PRESS BRIEFING BY BRENDEN VARMA, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT VOLKAN BOZKIR

MIGRANTS’ NEEDS MUST BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN COVID-19 RESPONSE, PRESIDENT SAYS ON INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS DAY 

  • Today is International Migrants Day. 
  • In a video message, the President noted that COVID-19 has dramatically reduced the total number of international migrants. 
  • That has hurt countries that depend on remittances sent home from abroad. 
  • He also noted that migrants are twice as likely to get COVID-19, and their children can be more disadvantaged than others by school closures. 
  • He said that, as we recover from COVID-19, it is important that the voices and needs of migrants be taken into account – so that we leave no one behind. 

PRESIDENT HIGHLIGHTS GLOBAL COMPACT’S DEDICATION TO WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN PRIVATE SECTOR  

  • The President just spoke to a virtual meeting of the Group of Friends of the UN Global Compact, which was organized by the Permanent Mission of Switzerland. 
  • He said the Global Compact can help bring the public and private sectors together – to simultaneously support achievement of the 2030 Agenda and a thorough response to COVID-19. 
  • He added that the Global Compact has underscored the need for women’s full participation in the marketplace – and their work has promoted inclusive employment and support to women-owned businesses. 
  • In that regard, he noted that the Global Compact’s CEO and Executive Director, Sanda Ojiambo, was a key member of his newly established Gender Advisory Group. 

NEW ADVISORY BOARD TO SUPPORT POLITICAL ADVOCACY FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES 

  • The President has sent to Member States a summary of his first meeting with his new Board of Advisers for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). 
  • The Board’s work will focus on how to narrow the development gap between these countries and the rest of the world.  
  • Among other things, the Board recognized the role for political advocacy within and by the General Assembly to bolster support and resources. In this regard, it will develop key messages to inform the President’s communications on this topic throughout the session.

PRESIDENT LAUDS ARABIC LANGUAGE’S CONTRIBUTIONS TO HUMANITY 

  • Today is World Arabic Language Day. In an Arabic tweet, the President notes that Arabic is among the most widely spoken languages in the world – being used daily by more than 420 million people.  
  • Today he celebrates its immense contributions to humanity.