PRESS BRIEFING BY MONICA GRAYLEY, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT MARÍA FERNANDA ESPINOSA

Good afternoon, everyone…

I will say hello and goodbye to Steph and his guests from the Texas State University who are sitting in the back. They study communications and public relations, and I hear this is the first time that they are visiting the UN.  Welcome!

PRESIDENT ESPINOSA LEAVES FOR PAKISTAN AND THE SULTANATE OF OMAN

The President of the General Assembly, María Fernanda Espinosa, is leaving this afternoon on an official trip for Pakistan and the Sultanate of Oman. She is travelling at the invitation of the Government of Pakistan and to Islamabad from 18-22 January. The PGA will meet with the country’s President H.E. Arif Alvi, and the Prime Minister H.E. Imran Khan, the Foreign Minister, H.E. Shah Mahmood Qureshi, as well as representatives of the UN and of civil society. From Pakistan, Ms. Espinosa will travel to Oman, where she will deliver a lecture at the National Defence College of Oman on multilateralism and the role of the GA in international peace and security. She will visit the Omani Women Association and meet the country’s Foreign Minister, H.E. Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah. All travel costs are being covered separately by the respective countries and by the regular budget of the PGA’s office.

STAKEOUT CANCELLED, NEW PRESS CONFERENCE TO BE ANNOUNCED

As you know, the stakeout planned for 1 p.m. today has been cancelled due to schedule constraints and the imminent travels of the PGA’s. Ms. Espinosa will hold a press conference here in the Briefing Room soon after she returns from Pakistan and Oman. We will bring more details to you nearer the time.

PGA’S AGENDA AND OTHER ISSUES

This morning, the PGA met with the Deputy Ambassador of Iran to the United Nations, H.E. Eshag al-Habib. She later presided over the briefing that the Secretary-General, António Guterres, gave to Member States on his priorities for 2019. We will bring you more details on her bilateral meetings during her travels to Pakistan and Oman here in our regular briefings.

This is all from us. Now I can take your questions.

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