HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESS BRIEFING BY BRENDEN VARMA, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT MIROSLAV LAJČÁK
PRESIDENT LAJČÁK MEETS WITH PRESIDENT OF PALAU
- President Lajčák met this morning with the President of Palau.
- They discussed issues related to the work of the 72nd session, sustainable development and health.
- President Lajčák commended Palau for engaging actively on issues related to the Pacific Small Island Developing States, such as climate change, oceans, and partnerships.
- On health, he recognized Palau’s commitment to prevent and control non-communicable diseases.
- He also congratulated Palau for agreeing to host the Our Oceans Conference in 2020 and wished the Conference every success.
RULE OF LAW A PILLAR OF MULTILATERALISM
- The President today delivered opening remarks at an Interactive Panel Discussion on International Justice Day.
- He said the rule of law is a pillar of multilateralism. And, internationally, one cannot exist without the other.
- He added that the Rome Statute, which was adopted 20 years ago today, was written by States, agreed by States, and concerns States. But, really, it is here for people — people who have suffered and people who are at risk.
BUSINESSES & GLOBAL GOALS NEED EACH OTHER
- The President is speaking now at a high-level lunch on the theme “Measuring Business Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” The event is connected to the third SDG Business Forum.
- He is expected to talk about how businesses need the SDGs and vice versa – and why it is important to track progress in that regard.
PRESIDENT TO MEET OFFICIALS FROM ANDORRA, CYPRUS, U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY
- In terms of bilateral meetings this afternoon, the President will be meeting with the Foreign Minister of Andorra, the Greek Cypriot negotiator, and the United Nations Refugee Agency’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection.
GENERAL ASSSEMBLY TO OBSERVE MANDELA DAY TOMORROW
- Tomorrow at 11am in the ECOSOC Chamber, the General Assembly will observe the Nelson Mandela International Day.
- Remarks will be delivered by President Lajčák; the Secretary-General; SDG Advocate and UNESCO Special Envoy Forest Whitaker; South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs; and New York City’s Commissioner of International Affairs.
- During the meeting, a new UN stamp, commemorating the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth, will be unveiled.
- And since volunteering is a big part of Mandela Day, the President will volunteer tomorrow afternoon at a community garden in Harlem – along with South Africa’s Deputy Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, and the New York City Commissioner for International Affairs.
ASSEMBLY MEETS INITIAL GOAL BY FINALIZING GLOBAL COMPACT FOR MIGRATION
- The Spokesperson was asked about the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the text of which had been finalized on 13 July. Asked what the President and the General Assembly could do now – following that finalization – to make sure that migrants were treated humanely, the Spokesperson said that, from the General Assembly’s perspective, its initial goal had been fulfilled. The rounds of negotiation had been held, and the text of the Global Compact had been finalized.
- The Spokesperson noted that human rights had been a major part of the discussions, and the President continued to feel strongly that the human rights of all people, including migrants, should be respected.
- In terms of next steps, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for International Migration, Louise Arbour, was now managing the conference that would formally adopt the Global Compact in Morocco in December.
- The President was happy that the Global Compact had been finalized, and would continue to follow related developments.