PRESS BRIEFING BY BRENDEN VARMA, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT VOLKAN BOZKIR
PRESIDENT TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE THIS WEEK
- The President will hold a press conference in the UN press briefing room this Friday, 15 January, at 11:00 a.m. Journalists will be able to participate in the room or virtually.
- In response to questions about the press conference, the Spokesperson said the President would be reflecting on his term of office thus far and outline his priorities and expectations for the remainder of his presidency. He would also be available to answer journalists’ questions on any other topics as well.
PRESIDENT TO DISCUSS SECRETARY-GENERAL SELECTION PROCESS WITH SECURITY COUNCIL COUNTERPART; JOINT LETTER TO GO TO MEMBER STATES
- The Spokesperson noted that journalists had been asking him about reports concerning the selection process for the position of Secretary-General.
- He noted that General Assembly resolution 69/321 requests the Presidents of the General Assembly and Security Council to “start the process of soliciting candidates for the position of Secretary General through a joint letter addressed to all Member States.”
- In that regard, the President spoke with his Security Council counterpart by phone today and will be holding his regular coordination meeting with him tomorrow. Among other things, they will be discussing the next steps in this process.
- Once their joint letter goes out to the membership, there would be more to say.
- Asked if the current Secretary-General and other candidates for the office would be interviewed by Member States, the Spokesperson said it was premature to discuss details concerning the process. It was currently not clear, for example, whether there would be other candidates. Once the joint letter from the Presidents of the General Assembly and Security Council went to Member States, there would be more clarity on the process, the Spokesperson added.
- Asked why the selection process seemed to be changing from what had happened last time, the Spokesperson said that, last time around, Member States had agreed on having a more transparent and inclusive process. However, this year was the first time that an incumbent was seeking a second term under the new process. In that regard, there was nothing set in stone about exact procedures or dates. Nevertheless, this would be determined and communicated to Member States.
- Responding to further questions, the Spokesperson said that, like last time, the process may involve the submission of vision statements or informal dialogues with Member States. However, this would need to be clarified. He urged the journalist to ask this question to the President directly at the President’s press conference this Friday.
- Asked if he could issue a readout of tomorrow’s meeting between the Presidents of the General Assembly and Security Council, immediately after that meeting, the Spokesperson said that such a readout might not be helpful to journalists, as the information they were seeking would be contained instead in the joint letter that the Presidents would be sending to Member States. Once information was communicated to Member States, it could then be shared with the press.
- The Spokesperson added that this process would be continuing for some time and was not expected to wrap up this week. In that regard, if the journalist waited until Friday to pose her question to the President, that should be fine; she would not be losing time.
PRESIDENT MARKS 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY
- Yesterday was the 75th anniversary of the General Assembly’s first meeting, which took place in London.
- In a video message to a commemorative event in London, the President said, “The General Assembly has evolved… But it still remains a shining example of multilateralism, where every country, no matter how big or small, gets one equal vote.”
- “And it remains a sanctuary, where nations can peacefully address their differences and find solutions to global challenges,” he said.
- He added, “Over the past 75 years, we have achieved more together than we could have apart. As we move into the next 75 years, and our world becomes ever more connected, let us tighten those bonds, so we can best protect, and deliver, for the peoples we serve.”
- CYPRUS: Asked whether the President had “spearheaded” proposed upcoming talks on Cyprus, given his Turkish nationality, the Spokesperson said the President had played no such role in his current General Assembly capacity.