World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Annan appeals for worldwide relief aid for Iraq

Annan appeals for worldwide relief aid for Iraq in case of war

With the prospect of war in Iraq looming over Security Council deliberations on the key remaining disarmament issues for Baghdad to resolve, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan appealed to the international community today to do "everything we can to mitigate the imminent disaster" of the humanitarian crisis facing the Iraqi people.

Speaking at the conclusion of the Council's meeting, which was attended by five Foreign Ministers, the Secretary-General noted that over the past 20 years the Iraqi people had been through two major wars, internal uprisings and more than a decade of debilitating sanctions. "In the short term, the conflict that is now clearly about to start can only make things worse - perhaps much worse," he said.

The Secretary-General also stressed that Iraq's most vulnerable citizens - the elderly, women and children, and the disabled - are denied basic health care for lack of medicines and that nearly a million children suffer from chronic malnutrition. "I am sure members of this Council will agree that we must do everything we can to mitigate this imminent disaster, which could easily lead to epidemics and starvation."

The Council was meeting to hear reports from the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), which is responsible for the biological and chemical weapons profile, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is in charge of investigating the nuclear arms programme, on what issues remain for ridding Iraq of banned weapons of mass destruction.

The Secretary-General said the UN had done its best to assess the possible effects of war in terms of refugees and human need, but of the $123.5 million requested a month ago in preparation for an Iraqi conflict, only $45 million had been pledged so far and only $34 million received.

"I'm afraid we shall very soon be coming back with an appeal for much larger sums to finance actual relief operations - and I earnestly hope that Member States will respond with generosity and speed," he said.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>


Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC