6 Aug 2012

Greens would support military intervention in Syria

2:24 pm on 6 August 2012

The Green Party says New Zealand should vote for military intervention in Syria at the UN if the fighting there reaches the point where crimes against humanity are being committed.

New Zealand voted with most of the United Nations General Assembly on Friday in condemning the Security Council for its failure to take action against the regime in Syria.

Green MP Kennedy Graham, who met Syrian refugees six weeks ago in camps near the border with Jordan, says the General Assembly should pass economic sanctions on Syria and take military action if the circumstances warrant it.

"I think economic sanctions are appropriate on a global basis, and, if the slaughter gets to a stage where it amounts to crimes against humanity and to genocide, then yes, military intervention is necessary."

Dr Graham said New Zealand has as much power to force action on Syria as any other country.

However, he said the General Assembly should consider the concerns of countries like Russia and China, which oppose military intervention.