McCully to push for new international sanctions law

Foreign Minister Murray McCully

Frustration at the inability of the United Nations to resolve conflicts has prompted the government to consider powers to implement “autonomous sanctions”, Foreign Minister Murray McCully has announced.

Speaking at the Otago Foreign Policy School in Dunedin, he said New Zealand needed to be able impose sanctions against countries such as Syria outside of the UN system.

At present New Zealand can only impose sanctions if they have been approved by the UN.

But the use of the veto power by Russia and China in the UN Security Council meant New Zealand and other countries were helpless in taking their own measures against Syria.

Mr McCully described the situation in Syria as a civil war and he criticised the UN for being “impotent in the face of mounting brutality” by the Bashar al-Assad regime.

“In an environment in which the Security Council appears to have difficulty agreeing… New Zealand needs to have the capacity to impose sanctions outside the UN framework,” he said.

This would be done through legislation similar to that approved by Australia last year.

Mr McCully also revealed New Zealand was no longer importing oil from Iran, which is subject to sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union over its nuclear arms programme.

The foreign policy school considered Middle East policies at the weekend, with academic speakers from Israel, Canada, Singapore and, through a video link, the Nato headquarters in Brussels.

Mr McCully’s term as foreign minister has been noted for its emphasis on the Gulf region and Africa as areas of high potential for increased trade and the use of New Zealand agricultural technology.

He told NBR ONLINE that New Zealand under-represented in diplomatic terms there compared with the existing level of trade and compared with representation in Europe.

He said the new post in Abu Dhabi had been highly successful and hinted the next post would be opened in Qatar, which recently sent a diplomatic mission to this country to discuss its food security programme.

New Zealand also has diplomatic posts in Cairo, Ankara, Riyadh and Teheran.

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Sanctions end up hurting the people they are meant to help.
But I'm only too happy for Mr McCully to travel yo Syria and disarm both sides if he really believes he should be doing something..


How about some real journalism please. Instead of just regurgitating a political announcement, it would be necessary to report on the success of the use of sanctions in similar situations in the recent past to help us judge if this is a good idea - if you can find any examples of success which justifies the obvious effect of economic hardship for the people we are trying to help.


How about the success of sanctions against South Africa?


My point exactly Sally.
I presume your criticism was meant for the journo. and not me? Cheers


How about some real journalism please. Instead of just regurgitating a politicians announcement, it would be necessary to report on the success of the use of sanctions in similar situations in the recent past to help us judge if this is a good idea. Is there a history of gain that justifies the obvious economic hardship that will affect the people we want to help?


Oil sanctions never hurt South Africa, but they made a lot of Norwegian ship owners really rich. It also bolstered energy self reliance with coal fired power stations, coal to liquid fuels via many Sasol technology plants, the first nuclear power station in Africa, and off-shore gas to liquids projects, all of which generated hundreds of thousands of jobs. Sanctions don't hurt the rich and powerful in government, only the poor.


Tis about time people realize that this , like Afghanistan,Libya is over resources,....opium,lithium,oil,Artifacts , .
Wake up to what is happening,...this , like all conflicts are orchestrated by the industrial war machine,...
NZ should separate itself from this beast.


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