HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESS BRIEFING BY BRENDEN VARMA, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT MIROSLAV LAJČÁK
PRESIDENT TO HEAD TO FINLAND, ROMANIA, GREECE
- The President will visit Finland from 17 to 18 June, Romania on 19 June, and Greece from 21 to 22 June.
- In Finland, the President will address the Kultaranta Talks, a foreign and security policy debate hosted by the President of Finland.
- While in Finland, he will meet with Finnish officials, including: the President; the Foreign Minister; the Interior Minister; the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development; the Speaker of Parliament; and the Chairperson of the Parliament Group for Global Issues.
- He will also meet with the former Prime Minister of Sweden and member of his Team of External Advisers, Carl Bildt; and two former Presidents of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari and Tarja Halonen.
- In Helsinki, President Lajčák will also visit a reception center for migrants and the Crisis Management Initiative.
- In Bucharest, the President Lajčák will receive an honorary degree from the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration of Romania.
- He will also meet with Romanian officials, including the President; the Foreign Minister; the Foreign Policy Adviser to the President; and the Secretary of State for Strategic Affairs.
- In Rhodes, Greece, President Lajčák will address the third Rhodes Conference for Security and Stability.
- He will be back in the office on Monday 25 June.
EMERGENCY SPECIAL SESSION ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON PROTECTION OF PALESTINIAN CIVILIANS
- The President resumed the General Assembly’s tenth emergency special session yesterday afternoon. The Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Protection of the Palestinian civilian population” — by a vote of 120 in favour to 8 against with 45 abstentions.
- By that resolution, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit a report within 60 days, outlining proposals on ways and means for ensuring the safety of Palestinian civilians, including on an international protection mechanism.
- Asked how the President felt about the resolution adopted yesterday, the Spokesperson said the President stood behind it, just as he stood behind all General Assembly resolutions.
- Responding to questions about whether the United States’ proposed amendment to yesterday’s resolution had required a two-thirds majority to pass, the Spokesperson noted that the President had followed rule 84 of the General Assembly’s Rules of Procedure, which states, “Decisions of the General Assembly on amendments to proposals relating to important questions, and on parts of such proposals put to the vote separately, shall be made by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting.”
- In response to further questions, the Spokesperson said that rule 71, which was cited by the United States, did not relate to two-thirds majorities or simple majorities. Rather, it simply states: “During the discussion of any matter, a representative may rise to a point of order, and the point of order shall be immediately decided by the President in accordance with the rules of procedure. A representative may appeal against the ruling of the President. The appeal shall be immediately put to the vote, and the President’s ruling shall stand unless overruled by a majority of the members present and voting.”
- Asked whether all amendments to resolutions required two-thirds majorities to pass, the Spokesperson said that this was the case if they were related to “important questions”. He noted that the General Assembly considered that the 10th emergency special session was dealing with “important questions.”
WORLD CUP CAN BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER
- On Twitter this morning, the President welcomed the start of the World Cup. He said the General Assembly values the strong links between sport and peace.
- He added, “Even in wartime, a football can bring people together. We might have different customs or viewpoints. But once we step out onto a field, we’re all the same.”
PRESIDENT DISCUSSES ROLE OF GROUPS AT U.N. WITH AMBASSADORS
- This morning the President held the 11th in his series of Morning Dialogues with United Nations ambassadors.
- The topic this time was “Bridging the Global Divide: The role of groups at the UN.”
- Nine ambassadors participated.