Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:34 pm on 3rd April 2003.

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Photo of Glenda Jackson Glenda Jackson Labour, Hampstead and Highgate 1:34 pm, 3rd April 2003

May we please have a debate, not in Westminster Hall but on the Floor of the House, and in Government time, on the situation for a post-conflict Iraq and the transition to it? Grave concern is being expressed, not only within the House but in the country and the wider world, that the driving force should be the United States exclusively. Despite the statements of our Government, there is still deep disbelief that the United States will pay any attention to the United Nations.

If my hon. Friend is attempting to create a statement from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development on the potential humanitarian crisis now in Iraq, perhaps he could point out to her that the UN has called for corridors of peace, which UNICEF successfully established during the first Gulf war, both in Lebanon and Sudan, to ensure that as the aid comes in, it does not just sit on the dockside but is distributed to the people who need it most. This clearly requires agreement on behalf of the combatants, but it is not enough to wait until the conflict is over because a real humanitarian crisis is brewing.