Switzerland

17 June 2020, Geneva

Deputy Secretary-General's remarks to the Human Rights Council [as prepared for delivery]

I welcome this opportunity to speak to this urgent and necessary debate of the Human Rights Council.
 
I bring you warm greetings from Secretary-General António Guterres, who shares your abhorrence of racism and is committed to fighting it with every tool we have.
 
Allow me to quote from the letter he sent last week to all UN staff:
 
“The position of the United Nations on racism is crystal clear: this scourge violates the United Nations Charter and debases our core values.”  

19 May 2020, Geneva

Note to Correspondents: Near Verbatim Transcript of Press Remarks by Geir O. Pedersen, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria

Thank you so much, really a pleasure connecting with you again, of course, I had hoped it could be in person, sitting together with you in Geneva. Maybe in the not too distant future, we will be able to do that again. I am sure you are just as busy as we are covering COVID-19, among other headlines. Hopefully, there will be a time when we will not only have to focus on COVID-19 and all the consequences that has for our work. 

23 April 2020, Geneva

Note to Correspondents: Statement Attributable to Ms. Najat Rochdi, Senior Humanitarian Adviser to the Special Envoy for Syria, on the Situation Across Syria

At today’s Humanitarian Task Force (HTF) meeting, convened virtually in Geneva, Senior Humanitarian Adviser Ms. Najat Rochdi emphasised the need for immediate, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian workers and to allow for the movement of humanitarian supplies, including urgent needs related to COVID-19.

02 April 2020, Geneva, Switzerland

Note to Correspondents: Statement attributable to Ms. Najat Rochdi, Senior Humanitarian Adviser to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, on COVID-19 in Syria

Ms. Najat Rochdi, Senior Humanitarian Adviser to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, convened the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) Humanitarian Task Force via video-conference today.

Mr. Geir O. Pedersen, UN Special Envoy for Syria, joined through video-link and reiterated his appeal for a complete, immediate nationwide ceasefire throughout Syria to enable an all-out-effort to counter COVID-19 and spare all Syrians additional suffering. 

Philippe  Lazzarini Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Philippe Lazzarini

Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, following consultations with the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), announced n 18 March 2020 the appointment of Philippe Lazzarini of Switzerland as the Agency’s new Commissioner-General.  

24 March 2020, Geneva

Note to Correspondents: Statement of United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Mr. Geir O. Pedersen - Appeal for a nationwide ceasefire and all-out-effort to counter COVID-19 in Syria

Yesterday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres appealed to warring parties throughout the world for an immediate ceasefire to enable the human family to tackle a common enemy – COVID-19. 
 
Today, I am appealing specifically for a complete, immediate nationwide ceasefire throughout Syria to enable an all-out-effort to suppress COVID-19 in Syria. 
 
Syrians are acutely vulnerable to COVID-19. 
 
Healthcare facilities have been destroyed or are degraded. 
 
There is a shortage of key medical equipment and health professionals. 
 

03 March 2020, Geneva, Switzerland

Note to Correspondents: United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Appoints Marianne Gasser of Switzerland as Head of Damascus Office for United Nations Special Envoy for Syria

The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Mr. Geir O. Pedersen announced today the appointment of Ms. Marianne Gasser of Switzerland as the Head of the Envoy’s office in Damascus.
 
Ms. Gasser brings a wealth of experience in diplomacy, international affairs and human rights, and has had a long career with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), including as the Head of Delegation of the ICRC in Syria, where she worked for many years.
 

24 February 2020, Geneva

Opening remarks to the media during a press encounter at the World Health Organization

 I want first of all to express my enormous gratitude and admiration for the staff of the World Health Organization (WHO).
 
When I visited Beni a few months ago, I could see the courage, the resilience of WHO staff fighting Ebola in the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo), living in extremely harsh conditions, risking their lives in a very insecure area and doing everything to serve the Congolese people and to avoid the dramatic impact of that disease, both in the DRC and the risk of propagation.
   

24 February 2020, Geneva

Remarks to the UN Human Rights Council: “The Highest Aspiration: A Call to Action for Human Rights"

[English version; scroll down for bilingual as delivered version]

Distinguished President of the Human Rights Council,
Madame High Commissioner,
Excellencies,
Colleagues,
Friends, 

I would like to start by expressing my appreciation and admiration for the work being carried out by High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet and her Office.

Her personal history… her understanding of what it means for a society and an individual to suffer human rights violations… and her experience in advancing human rights as a world leader…