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


UN Radio Reports on Relief Effort for Iraqis

UN Humanitarian Agencies Update on Relief Effort for Iraqi Civilians

In Depth Radio Report: click here to listen to this UNICEF report…

Secretary-General Calls for the Humane Treatment of POW's

Click here to listen to this UN Radio report…

The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has today reminded the belligerents in the Iraqi war of their responsibilities for the safety and welfare of civilians. Mr. Annan called in particular for the humane treatment of all prisoners of war, under the rules of the Geneva Convention:

"The prisoners of war have to be treated humanely and in accordance with international law and I think both sides have a responsibility to ensure that this is done and send a message to the combatants that they do have a responsibility to treat the prisoners of war humanely."

The Secretary-General rejected this weekend's accusations from Iraqi Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan that he had become a colonialist high commissioner:

"I can understand the anger, the frustration, the exasperation of Mr. Ramadan and maybe other Iraqis. Their country is at war and these sort of sentiments and anger is something that is understandable. The UN or I have no interest in becoming a high commisioner and it is ironic that as a former colonial subject, I'll be accused of being a colonialist."

Mr Annan stressed the important role of the UN-run Oil-for-Food programme in Iraq at this particularly difficult time:

"We should not forget that 60 per cent of them have been dependent on the Oil-for-Food scheme and this is why the Council and myself are determined to do whatever we can to keep that pipeline open. The UN will do whatever it can to help the Iraqi population and we would want to resume the Oil-for-Food as soon as possible."

The Secretary-General further denied allegations that the pull-out of UN personnel from Iraq had paved the way for American-led forces to attack Iraq, adding that whilst many nations withdrew their diplomatic personnel from Baghdad earlier, the UN stayed on until the very last day before the war started.

The ICRC to Seek Meeting with POW's

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross says it is currently in negotiations with the Coalition Forces and Iraqi officials to gain access to the prisoners of war. The ICRC says that the prisoners are entitled to visits by its officials and they should also be allowed to send messages to their families. ICRC Spokesman Roland Benjamin:

"This should not take much time. We are here, we are present - we are able to go and do it as soon as permission is granted by both parties."

UN Responds to US Missile Attack on Syrian Civilians

Still on Iraq, the UN Office for Humanitarian Coordination has responded to the American missile attack on a civilian bus carrying Syrian nationals near a border crossing point in Rutba. At least three people are known to have been killed and more than a dozen others were injured in the attack. UN Humanitarian spokesman David Wimhurst:

"This deadly event underlines yet again the enormous responsibility the combatant forces bear regarding the security and safety of civilians. Third country nationals and those wishing to seek refuge in a neighbouring country have every right to leave Iraq without being attacked by parties to the conflict."

David Wimhurst.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news