GENEVA / HRC COVID-19 SUSPENSION

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12-Mar-2020 00:03:09
The UN Human Rights Council is suspending its annual meeting in Geneva due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Council’s President Austria's Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisselberger announced today. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / HRC COVID-19 SUSPENSION
TRT: 3:09
SOURCE: UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /FRENCH /NATS

DATELINE: 12 MARCH 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Exterior shot, Palais des nations
2. Wide shot, Tichy-Fisslberger at the stakeout
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, President of the Human Rights Council:
“The Council has taken a decision – quite recently, to suspend the meeting of the Human Rights Council’s 43rd session. This has to do very much with the coronavirus as you know.”
4. Wide shot, cameras
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, President of the Human Rights Council:
“This week we had taken new measures almost every day to create a safe environment for the continuation of the Human Rights Council. There was a bureau’s meeting every day and we took increasingly restrictive measures like moving the whole Council from Room XX to Assembly Hall, restricting the number of seats given to delegations, restricting the number of NGOs who have access. But yesterday, when WHO declared this is a pandemia which stretched to well over 100 countries and when we also had recommendations by the Swiss authorities, by UNOG and actually a lot of worries from various delegations we said the responsible thing now is to suspend the session in an orderly way, as we say.”
6. Med shot, cameras
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, President of the Human Rights Council:
“We will suspend tomorrow afternoon. Before we do that, we have to take two decisions. One will be on the mandate holders who are supposed to get a mandate on behalf of the Human Rights Council at this session and the other one will be to extend the mandates which need to be extended and which would otherwise expire and these mandates will then be a subject of a decision as soon as the Council can resume. We will of course monitor the situation closely; we’ll listen to what WHO and the Swiss authorities say. Conference services have assured us that they will assist us in organizing a resumed session as soon as it is safe to do so.”
8. Close up, reporter
9. SOUNDBITE (French) Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, President of the Human Rights Council:
“We had technical disruptions before, but never one due to a pandemic like this and that in itself is reason to take the responsibility to react and not to continue at the moment when first, the WHO announced a pandemic and second, there are a lot of worried delegations and there are delegations under instructions not to come anymore to the meeting rooms. So, for the reasons of inclusivity and non-discrimination we didn’t have a choice.”
10. Various shots, press stakeout

STORYLINE:

The UN Human Rights Council is suspending its annual meeting in Geneva due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Council’s President Austria's Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisselberger announced today.

“The Council has taken a decision – quite recently, to suspend the meeting of the Human Rights Council’s 43rd session,” Tichy-Fisselberger told reporters in Geneva. “This has to do very much with the coronavirus as you know,” she added.

Throughout its first week of meetings, the Council was taking “increasingly restrictive measures like moving the whole Council from Room XX to Assembly Hall, restricting the number of seats given to delegations, restricting the number of NGOs who have access,” explained the President. “But yesterday, when WHO declared this is a pandemia which stretched to well over 100 countries and when we also had recommendations by the Swiss authorities, by UNOG and actually a lot of worries from various delegations we said the responsible thing now is to suspend the session,” Tichy-Fisselberger said.

The suspension will come into effect on Friday (13 Mar) after coming up with two decisions; one on “the mandate holders who are supposed to get a mandate on behalf of the Human Rights Council at this session and the other one will be to extend the mandates which need to be extended and which would otherwise expire,” explained the ambassador.

She said “we will of course monitor the situation closely; we’ll listen to what WHO and the Swiss authorities say. Conference services have assured us that they will assist us in organizing a resumed session as soon as it is safe to do so.”
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Alternate Title
unifeed200312b
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2540331