HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESS BRIEFING BY BRENDEN VARMA, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT MIROSLAV LAJČÁK
PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN DAVOS FOR DISCUSSIONS ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, MIGRATION
- The President arrived in Davos, Switzerland, today. He is there to participate in the World Economic Forum (WEF).
- Today he took part in a discussion on global partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals.
- He met also with Mirek Dusek, Deputy Head of Regional and Government Engagement of the WEF. They discussed the President’s priorities and possibilities for WEF engagement.
- The President is expected to meet this evening with Maroš Šefčovič, the Vice President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union.
- The President will be in Davos until this Thursday. While there, he is expected to participate in events on migration; financing the Sustainable Development Goals; and Syria.
- Asked about the President’s main messages in Davos, the Spokesperson said that the President would be speaking about the need to form partnerships and secure financing so that the Sustainable Development Goals could be met. He would also be stressing the importance of finalizing the first ever Global Compact on Migration. His messaging on migration was best summarized in an opinion piece he had written for the WEF.
PRESIDENT DISCUSSES ISSUES OF GLOBAL CONCERN WITH ADVISERS IN ROME
- Asked about how the President’s meeting in Rome with his Team of External Advisors had been funded, the Spokesperson replied that travel costs had been covered by the Trust Fund of the Office of the President. The Spokesperson noted that the meeting had been held in Rome, because one of the advisors, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Brazil’s Ambassador to Italy, had offered to host the meeting at his residence.
- In addition to further questions, the Spokesperson said that the President and his advisers had discussed a wide range of global issues and topics of interest, including the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly and the President’s priorities. Since this was meant to be an off-the-record brainstorming session, no official readout or report would be issued to the public.
PRESIDENT STANDS WITH HURRICANE IRMA SURVIVORS
- The Spokesperson was asked to respond to a media article entitled “Robert De Niro Accused of Exploiting Hurricane Irma to Build Resort in Barbuda”, in light of the fact that the actor had participated in a meeting on Hurricane Irma at the United Nations.
- The Spokesperson later said that Robert De Niro did attend the High-level Meeting on Hurricane Irma, which was co-hosted by the Secretary-General and President of the General Assembly on 18 September 2017. His invitation had come at the request of one of the affected Member States.
- It would not be up to the President to comment on media reports concerning a Member State’s communal land ownership laws.
- In general, the Spokesperson added, the President stands with the survivors of Hurricane Irma and fully supports efforts to help them recover and rebuild in the wake of that devastating disaster.