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Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction in Iraq

Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction in Iraq

New Zealand Military Personnel and Companies Urged to Keep Out -

Global Peace and Justice Auckland has written to Helen Clark today urging that New Zealand aid to Iraq not be given through the armed forces personnel of any country - including New Zealand.

Instead GPJA urges that New Zealand humanitarian assistance be given through non-governmental organisations which have a track record of quality service during humanitarian crises. Soldiers from foreign countries are the last people most Iraqi people want to see. These soldiers are legitimate targets for the Iraqi resistance and in any case cannot be seen to distribute aid without fear or favour. We believe this is essential in establishing quality access to humanitarian aid for Iraqi citizens.

The letter to Helen Clark also urges -

That the United Nations not give any semblance of legitimacy to the US invasion by taking part in US governance structures set up as a result of the war. The US and its so-call "coalition" are seeking a role for the UN to give some political cover for their resource grab in Iraq.

With the United Nations track record of appalling treatment of the Iraqi population through 12 years of UN sanctions which have resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens - mainly children - we believe the UN likewise should take no role in humanitarian aid distribution so long as that involves collaborating with foreign military forces occupying Iraq.

If the United Nations were now belatedly to do its job effectively then sanctions would be imposed on the US, UK and Australia for their illegal invasion with their political and military leaders indicted for war crimes.

We are also urging that the government ensure that no New Zealand firms accept contracts for the rebuilding of Iraq. Iraq has its own engineers and construction workers, its own administrative personnel and citizenry able to organise and carry out the rebuilding of the country. What they need is the money to do so and absence of foreign interference on their soil.

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