By Peter Mitchell
New Zealand has criticised the United Nations Security Council for often being mired in paralysis and failure.
Foreign Minister Murray McCully, speaking at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday (NY time), said the council's member nations needed to move away from "simply reading out statements of national positions" and instead hold genuine discussions about solving emerging conflicts.
Mr McCully pointed to the six months it took for a mini-mission to be sent to Burundi, a time lapse he said seriously diminished the scope for quiet diplomacy in the African nation.
"I know that for some members the concept of early engagement raises questions of intrusion into the internal affairs of sovereign governments," Mr McCully told a General Assembly debate titled UN, Peace and Security.
"This is attention that needs careful management and constructive engagement in the council.
"At its best, the council is capable of working together to generally solve problems.
"Sadly, too often it is mired in paralysis and failure."
New Zealand is in the final year of its two-year term as one of 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council.
The five permanent members are China, France, Russia, the UK and the US.