30 Nov 2016

NZ tables UN resolution for Aleppo ceasefire

7:20 pm on 30 November 2016

New Zealand, Egypt and Spain have tabled a joint resolution on the Syrian crisis with the UN Security Council, demanding a ceasefire for the besieged city of Aleppo.

A rescuer carries a woman from the rubble of a building in Aleppo's rebel-held district of al-Hamra on 20 November.

A rescuer carries a woman from the rubble of a building in Aleppo's rebel-held district of Al-Hamra. Photo: AFP

Foreign Minister Murray McCully said it followed negotiations with council members over the past fortnight.

New Zealand has been working for some time to get enough support to put a resolution before the Security Council

"We have long been of the view that the Security Council needs to live up to its responsibilities and the resolution we have put forward spells out the requirements for a ceasefire, humanitarian access, and a resumption of negotiations in Syria," Mr McCully said.

The resolution set out the need for a ceasefire, humanitarian access and a resumption of negotiations in Syria.

Mr McCully acknowledged this was not a silver bullet.

"Ultimately a resolution is not going to fix everything in Aleppo, but we need to try and put some pressure on those perpetuating the current violence to change their behaviour.

"If they are not willing to change their behaviour they need to accept the international condemnation and isolation that results from their actions.

"The presence of a few hundred Al-Nusra terrorists in Eastern Aleppo does not justify an all-out attack on more than 250,000 civilians, the bombing of every hospital in the city, and cutting off the population from aid and outside assistance."

The resolution was circulated among members today and New Zealand would like to see it put to a vote as soon as possible, he said.