UN Security Council member New Zealand is working on a draft resolution to revive long-stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), AFP reported on Tuesday.
France has begun consultations on a text that would outline the parameters of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, but Ambassador Jim McLay said that New Zealand's friendship with Israel and the Palestinian Arabs means it could make a contribution.
"New Zealand wants this Security Council to focus on a practical outcome -- and we have been working on a text that might serve the purpose of getting negotiations started," he said, according to AFP.
The ambassador emphasized that the timing was right to move forward, after the Israeli elections and before the United States becomes embroiled in the campaign for the presidency in 2016.
McLay added that New Zealand was open to supporting the French initiative "if it has a chance of succeeding," but he made clear that action was needed soon.
The move from New Zealand, which was elected as one of the 10 non-permanent members last year, reflected growing impatience within the council over the failure to agree on a UN approach for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The Security Council in December rejected a resolution that would have set a deadline for reaching a final peace deal and pave the way to the creation of a Palestinian state.
The United States had voted against the measure but was spared from resorting to its veto after eight council members voted yes, one vote short of the nine needed for adoption.
Australia also voted against the resolution, while Britain, Lithuania, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Korea abstained following a round of telephone calls from Secretary of State John Kerry.
In recent weeks there has been renewed pressure on Israel to resume talks with the PA.
Following the results of the elections in Israel, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called for negotiations between the sides to resume in order to achieve "a comprehensive and lasting peace accord" based on the “two-state solution”.
UN envoy Robert Serry told the Security Council recently that it should step in to present a "framework for negotiations, including parameters" to achieve peace.
"This may be the only way to preserve the goal of a two-state solution, in the present circumstances," Serry said in a bluntly worded assessment of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.
International concern over the fate of the peace process spiked after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed during his election campaign that he would never allow the establishment of a Palestinian state under his watch.
Netanyahu later backtracked on his comments but the United States appeared unconvinced and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged him to renew his commitment to a two-state solution.
It should be noted that the last round of peace talks was torpedoed by the PA, which unilaterally signed international treaties in a breach of the conditions of the talks, and then proceeded to form a unity agreement with the Hamas terrorist organization.