Key calls for action on Syria, but is NZ doing enough?

Key calls for action on Syria, but is NZ doing enough?

The Prime Minister has used his address to the United Nations General Assembly to call for action over the conflict in Syria.

John Key says it's time for the Security Council to step up, and he's not ruling out New Zealand doing more to help with the Syrian refugee crisis.

"We cannot ignore the huddled travellers in the railway stations of Europe or the reality of refugees scratching out a meagre existence in camps or makeshift homes," Mr Key said in his speech.

He wasn't afraid to channel horrific images that have so far been used represent the Syrian crisis.

"A three-year-old boy dead washed up on a Turkish beach, hundreds of thousands killed, forced to flee their homes."

Last month the Government reluctantly agreed to open the borders to 600 emergency refugees from Syria over the next two-and-a-half years.

But despite Mr Key's emotive global pitch, New Zealand's refugee settlement record isn't the best.

According to Amnesty International New Zealand is ranked 90th in the world, with 0.3 refugees for every 1000 people. Australia ranked 67th, and has resettled three times more refugees than New Zealand.

So it was tough talk from the Prime Minister on the refugee crisis – there was plenty of rhetoric, plenty of emotive imagery and tub-thumping about the need to do more.

But when it actually comes to action, there are hints but no real commitment or even the makings of a plan.

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