PRESS BRIEFING BY MONICA GRAYLEY, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT MARÍA FERNANDA ESPINOSA
Good afternoon, everyone!
Today, we will say hello to a new member of our UNCA family: Mariti Blaise Lovell, who is joining us with Kyodo News. Welcome, Mariti!
PGA PAYS TRIBUTE TO NELSON MANDELA’S LEGACY ON INTERNATIONAL DAY
The President of the General Assembly is marking Nelson Mandela International Day today by paying tribute to the legacy of the South-African leader.
Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa delivered the opening remarks at the observance of the annual Nelson Mandela International Day.
The PGA spoke about her meeting with Mandela, in 2002, and how “struck by how his profound respect for human dignity in every interaction with those around him”, she was.
The President of the General Assembly stressed Madiba’s statement on women’s rights by quoting one of his statements that “freedom cannot be achieved without women’s emancipation”.
Ms. Espinosa firmly believes that “empowering women and girls is as close as it gets to a ‘magic formula’ for building more peaceful, inclusive and sustainable societies.
The PGA also said that in order to honour Nelson Mandela’s spirit, one needs to do more to combat racism and hate speech, to address the lasting impacts of colonialism and slavery.
The meeting was also attended by the Secretary-General, António Guterres, the Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, the Minister of Tourism of South Africa, Ms. Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, representatives of the UN and the Deputy Mayor of New York, Mr. Phil Thompson, among others.
Nelson Mandela International Day was established by the UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/64/13 in November 2009, in recognition of the South African leader’s contributions to conflict resolution, race relations, reconciliation, the promotion and protection of human rights, gender equality, the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, and the fight against poverty.
This afternoon, the PGA is joining over 100 volunteers in a public service activity at the Brownsville Community Culinary Center, in Brooklyn, New York, to interact with and help to serve a hot lunch to members of the community.
This is the first celebration of Mandela Day since the Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace was declared last year, by the General Assembly, and which will last from 2019 to 2028.
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GA HOLDS INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS ON POLITICAL DECLARATION OF UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE MEETING
Member States are holding informal consultations today on the political declaration of the high-level meeting on universal health coverage.
The zero draft of the political declaration “Universal Health Coverage: Moving together to build a healthier world” was presented to Member States on 21 May.
The high-level meeting will take place on 23 September from 9 am. to 1 pm. and from 3 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. and will consists of an opening segment, a plenary segment for general discussion, two multi-stakeholder panels and a brief closing segment.
More details on https://bit.ly/2LWLlah
Ms. Espinosa started her day, very early, by holding a monthly meeting with the Secretary-General. She later spoke at the celebration of the Nelson Mandela Day. After returning from Brooklyn, the PGA will receive at her office, the Permanent Representatives of Slovakia, H.E. Michal Mlynár, and of Jordan, H.E. Dina Kawar, to discuss one of her seven priorities: the revitalization of the General Assembly. She will also hold a bilateral meeting with the Special Envoy for the SG´s Climate Action Summit, H.E. Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba.
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