PRESS BRIEFING BY BRENDEN VARMA, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT VOLKAN BOZKIR
MYANMAR: PRESIDENT HORRIFIED BY KILLINGS OF PROTESTERS, SAYS WORLD STILL WATCHING
- The President said this morning that he was horrified by new reports of protesters being shot and killed by security forces in Myanmar.
- He noted that, last week, the General Assembly came together in a show of solidarity with the people of Myanmar as they struggle to assert their civil rights. He said the international community is still watching.
- Asked for updates on who was representing Myanmar at the UN, the Spokesperson said it was up to Member States to communicate to UN Protocol about who represented them. He added that this was not a matter for the Office of the President of the General Assembly.
- Asked how the Credentials Committee would handle this matter of representation, the Spokesperson noted that he did not speak for the Committee, which was composed of nine Member States and headed by Tanzania. He advised the journalist to follow up with the Credentials Committee directly.
PRESIDENT WARNS OF CONFLICT DIAMONDS’ IMPACTS AS ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION
- This morning the General Assembly plenary adopted by consensus a resolution, introduced by the Russian Federation, on the role of diamonds in fueling conflict.
- In remarks on this topic, the President said that conflict diamonds continue to be a matter of serious international concern. He added that these “tiny pieces of carbon” can have a devastating impact on peace, human rights and security in diamond-producing countries.
- In that regard, he called on Member States to continue working to curb the flow and impact of conflict diamonds.
- He added that the Kimberley Process, a unique arrangement between Governments, the diamond industry and civil society, has helped the situation and shows what we can achieve when we work together.
ASSEMBLY PROCLAIMS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ARGANIA & INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF MILLETS
- This morning the plenary adopted by consensus two new resolutions on Argania and millets.
- By the first resolution, introduced by Morocco, the Assembly proclaimed 10 May as the International Day of Argania. It will be observed annually. Among other things, the day will highlight the argan tree’s role in achieving sustainable development.
- By the second resolution, introduced by India, the Assembly declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets. The idea is to raise awareness of and direct policy attention to the nutritional and health benefits – and other aspects – of millet consumption.
- This morning the plenary also adopted by consensus resolutions related to cooperation between the UN and the Council of Europe – and cooperation between the UN and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.
- It also adopted a resolution on cooperation between the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – by a vote of 109 in favour to 3 against with 11 abstentions.
FORESTS OFFER RICH BIODIVERISTY & CLEAN AIR, PRESIDENT SAYS ON WORLD WILDLIFE DAY
- Today is World Wildlife Day. This year’s theme is: “Forests and livelihoods: sustaining people and planet”.
- The day was proclaimed by the General Assembly in 2013.
- In a video message, the President said our world’s forests are both beautiful and bountiful.
- They offer us rich biodiversity and cleaner air.
- Secretary-General selection and appointment process: In response to a question, the Spokesperson said that, as of now, the name and curriculum vitae of only one candidate, António Guterres of Portugal, had been jointly circulated by the Presidents of the General Assembly and Security Council to Member States. In addition, the President had forwarded two signed letters and curricula vitae to his Security Council counterpart.