28 Sep 2009

PM's opinion of UN raised after visit

5:32 am on 28 September 2009

Prime Minister John Key says he has a slightly enhanced opinion of the United Nations after his first visit there.

Mr Key addressed the UN General Assembly in New York on Friday (Saturday NZT), launching a bid by New Zealand for a place on the Security Council in 2015-16.

Mr Key says events such as the General Assembly give leaders a chance to build personal relationships.

He says the UN is looking at ways to reform itself and New Zealand will support those efforts.

Mr Key also says it's hugely significant that the United States has re-engaged with the United Nations and the move will give its decisions more weight.

Last week saw President Barack Obama tell the General Assembly that the time had come to embrace engagement based on mutual trust.

Mr Key says there's no question that the US is now fully committed to multilaterial diplomacy.

He says it's not about what Mr Obama said, but rather about how much time he devoted to the UN event.