Posted by Lilly from ? (188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 at 4:13PM :
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Voices in the wilderness UK
tel: 0845 458 2564/ 0794 7839992
ANTI SANCTIONS CAMPAIGNERS SLAM ANNAN'S HUMAN RIGHTS DAY SPEECH
Campaigners from Voices in the Wilderness UK (1) this evening slammed a lecture given by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at the UN tonight. In his speech (2) Mr Annan made clear to the Iraqi people that the economic sanctions which UNICEF says has contributed to the death of over 500,000 children (3) under 5 in Iraq will remain in place until Iraq is rid of weapons of mass destruction.
Voices in the Wilderness spokesperson Richard Byrne, who visited Iraq in 2001 said, “It’s obscene that Kofi Annan, who only a year ago collected the Nobel Peace Prize, should make a speech on International Human Rights Day in which he continued to make the removal of a the sanctions, a weapon of mass destruction which violates the Iraqi people’s inalienable human rights, conditional on progress on weapons issues which are subject to the whims of the most right wing US administration since Nixon and the absurd bullying and corruption of the UN Security Council. The Iraqi people’s human rights do not depend on how their leader gets on with the US or anyone else, their human rights depend only upon the fact that they are human.“
“In addition Mr Annan, in saying that the Iraqi Government retains weapons of mass destruction, joins the chorus of those who wish to undermine and second guess the UN’s own weapons inspection team. Mr Annan has spent too much time listening to the warmongers in Washington and London.”
“Two UN Humanitarian Co coordinators for Iraq, men appointed by Kofi Annan, resigned their posts (4) in protest at the US insistence that progress on relieving the humanitarian crisis in Iraq be contingent upon progress on weapon’s issues.”
(1) Voices in the Wilderness UK is a group campaigning for an end to the economic sanctions on Iraq.
(2) “You (the Iraqi people) cannot hope to see the sanctions lifted so long as your government retains weapons of mass destruction. I would be deceiving you if I were to suggest otherwise.” Kofi Annan, BBC World Service 70th birthday lecture, UN building NYC December 10th 2002
(3) UNICEF Child and Maternal Mortality Survey August 1999.
(4) Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck
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