Manitoba

War on Iraq 'illegal:' Boutros-Ghali

A former secretary general of the United Nations says military intervention in Iraq goes against UN rules.

A former secretary general of the United Nations says military intervention in Iraq goes against UN rules.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali made the comments during a stop in Winnipeg, where he is touring some sites in the city's francophone community, and announcing the creation of a bursary in honor of Liberal MP Ron Duhamel. Duhamel died last year of cancer.

Boutros-Ghali also says the UN has been weakened by the Iraqi crisis, but he believes the institution will survive.

He says the U.S. should have sought a second resolution before going to war. The former secretary general of the United Nations says the war sets a bad precedent.

"It practically is a preventive war," says Boutros-Ghali, "Other countries may use this argument in the future to intervene on the basis of this precedent."

Boutros-Ghali was head of the UN from 1992 to 1997.

During his term, he was often at odds with the American administration. He now says the actions of the U.S. and its allies have weakened the UN, but he remains hopeful about the institution's future.

"I still hope that the UN will be able to overcome this crisis," says Boutros-Ghali, "The UN will continue to play a role, even if this role is very marginal."

Boutros-Ghali says the focus of the UN must now be on the followup to war in Iraq.

"Pay attention to the people of Iraq, to the reconstruction of the country, the return of the refugees, to a good governance."

But Boutros-Ghali is dubious about plans for a rebuilt and renewed Iraq. He admits that following a war, the international community has a poor record of paying the necessary attention to reconstruction.

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