David Ford, Alliance Party Leader, has said that he will participate in tomorrow’s peace march in Belfast.
David Ford said: “At last week’s meeting of the governing Council of the Alliance party, many delegates expressed serious concern at the actions of the Government over the Iraqi crisis.
Particular concern was expressed at the misinformation being circulated by Downing Street.
“Alliance is not a pacifist party. Rather, Alliance is a positively pro-UN party. We are not the all-out anti-war party, but a party that wants to see the rule of law observed at the international level, as well as locally.”
“The United Nations is the proper body to take decisions, not the UK and USA acting alone. Action should be based on UN resolutions and it is the UN that must decide what the next step should be. Ideally this requires a second resolution, but above all it requires a clear UN mandate.”
“I must make it clear that I have no sympathy at all with Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal tyrant and a malign influence in the Middle East. The world would be a better place without his regime, and the people of Iraq would benefit most of all.”
“That is why military action may be necessary, if it is impossible to persuade Saddam to get rid of his weapons of mass destruction by peaceful means. But that is not the current position. There is not yet evidence that targeted sanctions and a more rigorous inspection regime would be inadequate to prevent a build up of weapons. Military action will only be justified if the Security Council is sure that this is the only way to make Saddam Hussein disarm.”
“People throughout the UK will be marching tomorrow to show their concern that the Government is tying itself to US policy and ignoring both the international community and the real concerns of the British people. I shall be joining the Belfast demonstration because I share those concerns.”