PRESS BRIEFING BY BRENDEN VARMA, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT VOLKAN BOZKIR
PRESIDENT CALLS FOR MEMBER STATES TO FULFIL UN75 COMMITMENTS
- This morning the General Assembly is holding an informal meeting to follow up on the declaration it adopted last September on the UN’s seventy-fifth anniversary.
- In his opening remarks, the President said that, as recognized in the declaration, much has been achieved since the UN was established. But we have further to go, to achieve the world our founders envisaged 75 years ago.
- He noted that today’s meeting was an opportunity for the Secretary-General to hear from Member States and outline his vision for reinvigorated multilateralism.
- He also called on the membership to fulfil the commitments made in the declaration, including to mobilize resources and strengthen coordination and global governance – for the common future of present and coming generations.
ASSEMBLY TO HEAR FROM WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 COORDINATOR
- This afternoon at 3:30, the General Assembly will hear an informal virtual briefing on COVID-19 by Dr. Deborah L. Birx, Coronavirus Response Coordinator at the Office of the Vice-President of the United States.
- The idea behind this meeting is to give Member States access to firsthand information on the COVID-19 situation and response in the host country.
- Asked whether today’s meeting was open to the press, the Spokesperson said it was a closed briefing meant for Member States. It was to be held virtually, and Member States had been sent a link to participate. The goal was to foster coordination and information-sharing directly between the host country and Member States on this topic.
PLENARY CONSIDERS REPORTS BY LEGAL COMMITTEE
- The General Assembly plenary will meet at 4:30 p.m. today to consider the reports of its Sixth Committee, which handles legal matters.
- The President is expected to welcome the fact that the Sixth Committee upheld its tradition of consensus as it adopted 19 draft resolutions and 10 draft decisions.
- He will also laud the Committee’s successful discussions on such topics as measures to eliminate international terrorism, the rule of law at national and international levels, criminal accountability of UN officials, and crimes against humanity.
- Tomorrow the plenary is scheduled to consider the reports of the Second and Third Committees.
UP TO MEMBER STATES TO INTERPRET & IMPLEMENT GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTIONS
- The Spokesperson was asked whether the General Assembly’s annual resolution entitled “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources” included “air and space and frequency.” The journalist wanted to know if Israel would be in violation of the resolution if it “established an antenna for communication over occupied Palestinian land”.
- The Spokesperson noted that it is up to Member States to interpret General Assembly resolutions and implement them. Noting that it was not his role to legally interpret resolutions, he urged the journalist to speak with representatives of the Member States that had adopted this resolution, in order to understand what their intentions were.