The Middle East peace process will be high on the agenda for New Zealand's presidency of the United Nations Security Council next month.
New Zealand will chair the council in July and again in September next year.
Foreign Minister Murray McCully, told TV3 the Israel-Palestine conflict was an issue the Security Council, not the United States, should be taking a lead on.
He said despite decades of stagnated talks, the two sides shared very similar goals.
"I think that the two parties could make surprising progress, but you've got to get them in a room and that's been the big problem, the Security Council should play a role here, not to try and multi-lateralise a process that's got to be lead by the two principals, but to give multi-lateral support."
Mr McCully said other priorities for the presidency would be highlighting the economic concerns of small island nations, as well as a bid to get rid of the security council veto.