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New Zealand to help stop Iraq deaths

                    New Zealand to help stop Iraq deaths

WELLINGTON: April 18, (South News) New Zealand has expressed its concern to
the United Nations over the effectiveness of, and suffering caused by,
continued economic sanctions against Iraq, Foreign Minister Phil Goff said
on Monday.

He said New Zealand would not break the sanctions, but that the Government
was concerned about their impact on ordinary Iraqi citizens. The UN
Security Council met yesterday to discuss sanctions, and Mr Goff said a
statement had been sent expressing "real concerns about the way in which
they're working".

In Iraq, civilian suffering was increased by the sanctions, Goff said. They
had also given Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein a "scapegoat for blaming the
West for the situation of people in Iraq." New Zealand supported a change
of approach from economic sanctions to "smart sanctions", targeting the
political elite by restricting their international travel.

Goff's statement followed a meeting with former UN deputy Secretary General
Denis Halliday who quit his UN post in disgust over the sanctions.

Mr Halliday, who quit his UN post in disgust over the sanctions on Iraq, is
visiting New Zealand at the invitation of various non-government
organisations to lobby the Government to oppose sanctions on Iraq. He said
the world was responsible for the deaths of about 1 million children in
Iraq, because of the sanctions.

Mr Halliday resigned from the UN in October 1998 after feeling he could no
longer be part of an organisation that deliberately imposed such suffering
on civilians.

Living in Baghdad, he saw girls forced into prostitution, children begging
in the street, and a 30 per cent school dropout rate. Six thousand children
died every month from simple illnesses because they lacked nutrition and
clean water, he said.

"But it's the UN, the upholder of the charter of human rights, who are
responsible for this thing. This is what is so revolting about this

He called for a change of approach, the sanctions to be lifted and Iraq
given $100 billion to rebuild its economy. In return it would allow weapons
inspectors in.

"There is a huge moral issue here. This is a democracy. Countries like New
Zealand have to stand up and be heard ... because we're all responsible for
this genocide."


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