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Clark's UN principles vaporise after insults

Hon Bill English MP National Party Leader

30 June 2003

Clark's UN principles vaporise after insults

The Labour Government's much talked about 'principles' on the war in Iraq appear to have vaporised in the rush to make amends for the insults traded with our friends and allies, according to National Party Leader Bill English.

"The National Party fully supports a New Zealand commitment to Solomon Islands, we have a responsibility to help maintain law and order in the Pacific.

"However, it's difficult to see how Helen Clark can be so supportive given her position on multilateralism.

"Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has been using the situation in the Solomons as part of a crusade against the UN, saying 'the moment might be lost to solve a problem and your failure will be failure which is on the altar of multilateralism'.

"After her 'principled' stand on Iraq, how can Helen Clark approve of the commitment to the Solomons when it hasn't got any UN mandate?

How can she support a new 'coalition of the willing' when Australia's using the operation to criticise the UN?

"Among the reasons given by Australia for bypassing the UN is the expectation that China would exercise its right of veto.

"During the Iraq war Helen Clark put New Zealand right beside China saying 'what everyone's looking at is whether there is going to be a Franco/German/Russia linkup with good links through to the Chinese, against what we have, which looks like a small Anglo/American group'.

"It's these kinds of radical shifts in foreign policy that have left our traditional friends and allies scratching their heads in bewilderment.

"New Zealand has to know who its friends are and our allies need to know they can count on us," says Mr English.

Ends

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