Lib Dems urge rethink on UN intervention
The party will press for Article 2 of the UN Charter, which outlaws action that questions national sovereignty, to be abandoned and replaced with new humanitarian and environmental criteria.
A policy discussion paper, Beyond the Nation State, due for debate at the party's conference next month, spotlights article 2 as the most crucial area for reform. 'This concept of sovereignty is now totally inappropriate for an interdependent world,' it says.
The call for change builds on views that Javier Perez de Cuellar began articulating towards the end of his term as UN Secretary General. Mr Perez de Cuellar believed article 2 was becoming increasingly out of date.
The main message of the paper, to be launched on Thursday by Sir David Steel, Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, and Dr William Wallace, the Oxford academic and former deputy director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is that the plight of the Kurds has shown that the days of inviolate national sovereignty are over. The international community had to act even though action cut across Iraqi borders.
The paper will outline three criteria to justify intervention in the affairs of nation states: gross and persistent denial of rights under the UN Declaration of Human Rights; denial of the right to the peaceful co-existence of nations and communities; and, the most radical of the three, widespread and lasting damage to the global or regional environment.
Paddy Ashdown, the party leader, yesterday warned John Major that unless humanitarian effort was stepped up, winter in the former Yugoslavia would claim more lives than the war. A letter to the Prime Minister says: 'We should already have started the immense logistic task necessary to preserve lives in Bosnia in the coming winter. Please put your personal authority behind this so that lack of urgency now is not paid for in lost lives later.'
Describing conditions on his recent visits to Croatia and Bosnia, Mr Ashdown said 3,000 prisoners at the Magnjacke camp lived in open cattle sheds with torn clothing, no bedding and indequate food. 'I presume all the other prison camps are the same. Unless prisoners are moved out into the protection of the Red Cross, every one of those I saw would be at mortal risk by early November.'
Tony Benn, Labour MP for Chesterfield, yesterday repeated his demand for a recall of Parliament over British involvement in the air-exclusion zone operation in southern Iraq, following reports that George Bush might consider bombing targets outside the zone to bring down Saddam Hussein.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...
£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd...
£60000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Corporate Marketing Communications M...