PRESS BRIEFING BY BRENDEN VARMA, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT VOLKAN BOZKIR
3 COMMITTEES START THEIR WORK WHILE PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING
- Of the General Assembly’s six Main Committees, three are starting their work today.
- Those are the Second, Third and Fifth Committees. They are meeting in person to adopt their Programmes of Work.
- The Second Committee – or Economic and Financial Committee – is also holding its own general debate under the theme: “Building back better after COVID-19: Ensuring a more equitable global economy, inclusive societies and sustainable recovery.” Columbia University professor and economist Joseph Stiglitz was the keynote speaker at the opening of that general debate today.
- The Third Committee – or Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee – will be electing its Vice Chairs today. And it will be addressed by the President of the General Assembly tomorrow.
- Meanwhile, the Fifth Committee – or Administrative and Budgetary Committee – is also meeting. It will consider the organization of its work for the session.
- Regarding precautions that are being taken in light of COVID-19, the Second and Fifth Committees will not be meeting in just one conference room each. Rather, they will both be spread out over three conference rooms, which will be connected to each other through a live video feed. All voting machines and microphones will also be linked, so that the three rooms function as one.
For its part, the Third Committee will meet in the General Assembly Hall, where there is sufficient room to socially distance.
MEMBER STATES NEGOTIATE ARRANGEMENTS FOR SPECIAL SESSION ON COVID-19
- The General Assembly is moving ahead with planning for its special session on COVID-19.
- Today, the President is transmitting a letter to Member States from the co-facilitators of the intergovernmental negotiations on the special session’s modalities. The co-facilitators are the Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan and the Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada.
- The letter contains the draft resolution on these modalities. Negotiations on this will be held this Wednesday. The President will attend those.
- Regarding dates for the meeting, those will not be set until the resolution is adopted. But as the President said at his press conference last month, he would like to see the meeting happen before the end of the year.
- Asked why it was taking so long for the General Assembly to hold its special session on COVID-19, the Spokesperson noted that the President, in his press conference last month, had made it clear that the meeting should be held as soon as possible. In fact, the President had said it should have been held already as the discussion of this topical issue was so crucial for the health of our world.
- The Spokesperson said that Member States appeared to be coalescing around the dates of 3-4 December. He added that the President was in their hands on that.
NUCLEAR WEAPON-FREE WORLD CAN BE ACHIEVED, PRESIDENT SAYS
- The UN high-level meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons wrapped up on Friday evening.
- Out of 96 Member States, 71 were able to be heard. The rest of the videos will be uploaded to this website.
- In his closing remarks, the President said: “It is imperative that every Member State act without delay in fulfilling their disarmament and non-proliferation commitments. By acting together, we can achieve our shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.”