Virtual Press Briefing by Security Council President on Programme of Work for July

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01-Jul-2020 01:05:49
Ambassador Christoph Heusgen, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, and the President of the Security Council for July, briefs journalists on the Council’s Programme of Work for the month.

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Having now unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the Secretary‑General’s call for a global ceasefire amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Security Council will continue to work throughout July to reinforce its people‑centred approach to multilateralism, its President for the month told reporters during a virtual press briefing today.

Speaking from New York, Christoph Heusgen (Germany) said that, this morning, representatives of the 15-member organ met in person for the first time in more than three months. They voted unanimously to adopt a resolution on COVID-19, sending a strong signal of unity on the first day of the German presidency.

“This gives hope to many people who are suffering in conflict areas where COVID-19 is striking,” he said, noting that, by the terms of the resolution, Council members endorsed the Secretary-General’s 23 March appeal for a global ceasefire. After weeks of negotiations, the unanimous adoption also shows that, even through ups and downs, “we can achieve something”.

He said that, while all Council members have expressed interest in returning to in-person meetings at United Nations Headquarters as soon as possible, all local health protocol will be observed. The programme of work approved for July includes a series of virtual teleconference meetings, including on Libya, Syria, Colombia and Yemen. Members will also closely follow developments in the Middle East and West Africa.

The “leitmotif” for the German presidency will be a comprehensive approach to international peace and security, he said, pointing out that 1 July also marks the start of his country’s term at the helm of the European Union Council. Together with the United Nations, the bloc is the foundation of Germany’s efforts to strengthen multilateralism. “The rules-based international order is alive and kicking,” he said.

Pledging to put people at the centre of all the Council’s discussions, he said that, on 2 July, members will hold a debate on the impact of pandemics on peace and security. In the coming days, they will also tackle the renewal of a mandate for cross-border aid delivery in Syria, which expires on 10 July. On 7 July, the Council will hold an open debate — chaired by Germany’s Minister for Defence — on the issue of peacekeeping and human rights. Sexual violence in armed conflict also remains high on the agenda and will be discussed with a focus on accountability.

In addition, he said the Council will tackle the issue of climate security, which is becoming even more urgent across the globe. Members will also remain flexible in responding to changing events and will meet should situations warrant it.

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