Malaysia should spearhead a NAM initiative to convene a special UN General Assembly to mandate a central UN role in post-Saddam Iraq

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Saturday): Malaysia, as Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the largest international organization after the United Nations with 116 member nations, should propose a NAM-led initiative for the convening of a special United Nations General Assembly to decide on a central UN role in post-Saddam Iraq.

The call by the eight Middle East nations meeting in Riyadh yesterday for the United Nations to have a central role not only in humanitarian and economic issues but also in re-building the war-torn nation deserves international support and it should become a special UN General Assembly decision.

The eight countries which attended the first postwar regional forum were Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt and Bahrain.

The eight countries called on the "occupying authority" to set up a transitional government quickly and make all efforts to set up a broad-based constitutional Iraqi government in order for US forces to withdraw as soon as possible.

The principle that Iraq's territory and wealth belong to Iraqis cannot be compromised, and since the Bush Administration claims that its war on Saddam Hussein was one of "liberation" and not "occupation", it must not take on the trappings of an occupation force. The only viable and acceptable solution is for the United Nations to immediately play a key role in the reconstruction of Iraq.

NAM should have no difficultyin having the numbers to requisition a special UN General Assembly to mandate a central UN role in post-Saddam Iraq, and this is why Malaysia should live up to its responsibility as Chair of NAM to propose and realize such an international initiative.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman