TODAY |

UN failing to show leadership over Israel/Palestine, NZ says

New Zealand has taken centre stage for the first time in 21 years in an open debate at the UN Security Council over how to end the Israel-Palestine conflict.

NZ's representative has lashed out, saying the council has failed to show leadership and is abdicating its responsibilities.

Spokesman Jim McLay told 20 member states in New York that the council needs to do much more over the conflict that has lasted more than 60 years.

He said a two-state solution is the most realistic - an independent state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.

"Arguments that this council doesn't have a role, or that it can't add value, can no longer be justified," Mr McLay told fellow members.

He said that while New Zealand "staunchly supports" the existence of Israel, the creation of a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders was the way to achieve peace.

It comes at an important time for an Israeli-Palestine resolution with talk building among Arab states to resubmit a resolution calling on Israel to withdraw from territories occupied after the six day war in 1967.

Arab leaders are working on another draft plan after a Palestinian proposed resolution to end the more than 60 year conflict was voted down in December.

But Israel's ambassador to New Zealand, Yosef Livne, says their position is different and Israel believes the only way is for the UN to send a message to the Palestinians to go back to direct negotiations.

"This is basically the only way to reach a solution," Mr Livne says.

Professor Robert Ayson from Victoria University says while the Government will say it has made a balanced statement there is more in there for the Palestinians.

"The very fact of making this more of an issue for the Security Council which New Zealand wants to is something Israel is uncomfortable with," Mr Ayson says.

And getting the 15 member Security Council to pass such a resolution is difficult. It needs at least nine votes in favour and for none of the five permanent members to block it by exercising their veto powers.

New Zealand has taken centre stage in a debate at the UN Security Council over the Israel vs Palestine conflict. Source: 1 NEWS


Topics