PRESS BRIEFING BY MONICA GRAYLEY, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT MARÍA FERNANDA ESPINOSA
Good afternoon, everyone!
How are you today?
IT WAS A BARBARIC ATTACK ON HUMANITY, PGA SAYS ABOUT TERRORIST ATTACKS IN SRI LANKA
The President of the General Assembly is shocked and appalled by the terrorist attacks, which killed almost 300 people, in Sri Lanka.
Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa says that 21 April will be marked as another dark day for humanity. The PGA sends her deepest condolences to all families who are mourning their loved ones, to the people and the Government of Sri Lanka.
Her thoughts are also with the hundreds injured in the cowardly attacks on churches and hotels which targeted innocent people who were celebrating life.
Ms. Espinosa says that the perpetrators of these senseless acts of violence and evil must be held accountable. She stresses that there is no justification for terrorism, and that the world must unite to tackle it once for all.
The PGA recalls the GA resolution 73/285 adopted on 2 April, and after the New Zealand terrorist attacks, calling for strengthened international efforts to foster global dialogue on the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels, based on respect for human rights and for the diversity of religions and beliefs, emphasizing that States, regional organizations, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations, religious bodies, the media and civil society as a whole have an important role to play in such efforts.”
INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE ON HARMONY WITH NATURE
The General Assembly is promoting an Interactive Dialogue on Harmony with Nature during the commemoration of the 10th International Mother Earth Day. The theme is: “Mother Earth approach in the implementation of Education and Climate Change”.
The objective is to invite Member States to promote a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development through Harmony with Nature.
In her remarks at the opening of the event, this morning, the President of the General Assembly said that taking care of nature is taking care of people. She also mentioned the importance of respecting vital life cycles and contributing to the immense biological diversity so that the world will continue and prosper.
In a tweet, the GA President said that the current generation has the chance to prevent damages to the planet and its inhabitants, and that the planet is approaching the point of no return in global warming. The PGA stresses that the world already knows the results of inaction.
The one-day interactive dialogue is taking place at the Trusteeship Council.
PGA HIGHLIGHTS LANGUAGE AND KNOWLEDGE AT INDIGENOUS FORUM
Earlier today, Ms. Espinosa spoke at the opening of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the General Assembly Hall.
The PGA mentioned that the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People, in 2007, was a watershed moment but that there are still challenges in regard of its effective implementation. Ms. Espinosa said that much more must be done to overcome the implementation gap and that the world has a “historic debt with the indigenous peoples”.
The PGA recalled that 15% of the poorest people in the world are indigenous people and that their full inclusion is crucial to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals. The President of the General Assembly drew attention to the situation of indigenous women who face multiple forms of discrimination and violence. She said that indigenous women are key agents of change for tackling poverty and hunger, and that traditional knowledge by indigenous people, as a whole, plays a central role in actions to mitigate and to tackle climate change.
Ms. Espinosa concluded her remarks by calling for more progress in the implementation of the International Year of Indigenous Languages as part of the efforts to preserve their knowledge.
The PGA will take part in a panel this afternoon on indigenous languages before she meets with representatives of the International Indigenous Women’s. Ms. Espinosa will hold a bilateral meeting with H.E Jagdish D. Koonjul, Ambassador of the Republic of Mauritius to the United Nations.
This is all from us. Any questions?