NEW Zealand should use its close relationship with Australia to promote alternative resolutions the UN could consider in response to the Syrian crisis, NZ Labour says.
Australia will assume the presidency of the Security Council on Monday.
The council is deadlocked on a resolution authorising countries to take “all necessary means” in response to the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian war.
“What we need are affective alternatives to that resolution,” Foreign affairs spokesman Phil Goff said on Friday.
“The opportunity exists for us to channel ideas through our Australian partners.”
Mr Goff says New Zealand could promote a resolution requiring all UN member states to immediately cease providing weapons and funding military assistance to the combatants on both sides.
“An even-handed measure would be much harder for any permanent member on the council to veto with any credibility,” he said.
“It would be more useful as an effective first step to ending the conflict than a resolution allowing a military strike, which may broaden rather than narrow the conflict.”
Mr Goff doesn’t believe the government should endorse intervention unless it is covered by a UN mandate.
United Future leader Peter Dunne also holds that position, saying New Zealand didn’t endorse the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Prime Minister John Key says his preference is for UN-mandated action.
“If it wasn’t UN-mandated, then we’d need to look at that on its merits at the time,” he said on Thursday after New Zealand’s UN diplomats had been briefed by US officials.”
The British parliament has just voted against a military response and Prime Minister David Cameron is going to abide by that.
US President Barack Obama is still deciding, although his forces are prepared and warships are reported to be moving into position.