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There is another way – peace with justice

17 March 2003

Media Release
For Immediate Issue


There is another way – peace with justice – Presbyterian Moderator

The Right Rev Michael Thawley today called on all New Zealanders to support the strong alternative to war with Iraq.

Mr Thawley, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, said that in the eleventh hour the world seemed poised on the edge of war.

“Around the world people have spoken against the war because it shows a disregard for the United Nations and will bring immense suffering and death for large numbers of innocent people. Even more significantly it will further destabilise the Middle East and strengthen the resolve of terrorist causes.

“On the other hand any failure to disarm Saddam Hussein and his brutal regime may well make weapons of mass destruction available to terrorist groups. This is a moral dilemma – a decision between the terrible possibilities of that terrorist threat and the terrible consequences of war.

“ But there is another way that is strong enough to be a serious alternative to war,” Mr Thawley said.

Elements of that should include:

- That charges for crimes against humanity be laid against Saddam Hussein and his top officials, that, if necessary, the United Nations engage the necessary, but minimal, forces to detain those charged, and that the United Nations establish an international tribunal to hear the charges.
- That the United Nations immediately begin to prepare to administer Iraq following the detention of Saddam Hussein, backed by an international peacekeeping force and sufficient military power to support a thorough search for and destruction of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
- That the UN should immediately launch a massive humanitarian effort for the people of Iraq, both to relieve the suffering of the people and isolate the current regime from the people.
- That there be a recommitment to a peace process for the resolution of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, towards a two-state solution within three years.
- That there be a firm commitment to international trade and monetary policies that will provide relief and economic growth for poor nations.

“ Instead of waging war, we must work for reconciliation based on peace with justice. This involves the demanding and difficult challenge of loving our enemies and embracing policies of generosity of spirit that build up the global community. “ Mr Thawley said.

Ends

For further information please contact:

The Right Rev Michael Thawley, Mob 027 234 5528, Ph 03 337 5695

Media Liaison: Mary Macpherson, ph 04 381 8284, Ph 021 353 020

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