13, Feb, 2003

ECO signs on to joint letter for peace

Category: News

JOINT LETTER to the PRIME MINISTER from: Combined Trade Unions (CTU), ECO (representing 65 environment organisations), Greenpeace, Peace Foundation, The Body Shop NZ, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Aotearoa)

The Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister
Parliament Buildings
13 February 2003

Dear Prime Minister 

The organisations cited call on you to act urgently and unequivocally in support of a peaceful resolution to the crisis over Iraq. 

We urge that the New Zealand Government now declare its support for the proposal being put to the UN Security Council on Friday 14 February by the Governments of France, Germany and Russia for extended inspection and disarmament teams in Iraq. 

Avoiding war and peacefully disarming Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction is possible. It now requires international leaders such as yourself to strongly advocate it. 

Your address to the opening of Parliament made no mention of the proposal cited above for peacefully disarming Iraq, referring only to work by 'Government officials' on post-war clean-up activities. 

To speak of New Zealand's possible engagement in post-war reconstruction and make no mention of how New Zealand is engaged with the international momentum behind the Franco-German-Russian proposal is insufficient. As a Prime Minister with a history of peace activism, and from a country and political party known for standing internationally for justice your voice is now needed. 

The New Zealand Government must now call on the world community, particularly the US, Australia and Britain, to exhaust every means available to peacefully, rather than militarily, disarm Iraq, and as you state in your speech, 'prevent the catastrophe which war would bring.' 

Will the New Zealand Government now actively endorse the peaceful disarmament proposal to be tabled by the Governments of France, Germany and Russia on Friday 14 February? 

Your earliest response to this joint letter is sought. 

Sincerely, on behalf of the organisations above, 

Margaret Crozier
Executive Director, Greenpeace New Zealand