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

PRESIDENTS OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY & SECURITY COUNCIL TO JOINTLY LAUNCH SECRETARY-GENERAL SELECTION & APPOINTMENT PROCESS

  • This afternoon, the Presidents of the General Assembly and Security Council plan to sign a joint letter on the Secretary-General selection and appointment process. They have now agreed on the text.
  • After the signature, the letter will be sent to Member States, and at that point, it will be posted on the President’s web site – in the ‘letters’ section. The letter will officially launch the selection and appointment process.

 

COORDINATION MEETING OF TOP U.N. OFFICIALS TO BE HELD THIS AFTERNOON

  • The President will hold his regular coordination meeting this afternoon with his Security Council counterpart and the Secretary-General. The United Kingdom currently holds the Security Council presidency.
  • Expected topics of discussion include the Security Council’s monthly programme of work, the President’s #Vaccines4All initiative, Security Council reform and famine.
  • Other possible themes include upcoming mandated General Assembly meetings on Syria, including a high-level panel on the situation of human rights (2 March); an informal plenary meeting on the human rights and humanitarian situation; and a report presentation by the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM).
  • They may also discuss global political developments, such as Myanmar and the Special Envoy’s envisioned briefing to the General Assembly on that topic, and Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
  • The meeting will be held in person at 3:30 p.m.

 

PRESIDENT GETS VACCINE & SUPPORTS VACCINATIONS FOR U.N. DELEGATIONS & PERSONNEL

  • Asked whether UN ambassadors and top UN officials would be able to get COVID-19 vaccines, the Spokesperson noted that the President had gotten the first dose of his vaccine yesterday. The President had been eligible as a New York resident over the age of 65 and had applied online through the New York State Department of Health “just like everybody else.”
  • Regarding UN ambassadors and other UN officials, the Spokesperson said the President had made his position clear at his last press conference. Specifically, the President considered UN personnel and delegations to be “essential workers” and therefore wished to see them get vaccinated. Discussions were ongoing in that regard.

 

ACCESS TO EDUCATION SHOULD BE PART OF PANDEMIC RECOVERY PLANS

  • The President met virtually this morning with Alice Albright, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education. They discussed common priorities such as gender equality, girls’ education and ensuring universal access to inclusive, quality education as a part of COVID-19 recovery plans.
  • The President noted that investing in education is an investment in our shared future and critical to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4.

 

FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION HAS NO PLACE IN SOCIETY

  • Tomorrow is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. In 2012, the General Assembly adopted its first ever resolution against female genital mutilation – a practice which can lead to health issues, including chronic pain, infection, increased risk of HIV transmission, anxiety, depression, birth complications, infertility, and in some cases, death.
  • In a video message, the President says that female genital mutilation has no place in society and is internationally recognized as an extreme violation of the rights of women and girls.
  • He calls on all Member States to take urgent steps to eliminate it, adding that this is no time for global inaction.