PRESS BRIEFING BY BRENDEN VARMA, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT VOLKAN BOZKIR
PRESIDENT CALLS FOR COUNTRIES TO BE VIGILANT ON CORRUPTION AS SPECIAL SESSION ENTERS 2ND DAY
- The General Assembly’s special session against corruption started yesterday and is continuing through today and tomorrow.
- Today at 1:30 p.m., the President will convene a virtual high-level supporting event on the margins of the special session. The focus will be on addressing corruption in the context of COVID-19.
- The event will be moderated by Jeffrey Sachs, Director of Columbia University’s Center for Sustainable Development.
- Panellists will include the World Health Organization’s Assistant Director-General for Access to Medicines and Health Products; the United Nations Global Compact’s Executive Director and CEO; and the Chair of Transparency International.
- In his remarks, the President is expected to say that Member States must be vigilant with respect to the risk of corruption as we strive towards Vaccines for All and a swift economic recovery.
ADVANCING PROTECTION REQUIRES TRUST & COHESION AMONG MEMBER STATES
- The President addressed by video message today a virtual event to launch a new guidance document entitled “The Powers of the UN General Assembly to Prevent and Respond to Atrocity Crimes.”
- The event was organized by the Permanent Missions of Australia and Croatia, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.
- The President said that advancing the protection agenda requires trust and cohesion among Member States and regional and international organizations.
PRESIDENT MEETS WITH ALBANIAN JUSTICE MINISTER
- The President met today with the Minister of Justice of Albania, H.E. Mrs. Etilda Gjonaj.
- They discussed Albania’s active role in the General Assembly and its contributions to the Assembly’s work.
- In addition, as the Minister was at the United Nations to attend the special session of the General Assembly against corruption, they spoke about the detrimental effects of corruption and organized crime on institutions, democracy, security and social cohesion, and the importance of multilateral approaches to combating them. They also spoke about rule of law reforms.
- The President underscored his commitment to having a strong and fully functional General Assembly and overcoming the exceptional circumstances imposed by the pandemic. In that regard, he lauded the Minister’s in-person participation at the special session.
- The President is also meeting today with the Head of Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention.
PRESIDENT TO MEET WITH HIS SECURITY COUNCIL COUNTERPART THIS AFTERNOON
- The President will meet this afternoon with his Security Council counterpart. Estonia holds the Council presidency this month.
- Expected topics of discussion include upcoming high-level meetings and elections in the General Assembly, the Security Council’s draft programme of work for June, the Secretary-General selection and appointment process, and the Annual Report of the Security Council to the General Assembly.
PRESIDENT TO DISCUSS PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS WITH PANEL CHAIRS
- This afternoon, the President will meet virtually with former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former New Zealand Prime Minister and UNDP Administrator Helen Clark – in their capacity as Co-Chairs of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response.
- That panel was established last year by the World Health Assembly to initiate an independent, impartial, and comprehensive review of the international health response to the pandemic.
- The Co-Chairs requested today’s meeting to discuss the panel’s report.
PRESIDENT TO MARK WORLD BICYCLE DAY
- The President will participate in a photo op today to mark World Bicycle Day.
- The photo op will take place just outside the Delegates Entrance at 45th Street and 1st Avenue at around 1:45 p.m.
- A number of UN ambassadors and senior staff will also be present.