UN Head Silent On New Zealand's Chances In Winning Security Council Seat

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon And UN-Arab League Envoy To Syria Lakhdar Brahimi Hold Joint News Conference In Switzerland
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (R) holds a joint news conference with UN-Arab League Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (not pictured) in Montreux January 22, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has refused to comment on New Zealand's chances in its bid for a two-year term in the UN Security Council.

According to RadioNZ, the UN official spoke at a news conference in Auckland and said the vote for the seat will be decided by the UN member states.

Ki-moon said he was aware that New Zealand is determined to win the seat. He mentioned New Zealand's active contribution to maintain international peace and lauded the country's efforts in participating in human rights and development issues.

Reports said the member nations of the UN will decide in October. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has remained confident that New Zealand is running a strong campaign to win a seat in the UN council. Mr Key said he cannot guarantee New Zealand can outperform Turkey and Spain since their respective governments have bigger budgets. However, Mr Key said the country has run its "very best campaign" so far.

New Zealand Greens Foreign Affairs Spokesman Kennedy Graham agreed with Mr Key as he is also confident the country will have a good shot in getting one of the two seats in the UN Security Council.

If New Zealand should win, reports said Amnesty International has called on Mr Key to make human rights his priority agenda when he holds meetings with respective U.S. and UN ambassadors.

Meanwhile, the UN secretary-general addressed other issues while in Auckland. He told reporters that settling the Ukraine conflict cannot be done by force. According to reports, the rebels in Ukraine have launched a major attack in retaliation. The Ukrainian government and the U.S. have accused Russia of backing the rebels. Moscow has since denied the claims.

The UN head said no military solution will end the conflict. He said a political dialogue will hopefully be the solution.

Stopping short of criticism of Australia's decision to supply weapons to Kurdish troops in Iraq, he said the country should seek international support before taking action. He has also declined to comment on New Zealand's support for airstrikes in Iraq.

The UN head is scheduled to give a speech at Auckland University during his brief visit in New Zealand. 

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