22 June 2020

non-verbatim

Good morning ladies and gentlemen: members of the Press. I want to give you an update about the ongoing work of the General Assembly since our last press briefing of 8 June.

I would like to discuss 4 issues: The Elections, 75th anniversary of the UN Charter, Alliance for Poverty Eradication and the preparation for the General Debate as well as the High-Level Week of the 75th Session of the General Assembly.

Elections

Having obtained the required majority of votes by Member States present:

  • On 17 June, H.E. Volkan Bozkir of Turkey was elected President of the General Assembly for its 75th
  •  Argentina, Austria, The Plurinational State of Bolivia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Indonesia, Japan, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mexico, Nigeria, Portugal, Solomon Islands, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe were elected as members of the Economic and Social Council for a three-year term, beginning 1 January, 2021.
  •  India, Ireland, Mexico and Norway were elected Members of the Security Council for a two-year term, beginning 1 January 2021.
  • On 18 June, Kenya was elected a Member of the Security Council for a two-year term, beginning 1 January 2021.

75th Anniversary of the UN Charter

  • The General Assembly will hold a mandated virtual meeting to observe the anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter on 26 June 2020.
  • This commemorative event will reflect on the meaning of the Charter – what it signified 75 years ago, what it stands for today, and looking ahead: what it should mean to us in the decades to come.
  • The event will feature voices of UN Principals, Member States, as well as relevant Stakeholders such as youth, civil society, and the private sector.
  • The celebration of the Charter’s signing will coincide with the conclusion of Inter-Governmental Negotiations on a forward-looking and unifying declaration; which we hope to be formally adopted by consensus at the UN75 High-Level Meeting on 21 September 2020.

Alliance for Poverty Eradication

Next, I would like to address an issue of importance to the Presidency of the 74th Session of the General Assembly; which is the issue of poverty eradication. You would have seen constant references to how, in all countries, those who are poor have suffered the most, especially during the pandemic.

  • The High-Level Meeting which will take place on 30 June, 2020 is intended to launch the Alliance for Poverty Eradication and to inaugurate the first in a series of colloquia on poverty eradication. Participation by Member States will be at Ministerial and PR levels. Also participating are equally important Stakeholders in the fight against poverty comprising the UNDP, the World Bank Group, the UN Regional Economic Commissions, the UNCTAD, the FAO, the ILO and the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights.
  • The Alliance for Poverty Eradication unites Stakeholders with Member States in their efforts to continually address poverty eradication by adopting a holistic response to the issue through multi-pronged, cross-cutting and coordinated interventions.

General Debate & High-Level Week 75th Session of the General Assembly

  • On 12 June, I hosted a virtual meeting with Member States to discuss elements for consideration during the High-Level week of the 75th Session of the General Assembly.
  • Based on exchanges at the virtual meeting, it is clear that at this stage, given the limitations on international travel and convening of large in-person meetings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be virtual and it will still be in September.
  • I have circulated elements to Member States for their consideration, following conversations on how the High-Level Week and in particular, the General Debate will be held in terms of modalities. Conversations and consultations are ongoing. In the next few days, we will put these elements under silence procedure, to allow for concrete decisions to be taken. This is a decision of Member States. What we do is to ensure that we arrive at a place where we collectively agree on how the High-Level Week will be held. The overwhelming position for it to be held as scheduled, differently, i.e. virtually and the elements of that are being negotiated. We expect, within a week, to have a concrete decision taken by Member States.