NZ READY TO LEAD MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
By Richard Harman (author)
New Zealand takes up the Chair of the Security Council next week and Mr McCully is nothing if not ambitious for New Zealand’s term
It is expected that the plan of French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, to move Israel and the Palestinian Authority back to talks with the eventual intention of creating a Palestinian state will gather momentum over the next months.
Mr McCully said New Zealand had a “text” available to put before the Security Council if Mr Fabius’ plan failed.
“We will remain ready to bring forward an initiative of our own if we think it will be the most constructive way of bringing the parties together in a room,” he said.
The Minister said that following his recent trip to the region he was mildly optimistic about success.
“Whatever difficulties there might be today, the reality is that those difficulties will simply get bigger if we allow too much time to elapse,” he said.
Mr McCully also outlined New Zealand’s key goals in chairing the Security Council.
It would host a public debate on security for small island states and behind the scenes he hoped to work on moderating the veto powers of the so-called permanent members of the Council.
From the original negotiations to set up the UN after the Second World War, New Zealand has opposed the veto.
New Zealand’s wartime Labour prime Minister, speaking at the San Francisco conference which established the UN called the veto “unfair and indefensible.”
He said it could not survive as a permanent arrangement particularly when it gave a Great Power the capacity to block Security Council action against aggression.
Mr McCully will make a major Foreign Affairs speech tonight when he opens the 50th annual Otago Foreign Policy School.