NZ fails leadership test before even starting Security Council presidency

New Zealand is starting from behind as it is poised to take up the presidency of the UN Security Council by failing to show leadership on one of the most significant international security issues of the day, said the Green Party today.

New Zealand is starting from behind as it is poised to take up the presidency of the UN Security Council by failing to show leadership on one of the most significant international security issues of the day, said the Green Party today.

Responding to Green Party questions in Parliament today, John Key refused to condemn Israel’s boarding of the Freedom flotilla, or its war crimes in relation to Gaza, including the on-going blockade of Gaza.

“We have a once in a generation opportunity to lead on peace and security as President of the Security Council, and New Zealand has already failed to show leadership by not condemning Israel’s boarding of the Freedom flotilla,” said Green Party global affairs spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham.

“We start the presidency of the Security Council tomorrow and Israel’s stopping of humanitarian aid vessels, with Kiwis on board reaching Gaza, was the first big issue we could have shown leadership on. Instead our Prime Minister refused to condemn Israel’s abhorrent behaviour.

“There is never a more appropriate time than now for New Zealand to show leadership on the Israel-Palestine issue.

“You can’t be a credible peacemaker if you don’t criticise either side when it has erred. This is not about taking sides; it’s about being honest, impartial and showing real leadership.

“John Key has made much of back door diplomacy, but that doesn’t always work – now more than ever, we need New Zealand to be seen and heard to be leading,” Dr Graham said.

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