Malcolm Turnbull says John Key's comments made about the United Nations' failure to stop the conflict in Syria were "fair and right".
Speaking to Sky News before addressing the UN himself, Mr Turnbull said the situation in Syria is complex, but that the persistent warring has much to do with outside political parties.
"There has certainly been a failure on Syria...John Key is right. It's a fair comment. You've got to judge political actions by their outcome," he said.
"There are warring parties within Syria and most of them have sponsors from outside and that's why the diplomatic challenge is for the external parties to reach an agreement and then to be able to communicate that to all the players on the ground."
The diplomatic challenge is for the external parties to reach an agreement"
Mr Turnbull said the consequences of the conflict are far-reaching, and he pointed the finger squarely at two major players.
"The Security Council is an institution...the real challenge now is for the particular powers, the two leading powers in the Syria conflict, the US and Russia, to reach an agreement".
During his speech to the UN, Mr Turnbull pushed for a non-military solution to the crisis.
"The challenge there, of course, is that the warring parties are so intractably opposed. A political solution remains elusive," he said.
"Everybody acknowledges that there isn’t a military solution,” he said. “It is going to require, really, a major step by the Russians to come together, with the United States.
"This conflict in Syria cannot continue to develop into, in effect, a proxy war. There has got to be a recognition that this continued conflict is serving absolutely nobody’s interest and doing untold harm and loss of life and injury to millions."
It is going to require, really, a major step by the Russians to come together, with the United States."
Mr Key yesterday scolded the UN Security Council for failing to find real solutions to the conflict, and called for an urgent leader-level meeting to negotiate and agreement to end hostilities.
"We cannot sit back and continue to allow innocent people to lose their lives," he said.
"This is the time for significant interested parties to show leadership when it comes to Syria."
New Zealand is now in the final month of its two-year term presiding over the Council.