NEW YORK - Prime Minister John Key used his speech to the United Nations General Assembly today to launch a campaign to get New Zealand a seat on the Security Council.
The opening week of the General Assembly is intensely watched around the world and this year was the largest ever with more than 160 leaders present.
"Distinguished representatives, New Zealand takes very seriously its responsibilities for creating and maintaining peace and security in its region and in the world," Mr Key told the General Assembly chamber this evening local time.
"I am therefore pleased to confirm New Zealand's candidature for the United Nations Security Council for 2015-2016, in elections to be held in 2014."
New Zealand has served three times on the council most recently in 93-94. There are five permanent members; United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and United States and 10 temporary representatives elected by member nations.
"In advancing its candidature, New Zealand does so as a state committed to upholding the international rule of law, and to providing a strong and principled Pacific voice on behalf of small states like ourselves with an interest in a fairer and more secure world."
Mr Key preceded his pitch by speaking up for small nations as G8 leaders meet in Pittsburgh.
He urged the grouping of the world's wealthiest nations to push for a successful round of the Doha trade talks.
"... heed the voice of the world's small economies... At a time when all countries are suffering from the brunt of the current economic crisis, further delay is inexcusable."
He also pleaded for states and groups who broke commitments over price controls and agricultural restrictions to think again and consider the high food prices which have resulted.
Mr Key reminded nations of New Zealand's efforts to combat nuclear proliferation while welcoming yesterday's security council resolution on reduction measures.
"As a proudly nuclear-free nation and as a country that has been at the forefront of this debate since the 1970s New Zealand stands ready to play its part."
He spoke about the New Zealand initiative to set up an international alliance for research into reducing agricultural emissions.
"This alliance would undertake international research and investment into new technologies and practices to help reduce agriculture-related emissions, and for greater coordination of existing efforts."
Mr Key began his speech with a Maori greeting and a personal note - he talked about the opportunity he received as the child of immigrants and how that reflected UN ideals.
"My family fled persecution in Europe and I was privileged to grow up in a new world where a child of immigrants is now accorded the extraordinary privilege of leading his country and addressing this assembly on its behalf."
- NZPABy Maggie Tait of NZPA