New UN report a concern for NZ-Saudi relationship

The New Zealand Government cannot genuinely hold Saudi Arabia to account over a new UN report that has found they bombed civilian targets, while at the same time trying to foster a closer relationship with Saudi Arabia by gifting them a $3 million slaughterhouse, said the Green Party today.

The New Zealand Government cannot genuinely hold Saudi Arabia to account over a new UN report that has found they bombed civilian targets, while at the same time trying to foster a closer relationship with Saudi Arabia by gifting them a $3 million slaughterhouse, said the Green Party today.

An unreleased report obtained by The Guardian, which was given to the Security Council (SC) last week, has found “widespread and systematic” attacks on civilian targets, documenting 119 violations of international humanitarian law. The report is a result of the United Nations panel investigation into the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen.

 

“It will be very hard for New Zealand to hold Saudi Arabia to account at the SC over bombing civilian targets when the National Government refuses to stop gifting trade privileges to the Saudi Government,” said Green Party global affairs spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham.

“The report to the SC highlights some very concerning and serious violations of international law by the Saudi-led coalition. There needs to be accountability, as the report itself recommends.

“But it is very hard to hold a country to account when you are trying to appease that very country in order to get a trade deal over the line. There is a clear conflict of interest.

“The question really is, will John Key still use taxpayer dollars to gift Saudi Arabia a $3 million slaughterhouse while they continue to bomb civilians and violate international law?

“The New Zealand Government needs to take a strong stance against Saudi Arabia. We can start by not gifting them a $3 million slaughterhouse. 

“Once the report is public, the New Zealand Government can draft a resolution for the Security Council that condemns Saudi Arabia and calls upon all states to respect international law,” said Dr Graham.

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