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General Assembly holds special session on Covid-19

NEW YORK, DECEMBER 2 – The President of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, will host the Assembly’s 31st special session on 3-4 December in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following 1.5 million deaths, more than 62 million cases worldwide and one of the largest social and economic crises in living memory, controlling and recovering from  COVID-19 is  the international community’s top priority. UN Member States have thus mandated a special session of the General Assembly to reflect on the response to the ongoing crisis to date and forge a united path forward, including access to a COVID-19 vaccine. A summary reflecting the discussions will be circulated by the President’s office.

COVID 19 is an economic, development, human rights crisis

“COVID-19 is a global health crisis. It is also an economic crisis, a development crisis, a humanitarian crisis and a human rights crisis. It revealed the structural inequalities and disproportionately affected the most vulnerable members of our societies,” President Bozkir said. He added, “The special session provides a historic moment for us to come together to beat COVID-19. With news of multiple vaccines on the cusp of approval, and with trillions of dollars flowing into global recovery efforts, the international community has a unique opportunity to do this right. The world is looking to the UN for leadership; this is a test for multilateralism”

The two-day special session will primarily consist of a general debate on 3 December and interactive dialogues with experts, UN agencies and leading scientists, on 4 December.

Messages from world leaders, WHO chief

Specifically, the first day will include an opening segment with statements by the President of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General, the Presidents of the Economic and Social Council and Security Council, and the Chair of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. This will be followed by messages from world leaders on their experiences in fighting the pandemic and the needs in addressing COVID-19 moving forward.

The second day will feature a presentation from the Director-General of the World Health Organization and three moderated panel discussions covering the health and humanitarian response, vaccine development and socio-economic recovery. Moderated by UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications Melissa Fleming, BBC Chief International Correspondent and Senior Presenter Lyse Doucet and international journalist Femi Oke, the panel discussions will include key UN officials leading the organization’s response and recovery efforts, as well as speakers from the private sector and civil society. This includes leading scientists and manufacturers, whose work on vaccines have raised hopes worldwide.

Member States will engage in dialogue with participants to jointly take stock of the current response, identify policy and operation gaps, and forge a united, coordinated, and people-centered path forward.

Further details regarding the programme and speakers are available at the dedicated website for the General Assembly’s special session on COVID-19. (@OnuItalia)

Alessandra Baldini
Alessandra Baldinihttps://onuitalia.com
Alessandra Baldini e’ stata la prima donna giornalista parlamentare per l’Ansa, poi corrispondente a Washington e responsabile degli uffici Ansa di New York e Londra. Dirige OnuItalia.

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