This morning, the Secretary-General spoke at the 64th Commission on the Status of Women.
Mr. Guterres said that he was truly saddened that the extraordinary circumstances ushered in by the spread of the COVID-19 virus led to the postponement of the full session, but he added that he takes heart in knowing that all participants remain committed to the cause of gender equality.
He said that, “centuries of discrimination, deep-rooted patriarchy and misogyny have created a yawning gender power gap in our economies, our political systems and our corporations. This simply has to change,” he said.
The Secretary-General added that he was particularly heartened to see a new generation of inspired young activists across the globe taking forward the spirit of constructive action and fearless resilience started in Beijing 25 years ago. He reiterated the UN’s commitment to keep working with women across the world, to ensure women and girls everywhere have equal participation in all areas of life.
The Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, marked International Women’s Day yesterday in Port Moresby, in Papua New Guinea, where she spoke about the Spotlight Initiative, a partnership launched by the UN and the European Union in 2016 to support governments, communities and civil society organizations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030. She said that Spotlight is the world’s largest effort to end all forms of violence against women and girls.
The Deputy Secretary-General warned that around the world, there is an epidemic of violence against women and girls. One in three women will be affected by violence at some point in their lives she said, adding that a recent survey by the United Nations Development Programme found that around the world, nearly three people in every ten think it’s acceptable for a man to beat his partner.
The UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) today expressed its deep regret, shock and sadness at the assassination attempt against Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
The Mission’s Joint Special Representative, Jeremiah Mamabolo, said that this serious incident shows that the perpetrators aim to derail the transitional period, adding that the hopes of the Sudanese people for a transition to peace, freedom and justice must prevail.
The Secretary-General was shocked and saddened to learn of the assassination attempt. He stands in full solidarity with the Prime Minister and the people of Sudan at this difficult time.
Over the weekend, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the global number of confirmed cases now topped 100,000. WHO noted that some countries are demonstrating that the spread of the virus can be slowed and its impact reduced through the use of universally applicable actions, such as working across society to identify people who are sick, bringing them to care, and following up on contacts.
Regarding the situation in-house in the building, the Secretary-General is following the matter very closely. The health and safety of staff is a matter of his utmost priority and concern as well as all of those who use the building.
In New York, following internal meetings over the weekend, taking into account the declaration of a state of emergency for New York State, it was announced today to all staff that it is recommended that UN personnel who have recently returned from countries identified by the host country should remain and home and self-monitor for 14 days.
Telecommuting and flexible work arrangements are also being recommended for UN personnel, taking into account business continuity requirements.
In Geneva, UN Personnel was also notified today of how the UN in Geneva aims to maintain essential activities, while postponing or canceling other activities. The Palais des Nations is also considering how to put the latest recommendations on telecommuting issued by the Swiss authorities into practice.
In response to questions on the reported bomb attack on Sunday during the celebration of International Women’s Day in Bamenda, in the North-West region of that country, the Spokesman said the Secretary-General strongly condemns this and all attacks against civilians. He also emphasizes the need to seek a durable political settlement to the crisis in the North-West and South-West regions.
This morning, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, briefed IAEA Member States on nuclear verification and monitoring in Iran. He said that the Agency has identified a number of questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities at three locations that have not been declared by Iran. Mr. Grossi called on the country to be more cooperative in granting access.
The Head of the United Nations Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA), Lieutenant General Guha, expressed alarm at the aerial strike that took place in Al Salif early yesterday. He stressed that such aerial strikes hamper the peace process and jeopardize the implementation of the Hudaydah Agreement.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Mr. Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy concluded a one-day visit to Marib, northern Yemen.
He said afterwards that the military adventurism and quest for territorial gains that we have seen since mid-January in northern Yemen are leading us away from peace.
Mr. Griffiths said that the only way to save Yemen from slipping back into large-scale conflict and another humanitarian tragedy is a return to calm through a comprehensive, inclusive and accountable de-escalation process.
PRESS CONFERENCE TOMORROW
Tomorrow, at 12:30 p.m. in this very room, the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres will be joined by the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, Mr. Petteri Taalas. They will brief the media on the latest WMO report on the State of the Climate.
Monaco has paid its full budget dues bringing the Honour Roll up to 66.