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PM bypasses UN again.

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PM bypasses UN again


The Australian Democrats today criticised the Prime Minister’s statement that the United States should call the shots in post-war Iraq, and that the United Nations should only be allowed to assume a more significant role at a later t ime.


“It is extraordinary that a Prime Minister who told us that the decision concerning Australia’s involvement in this war vexed him greatly, appears not to have given much thought to the post-war management of Iraq,” said Democrats’ Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja.


“The Prime Minister’s comments today highlights the fact that his Government rushed into this war without carefully considering the long-term consequences of Australia’s participation.  


“By endorsing a US-administration in post-war Iraq, the Prime Minister has, once again, abandoned the United Nations and the fundamental role that it plays in maintaining international peace.


“Already, we are witnessing the devastating consequences of this war, with massive food and water shortages threatening to increase the human toll in Iraq. 


“Meeting these humanitarian needs must be our first priority, however, the Iraqi people will also need assistance to rebuild their governance structures and to maintain peace during that process.


“Strong tensions among ethnic groups within the region mean there is a real potential for ongoing conflicts following the war. We can not allow the tragic loss of so many lives to continue after the war.


“As a member of the invading coalition, Australia must commit to peace-keeping operations in Iraq following the war, but it should insist that these are overseen by the United Nations.


“After requiring Australian troops to go and fight in this ill-conceived war, it would be negligent for the Government to prevent them from participating in peace-keeping missions following the conflict.


“Australian servicemen and women have a proud record of performing peace-keeping missions with distinction.  If the Prime Minister is truly concerned about the welfare of the Iraqi people, then he will allow our service personnel to assist them after the war.

“This goes to the heart of Australia’s involvement in the war and the reasons that the Prime Minister has given for that involvement,” concluded Senator Stott Despoja.


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