2 Oct 2012

McCully renews criticism of UN Security Council

1:37 pm on 2 October 2012

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has taken another swipe at the United Nations Security Council, accusing it of marginalising small countries.

New Zealand is bidding to be a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2015-16.

Mr McCully has told a UN forum that too often small countries are not able to put their views to the Security Council, even when it is discussing them directly.

He says they are often badly affected by the imposition of sanctions yet these are almost always determined by the large states, which dominate the council.

He says small states are also victims of the Security Council failing to respond to crises, such as the protection of safe areas in Bosnia in 1993, the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and now the violence in Syria.

Mr McCully says the culture of the Security Council has to change so that smaller states have more of a say.

In a speech to the UN General Assembly in New York at the weekend, Mr McCully criticised what he called the failure of the United Nations over Syria.

Radio New Zealand's political editor says Mr McCully's latest speech was aimed at gaining the support of small states as New Zealand bids for a seat on the international body.

The council is composed of five permanent members - China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States - and 10 non-permanent members elected for two year terms.