United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has met with Tongan Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku, Siaosi Sovaleni in New York.

The Secretary-General and the Prime Minister exchanged views on the upcoming 4th SIDS (Small Island and Development States) Conference.

Guterres thanked Tonga for hosting the Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting in August. He said the 4th SIDS conference will be an opportunity to deliver transformative solutions and initiatives, including on reform of the international financial architecture, to address the most pressing challenges for SIDS.

The Secretary-General welcomed the Pacific region’s proactive efforts to promote resilient and sustainable development, particularly through the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.

The main points of discussions covered climate change and oceans, the upcoming COP28, the Fourth SIDS Conference to be convened in Antigua and Barbuda in May 2024, the Multi-dimensional vulnerability index, the SDG Summit and Financing for Development.

Prime Minister Sovaleni extended an invitation to the UN Secretary General to attend the Pacific Island Forum Leaders’ Meeting next year in Tonga and chaired by him as Prime Minister for a year.

PM Sovaleni expressed his full support to the UN Secretary General and his work during his remaining challenging years in office.

He reiterated his wish to continue working closely with the UN Secretary General to advance the priorities and the future of the peoples of the Small Island Developing States, including Tonga.

PM Sovaleni was accompanied by Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Members of Parliament Lord Tu’ilakepa and Johnny Taione, and Va’inga Tone, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Tonga to the United Nations.