6 Aug 2012

Amnesty praises NZ's vote on Syria inaction

2:24 pm on 6 August 2012

Amnesty International has praised New Zealand for voting to condemn both the Syrian regime and the United Nations Security Council for its failure to take action against the regime.

The non-binding resolution was passed in the UN General Assembly by 133 votes to 12 with 31 abstentions.

Amnesty International New Zealand's advocacy and government relations manager, Amanda Brydon, says the vote was a welcome first step.

But she says New Zealand needs to put more pressure on China and Russia to stop blocking attempts to impose sanctions on Syria.

"New Zealand has a very strong human-rights record and is very well-known for speaking out," Ms Brydon says. "I know when it was on the Security Council during the genocide in Rwanda that New Zealand was very outspoken.

"It's a role that they can continue to play, and are playing quite well, but there's always opportunities to say more and put more pressure on."