter and hold an Emergency Session of the General Assembly(1) to avoid an illegal war on Iraq(2).

Anti-war advocates said all 191 members of the UN General Assembly should use UN resolution 377, known as 'Uniting for Peace', to call an emergency session because the Security Council is split on the issue of how to maintain international peace and security.

“It's clear that the United States and United Kingdom will not succeed in ramming through a resolution to go to war. Yet it's also clear that, even without UN backing, those countries intend to wage a reckless war which would make the world a much more dangerous place. It's now up to all the world’s countries, not just a few of the powerful, to meet together to avert this march to war.” Said, Steve Sawyer, Head of delegation for Greenpeace at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Greenpeace has written to the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, calling for New Zealand support for this initiative and will be meeting the New Zealand Ambassador to the UN, Don McKay, tomorrow in New York.

If the permanent members of the Security Council cannot agree on measures for the maintenance of international peace and security, the ‘Uniting for Peace’ resolution enables the General Assembly to consider the matter immediately. The General Assembly can be convened within 24 hours to consider and recommend, measures to UN members. The resolution has been invoked ten times in the past 50 years.(3)

Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, stated: “The 'Uniting for Peace' resolution may be the last hope to avert war. If passed, it will put the U.S. and the U.K. on notice that a war without Security Council authorization is utterly illegal and a crime against the peace.”

“If it wanted the world to be ruled by the cowboy with the biggest guns, the international community wouldn’t have created the UN in the first place,” added Sawyer. “The UN, including the General Assembly, was created to preserve the rule of law and promote multilateralism. It's time the UN fully exercises its mandate and unites as a whole to defend its founding principles and stop the impending attack on Iraq, which would be the most horrific example of unilateralism. It must take this last chance for peace," he added.

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