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PM addresses United Nations General Assembly

Rt Hon John Key
Prime Minister
21 September 2016
Media Statement

PM addresses United Nations General Assembly

Prime Minister John Key used his speech to the United Nations General Assembly today to urge the Security Council to meet its responsibilities, address the Syria crisis and commit to a united stand against North Korea.

Mr Key told the General Assembly that the Security Council has shortcomings which risk undermining its relevance and standing in world affairs.

“We are deeply troubled to see the Council, the preeminent body for international peace and security, fail to live up to its responsibilities on the biggest crisis of our time, Syria. Here the Council has fallen short,” said Mr Key.

“The internal politics within the Council and the sheer complexity of the Syria crisis have obstructed a unified Council response.

“Syria is exactly the type of crisis the Security Council was established to address.”

Mr Key also told the Council an urgent, unified response on North Korea is needed.
“North Korea’s efforts to advance its nuclear and missile programmes, its callous disregard for its own people, and its leader’s unpredictably ruthless rule, have made it one of our most pressing international security threats.
“We cannot afford further escalation.”

Mr Key reiterated the importance of Security Council reform, including the use of the veto.

“No matter how hard we work to find compromises, time and time again we come up against the veto.

“The exploitation of the veto is well beyond what the founders of the UN envisaged. The time for moving forward on Security Council reform is now.”

Mr Key also used his speech to promote Helen Clark’s bid to become the next UN Secretary General, and to make to the case for new international trade agreements that benefit all countries.

“We can’t allow fear or narrow domestic interests turn us away from an open global trading system, which has lifted millions out of poverty already.

“A more prosperous and integrated region will also be a more secure one. And that is in all our interests.”
ends

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