PRESS BRIEFING BY REEM ABAZA, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT TIJJANI MUHAMMAD-BANDE
This morning, the President of the United Nations General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande sent a letter and draft decision to Member States on the high-level week of the seventy-fifth session of the General Assembly.
The President intends to present the draft decision to the General Committee shortly to proceed to adoption under silence procedure.
The draft includes that the General Assembly decides, without setting a precedent, that, each Member State, Observer State and the European Union, is encouraged to submit a pre-recorded statement to the General Debate at its seventy-fifth session, the high-level meeting to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations and other high-level meetings. The video statements will be shown in the General Assembly Hall.
The Draft also states that the pre-recorded statements shall be included in the verbatim records.
Taking into account the need for physical distancing and expected limitations on the number of individuals physically present in the UN building at the same time, the draft decision revises the schedule for:
- the Summit on Biodiversity to be held on Wednesday, 30 September 2020;
- the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on Beijing +25 the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women to be held on Thursday, 1 October 2020; and
- the high-level meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons to be held on Friday, 2 October 2020.
In his statement at the High-Level Commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Genocide in Srebrenica, the President said: “Today, and every day, we remember the innocent boys and men who suffered heinous and unjustifiable deaths. We stand in solidarity with their families who have epitomised courage and resilience in seeking justice and peace throughout a quarter of a century of profound grief.”
Mr. Muhammad-Bande proceeded to say that prevention is key. He stressed on the necessity to act to prevent mass atrocities from happening in the first place. The President added that “developing appropriate instruments and mechanisms to detect early situations of concern is vital in this regard. Diplomacy must be our first and best option.”
He called for the reactivation and re-commitment to the early warning mechanisms especially as the crimes of Genocide do not happen without red flags.
The President has just delivered a statement in a side event at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development,
on Mobilizing and Retaining Resources to Build Back Better: Financial Integrity in Post-COVID World. The event was an opportunity to give an Update on the Work of the High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda, known as the FACTI Panel.
The President pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted billions of lives with far-reaching effects on the health and livelihoods of people, causing economic and financial shocks around the world.
Special Session on COVID-19
The Temporary President of the 31st Special session of the General Assembly on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Charge d’affairs ad interim for the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations, circulated a letter to Member states placing draft decisions under silence procedure including electing the President of the 74th session of the General Assembly as president of the special session.
The Charge d’affairs of Nigeria is the temporary president of this session, in accordance to the rules of procedure that give this role to the Head of the PGA’s country’s delegation. The request to holed the special session was sent to the Secretary General and a majority of Member States have concurred with the request.
More information including on the date of the meeting, will be available soon.
Registration for non-governmental organizations in consultative ECOSOC status is open until today for the participation, on July 21, in the multi-stakeholder hearing in preparation of the General Assembly high-level meeting on Beijing+25.
The President of the General Assembly, with the support of (UN-Women), will organize and preside over the interactive hearing, to ensure the active participation of multi-stakeholders in the process.
Next week, on the 17th of July, the President of the General Assembly will announce the laureates of the Nelson Mandela Prize. That will be ahead of the informal meeting of the General Assembly on July 20th to observe the annual Nelson Mandela International Day.
As you know the prize is an honorary award presented once every 5 years as a tribute to the outstanding achievements and contributions of 2 individuals (one female and one male).