INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour Demands Strong UN Action On Syria

Published: Wed 28 Aug 2013 11:49 AM
Labour Demands Strong UN Action On Syria
Labour has called for strong multilateral action through the United Nations to be taken against the regime in Syria for its use of chemical weapons.
“The use of chemical weapons is totally abhorrent. They indiscriminately kill innocent victims, including children, and condemn them to suffer appalling deaths. Their use is banned by international humanitarian law and is a war crime,” says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Phil Goff.
“In the face of strong evidence that the Assad regime has used poison gas against its people no country on the UN Security Council with the power of veto should exercise that power to prevent effective action being taken. New Zealand has always opposed the use of the veto by the major powers.
“Putting vested interests ahead of the urgent need for action against a regime which launches chemical weapons against its own civilians is unacceptable and Russia should think carefully about that. Stopping effective action would rightly draw condemnation from countries across the world.
“A regime which brutalises its people cannot be allowed to do so with impunity.
“Unilateral action involving missile strikes against Syrian military bases might be an understandable reaction. However it is a poor substitute for effective multilateral action to isolate the Assad regime, and implement steps to supervise its replacement and hold it to account for crimes against humanity.
“Quick military fixes do not automatically result in lasting political solutions as recent experience in Iraq and Libya shows. The replacement of a brutal dictatorship with one no less authoritarian or with anarchy is not a solution.
“New Zealand should undertake intense diplomatic efforts to press for a multilateral solution through the UN, however hard that may be,” says Phil Goff.
ENDS

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