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Cook backs humanitarian intervention against US and Britain?

The text of yesterday's speech by the Foreign Secretary Robin Cook is now
available at the FCO web-site:

The speech (Human Rights: A priority of Britain's foreign policy) uses the
word 'Iraq' once (in relation to Richard Scott and the arms to Iraq affair).
Significantly, the word 'ethical' does not appear. The new words are 'human

Concerning humanitarian intervention Mr Cook, apparently unaware of the
irony of his remarks, stated that: 'when faced with an overwhelming
humanitarian catastrophe and a government that has demonstrated itself
unwilling or unable to halt or prevent it, the international community
should act.'

Anyway here's the Telegraph's report on the speech. Letters should be sent

voices uk

Daily Telegraph
ISSUE 2134 Thursday 29 March 2001

Cook defends Britain's 'ethical' foreign policy
By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor

THE Government mounted a defence of its "ethical" foreign policy yesterday,
saying human rights were not just a question of morality but one of British
national interest.
Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary, said the government's military
intervention in Sierra Leone and Kosovo, its support for a permanent
international criminal court and its greater openness on arms exports
highlighted its commitment to human rights.

Speaking at the event at which four years ago he first set out his vision of
an "ethical dimension" to British policy - a phrase that has repeatedly
plagued him - the Foreign Secretary signalled that Labour would press harder
on human rights issues if it won a second term.

There was no conflict between democratic principles and national interest,
he declared. "I would robustly argue that the British national interest is
promoted, not hindered by a commitment to human rights," Mr Cook told a
gathering of diplomats and aid workers.

Mr Cook said the key question was to decide when to intervene in internal
conflicts. "Governments which are democratically accountable will be more
reliable partners for peace."

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