YORK MP Hugh Bayley says it is vital that relations between members of the UN are repaired, after a visit to America to discuss the human crisis in the Gulf.

Mr Bayley has been in Washington during talks with diplomats over humanitarian aid for Iraq.

During the discussions, the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, was given the authority to take over and run the oil-for-food programme.

The resolution will allow Mr Annan to spend billions of dollars of Baghdad's oil revenue on food and aid.

Mr Bayley said the move was an important step in repairing the relations with the UN.

He said: "People should see it as the first stage of building relationships with the UN.

"I think it will still be some weeks before the UN system starts to pull strongly in the same direction, but it is vital that we rebuild the UN as it is the only body that can respond to a humanitarian crisis."

Mr Bayley also said that during the discussion the role of Britain in the war was commended.

He said: "People from across the political spectrum, those that support war and those that oppose it, spoke highly of Britain's role saying it was the country pulling the USA back to the UN."

Mr Bayley returned from the United States on Saturday.

Updated: 11:21 Monday, March 31, 2003