HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESS BRIEFING BY REEM ABAZA, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT TIJJANI MUHAMMAD-BANDE

Good afternoon. 

Over the weekend and on Monday, the President of the General Assembly was in Addis Ababa, where he attended the African Union Summit, participated in events, including a High-Level panel on economic security, peace and conflict prevention and also in UN75 conversation organized by the UN in Ethiopia and the Resident Coordinator there Catherina Cozi with youth in a local school under the theme: UN75: We speak, UN Listens. 

Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande listened to students expressing their opinions on the Sustainable Development Goals, and answered their questions on many issues, stressing on the need for everyone to work together so no one is left behind. 

Nelson Mandela Prize 

We would like to share a reminder for nominations for the 2020 United Nations Nelson Mandela Prize. 

Nominations will be accepted until February 28. The Award is presented every five years to two individuals: one female and one male.  

Laureates will be selected by a United Nations committee chaired by the President of the General Assembly.

Security Council Reform 

Yesterday, the PGA delivered remarks at the inter-governmental negotiation on Security Council Reform (IGN). He stressed on the need to support the Council to discharge its duties, and reform it to ensure it is able to do so, more effectively.  

He added that there is no doubt that the membership of the Security Council, as well as its working method, must reflect the realities of the 21st century. He asked all delegations to utilize the opportunity that this IGN session provides to engage constructivelyadding: we must give this process a chance. 

The President of the General Assembly said that it is important that member-states work harder than ever, to reach common grounds on the key issues, including size of an enlarged Council, as well as the issue of regional representation; Abolition of, or extension of veto power, and its use; Expansion or non-expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership. 

As you know the PGA has appointed the Permanent Representatives of Poland and Jordan as co-chairs for this process. 

Targeting Hunger 

On Wednesday the PGA organized an interactive dialogue on Targeting Hunger 

He said that the dialogue provides an opportunity to reflect upon the gains made on SDG 2: ‘Zero Hunger’, and to determine the best pathways to a world free from hunger by 2030. He stressed on the need to redouble efforts and create policies and conditions that will not only alleviate the suffering of 820 million people who experience hunger today, but eliminate hunger in our world beyond 2030. 

Women and Girls in science 

On the International Day of women and girls in science, the PGA called on all governments, the private sector, and academia, to step up efforts to ensure that women and girls have the same opportunities as their male counterparts, empowering them to reach their full potential in the field of STEM. 

To the ‘Girls in Science’ he said: You are the future Nobel Laureates. You will take your due place in finding innovative solutions which will help us implement the SDGs. 

Coronovirus 

I’d like to share with you also that while in Addis the PGA made several comments on the coronavirus situation. He said: it’s not a Chinese problem, rather it’s our human problem and it can be solved only through cooperation and solidarity.