Winston Peters reveals discussions at United Nations meeting focused on Gaza, partnering with Pacific Islands

Foreign Minister Winston Peters has revealed what his official talks focused on at the United Nations meeting in New York on Tuesday. 

Discussions with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres focused on "concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza" and "partnering with the Pacific Islands region". 

"An immediate ceasefire is needed to halt the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza," Peters said in a statement. 

"UN agencies, including United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), are playing a crucial role in delivering humanitarian assistance and other vital services to Gazans." 

He said discussions included New Zealand's latest contributions, ongoing investigations into the UNRWA, and New Zealand's next annual payment. 

"New Zealand is committed to playing its part to aid Palestinians caught up in the conflict, including through appropriate UN agencies," he said. 

He expressed New Zealand's condolences to the Secretary-General over the loss of over 175 UN staff in the Gaza conflict. 

Peters also discussed partnering with the Pacific Islands region. 

"Small states in the Pacific rely on collective action to tackle urgent global challenges, including sea level rise and sustainable economic development," he said. 

"My discussions with the Secretary-General underscored the crucial role that the UN does and must play in helping the Pacific to meet these challenges. New Zealand is honoured to be playing a leadership role in the UN in preparing a high-level meeting on sea level rise in September." 

"Having spent time with the Secretary-General in New Zealand and the Pacific in 2019, it was important to resume our dialogue on the region's priorities - and what more we might do to work together to help advance them."