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

Elections

The elections of the President of the 75th session of the General Assembly, non-permanent members of the Security Council and members of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), started today at 9 AM in the General Assembly Hall.

The President of the UN General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande is in the hall overseeing the proceedings.

Member States will cast their ballots until 1:00, there’s an extra time slot from 1 to 1:30 for those who couldn’t make their original time slot. After that, counting will begin, then the President will announce the results. This will be streamed live on UN WebTV. The President will send an official letter to Member States with the results.

Mr. Muhammad-Bande said that “the elections represent our common commitment to ensuring the uninterrupted continuation of the important work of the United Nations, in accordance with the values and principles of the United Nations Charter.”

Elements for High Level Week

The President of the General Assembly circulated a letter yesterday to Member States inviting them to send comments by noon Friday on a paper outlining element for consideration for the high-level week of the 75th session of the General Assembly.

Some of the elements are:

  • The General Debate would take place as scheduled from 22 to 29 September 2020
  • The opening would take place in the General Assembly Hall with the President of the 75th Session and the Secretary-General of the United Nations being present in the Hall delivering statements.
  • Heads of State and Government or Ministers representing Member States would address the General Debate via pre-recorded video statements, that will be shown on the screens in the hall.

Desertification and Drought Day

In his statement on World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, the President of the General Assembly said that more than 70% of people living in poverty depend – at least partially- on natural resources to earn their livelihood. Yet, millions of hectares are lost each year; resulting in approximately 10% loss to global GDP. More importantly, people face tremendous hardship, with an estimated 3.2 billion people directly impacted by the diminution of land.

The President called on all stakeholders to focus on the key threats to land, namely: the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides, deforestation, over-cropping, and overgrazing.

The full statement is online.

UN Global Compact

This week, the President of the General Assembly participated at UN Global Compact Leaders’ Summit.

Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande said that “despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19, it is clear that we will recover… However, we can recover better by using this opportunity to build a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient future….Businesses are key to achieving this.”

The President called on business leaders to incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals and the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into their core business strategies and operations.

He added “we should also utilize this opportunity to accelerate the transition from a grey to a green economy. This transition is the right thing to do for people and for planet. It also represents a multi-trillion-dollar business opportunity.”