Have a read of these quotes from John Key’s address to the UN General Assembly. He made it clear that the Security Council has failed to deliver for the people of Syria and that it’s time to have a New Zealand voice at the table.
The UN has too often failed to provide solutions to the problems the world expects it to resolve. The gap between aspiration and delivery is all too apparent, as the situation in Syria has again so brutally reminded us.
This Organisation would not also have been a powerless bystander to the Syrian tragedy for over two years if the lack of agreement among the Security Council’s Permanent Members had not shielded the Assad regime – thereby re-confirming the fears of New Zealand and others who had opposed the veto at the original San Francisco conference in 1945.
It is imperative now that the Council acts. It must adopt a resolution that responds to the use of chemical weapons.
The resolution must also provide for the protection of the civilian population.
On Israel and Palestine
While climate change is an important issue, it pales in comparison to the problems faced by many UN members. One of the most intractable is that of Israel and Palestine. As long as this problem is left unresolved there can be no assured peace in the Middle East, and no security for the wider region. And there can be no resolution without the Israeli and Palestinian peoples both being assured of viable homelands within secure borders.
On New Zealand’s achievements in Afghanistan:
School and hospitals were rebuilt and health centres opened. Mortality rates for children under five were halved. Maternal deaths are a quarter of Taliban-era levels. Girls now make up half the number of primary school children. New Zealand expertise also helped substantially improve agricultural yields through the implementation of modern farming techniques. We are building the largest solar energy system in Afghanistan, which will bring a renewable source of electricity to much of Bamyan township. This has been a big commitment by a small country, situated far away. It also came at considerable cost; ten of our service men and women lost their lives while on duty there. Even so, we are proud of what we achieved in partnership with the people of Bamyan and hope those gains can be sustained in the years ahead.
On our approach to the Security Council:
New Zealand is not advocating revolution but we are asserting the Council can and must do better in the way it conducts its business. That is the approach New Zealand will bring to the Security Council if we are elected next October.
There is no point in joining the Council simply to make up the numbers.
Sometimes, you have to speak up and shine a light on what is going on ‑ or not going on ‑ even when that may be inconvenient to others.