"The Bush administration's attitude to international law completely undermines any supposed rationale for war on Iraq. We have seen time and time again how the US uses its military and economic might to ignore or undermine any international obligations which stand in its way", Jean says.
"Blair must back away or the UK will, like the US, find itself regarded as an international pariah by its EU partners and the wider world."
"We must ask why on earth we want to associate with a regime that has so consistently flouted and attempted to undermine the international rule of law: on the International Criminal Court, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol and now on military intervention in Iraq."
Jean also signed an anti-war appeal, a Green Initiave in the European Parliament to prevent a war in Iraq.
"If we truly believe in the values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, we cannot justify indiscriminate slaughter to bring the guilty to arbitrary justice" she said in a press release she issued following the terrorist attacks on America. She spoke of her deep sadness at the tragic loss of life, but warned against increasing the spiral of violence.
She also emphasised the fact that most Muslims are as appalled as everyone else at the attacks and condemned attacks on Muslims and their businesses, schools and places of worship. Read the press release and a letter to the Telegraph .
Jean voted against a Council regulation aiming to freeze the assets of a list of organisations suspected of carrying out terrorist activities (see Article from EU Observer). Although she agrees with the goal of such a regulation, and despite crucial amendments being adopted relating to scrutiny of the list, clarifying the identity of names on the list and adding a 'sunset clause' which would cause the regulation to expire in 2003, the Council by the time of the vote had changed the legal base of the regulation. Jean professed to feeling "very uncomfortable" with this move, which, as well as showing that this was a badly prepared, rushed proposal, would eliminate possibilities of Parliamentary scrutiny. "If they were really serious about terrorism" she said, "they would have introduced a regulation like this years ago and now be just adding a few names to the list". In addition to this, the proposed list contained only Arab or Muslim names. Many MEPs had asked in the committee discussion why European terrorist groups were also not included.
HOW GOVERNMENTS SHOULD REACT IN TIMES OF CONFLICT: Speech to the Conscience AGM, 13th October 2001
Jean talked with refugees at Sangatte, the disputed Red Cross centre near the Eurotunnel depot outside Calais. She said "Visiting Sangatte and talking to the people there was a moving experience. These are the people who are treated and portrayed as criminals by the press and the government, when in fact they are simply normal people - many of them barely out of their teens - fleeing injustice and striving for a better life." She called on the UK and other governments to consider that their policies are dealing with people's lives, not just numbers, especially in the light of Parliament's discussions asylum and immigration next week. Many of the refugees in Sangatte are from Afghanistan, and Jean commented on the hypocrisy of the UK government - while it backs military action against the Taliban it turns its back on those who are suffering due to the same regime. "Do we now expect them to go back?"
Green MEP Jean Lambert says Balfour Beatty's decision to
pull out of the Ilisu Dam project in Turkey is positive news "I welcome
Balfour Beatty's withdrawal. It is now time for the UK Government to say that
they do not support the Dam, and for Turkey to rethink its energy policy and
to develop one which accords with the protection of the environment and human
"The environmental and social consequences of this scheme are huge, and it has immense regional implications. The project could dissplace some 80,000 Kurds, and cause serious problems relating to the issue of water resources."
Last year Jean Lambert visited the historic city of Hasankeyf, due to be submerged by the project.
Balfour Beatty, the lead contractor for the controversial Ilisu Dam in the Kurdish region of SE Turkey, has announced its withdrawal from the project on social, environmental and economic grounds. Its Italian partner, Impregilo, has also withdrawn. The withdrawal follows a sustained campaign by human rights and environment NGOs, including shareholder resolutions against Balfour Beatty.
Balfour Beatty had applied for export credit support from the UK Export Credits Guarantees Department (ECGD) and from the US Ex-Im Bank. With the withdrawal of the company from Ilisu, both agencies have ceased to be involved in the project. The company admits that the project failed to meet the conditions laid down by the ECAs for export credit support.
Impregilo's application for export credits with the Italian export credit agency, SACE, is also now withdrawn.
Sulzer Hydro, the company which heads the consortium that hopes to build the dam, has said that it is looking for a partner to replace Balfour Beatty. However, a well placed Turkish source told Channel 4 news, "Other European firms won't be interested now and the Ilisu project may not go ahead."
The UK, Italian and US governments were due to decide whether or not they would support the project. However, the withdrawal of Balfour Beatty and Impregilo has let them off an embarassing hook - and avoided a potentially precedent-setting decision. Major UK departments were understood to be aganist the project - but Prime Minister Tony Blair was reported to be pushing it in order to secure Turkish military support for the war against Afghanistan.
Campaigners are calling for the ECGD and other ECAs to adopt legally-binding human rights, environment and development standards in order to screen out projects such as Ilisu. At present, the ECGD only has a weak set of "business principles".
The areas concerning Turkey in which Jean takes a particularly active interest are human rights, the situation of the Kurds, and the Ilisu Dam and the related issue of Export Credit Agencies
Jean meets regularly with Kurdish groups in London and has made a particular focus of the Ilisu dam campaign (link to site). It is hoped that the Ilisu Dam Campaign will lead to a further international campaign for the reform of Export Credit Agencies compelling them to refer to social and environmental criteria besides economic ones when making decisions on the under-writing of major construction projects
04/01 Letter to the Home Office re Kurdish Asylum Seekers
05/01 Speech on Intervention on the Sri Lanka debate
02/01 Statement to European Parliament about Pakistan
11/99 Statement on Pakistan