Speaking at a meeting of his local Constituency Labour Party last night, Gavin Strang MP told local party members that the Iraq crisis should be resolved internationally.
Speaking in the Labour Rooms, Portobello, Gavin Strang said:
‘The majority of the British people are clearly concerned at the build-up towards a new military operation in Iraq. There is certainly a broad spectrum of opinion in the Parliamentary Labour Party and the Labour Party in the country which wants to see this matter resolved within the framework of the United Nations.
‘Particularly worrying is the impact that a unilateral attack by the United States might have on the stability of the Middle East, and on the coalition against international terrorism that has been pieced together since 11 September last year.
‘The House of Commons was at its best this week. Members of Parliament deal with nothing more important than war and peace.
‘There was agreement across the House that the best resolution to this crisis would be the swift reintroduction of inspectors to Iraq and the total dismantling of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction programmes.
‘We should all be concerned about Iraq’s programme to develop Weapons of Mass Destruction. There have been UN resolutions requiring the destruction of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction programmes since 1991, and Iraq has violated those resolutions time after time.
‘The focus is now on New York and the United Nations.
‘The situation is fast-moving. George W Bush has challenged the UN to resolve the situation, threatening to deal with it unilaterally if the UN fails. And international pressure and the threat of military action have prompted Iraq to say that UN weapons inspections will be allowed to resume.
‘The UN was created to deal with matters like Iraq, and the UN must deliver. The challenge to the British Government is to do everything it can to help the UN resolve this crisis, through the effective enforcement of resolutions s passed by the UN Security Council.
‘No-one in their right mind would want war. It remains my sincere hope that this situation will be resolved by the strict enforcement of UN resolutions, without the need to launch fresh military action against Iraq.’
Please follow this link to see Gavin Strang’s speech in the Parliamentary debate on Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction on 24 September 2002.