PRESS BRIEFING BY BRENDEN VARMA, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT VOLKAN BOZKIR
LACK OF ACCESS TO HYGIENE & SANITATION DURING PANDEMIC IS “UNFATHOMABLE”, PRESIDENT TELLS WATER GROUP
- This morning, the President delivered remarks to a virtual meeting of the Group of Friends on Water, which is made up of 58 countries that attach high importance to water-related issues.
- The President briefed the group on his vision for the High-Level Meeting on the Water-Related Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda, which will be held on 18 March.
- Noting that the entirety of the 2030 Agenda depends on access to water, he voiced concern that currently: 2.2 billion people lack safely managed drinking water; 4.2 billion live without safely managed sanitation; 3 billion lack basic handwashing facilities; and 700 million could be displaced due to scarcity of water by 2030.
- He said COVID-19 has underscored the existing gaps – and that it is unfathomable that, in the midst of a pandemic, such a large portion of the global population does not have access to hygiene or sanitation.
DATES SET FOR NEXT SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM TALKS
- On Security Council reform, the President has transmitted a letter to Member States from the co-Chairs of the Intergovernmental Negotiations – namely the Permanent Representatives of Poland and Qatar.
- The letter confirms that the dates for the second, third and fourth rounds of Security Council reform talks will be 16-17 February, 16-17 March and 19-20 April.
LAND UNDERPINS 2030 AGENDA’S SUCCESS BUT IS UNDER THREAT
- The President has sent to Member States a concept note for the High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought, to be held on 20 May.
- That event will assess progress made in fighting desertification, land degradation and drought. It will map the bridge between the end of the UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification, and the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. It will highlight land restoration as a key part of COVID-19 recovery strategies.
- According to the concept note, land is the foundation of our societies. And productive land is a cornerstone of global food security, environmental health, zero hunger, poverty eradication, and energy for all.
- Land underpins the success of the entire 2030 Agenda. And yet this finite resource is under threat.
CANDIDATES FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL TRADITIONALLY PRESENTED BY MEMBER STATES
- Asked if the President had received any notifications of candidacies for the position of Secretary-General, the Spokesperson said no such communications had been received from Member States.
- In response to a further question, the Spokesperson said that candidates have traditionally been presented by Member States.
- Pressed on whether Member State endorsement was a requirement for candidates, the Spokesperson said that General Assembly resolution 69/321does not preclude others from making nominations.