Friday Prayers, Holhuashi Dialogue, UNCLOS & other topics – PGA Spokesperson Briefing

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29-Apr-2022 00:05:14
Briefing by Paulina Kubiak, Spokesperson for the President of the 76th Session of the General Assembly.

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This hour, the President of the General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, is giving a sermon and leading Friday prayers or Salat, downstairs in the Qatar Lounge.

The main messages of the President's sermon are the importance of mercy and compassion towards one another. And the importance of thinking of the consequences of our actions, respecting each other, and our common humanity.


This morning, President Shahid, held his eighth Holhuashi Dialogue. These are consultations with a small group of Member States, held under Chatham House rules.

Today's topic was "Accessibility to UN Headquarters." Participants included diplomats and experts with disabilities who spoke personally about access to the UN.

A summary of today's Holhuashi will be shared with Member States.


Today is the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The General Assembly held a high-level meeting to commemorate the anniversary.

The request for President Shahid to convene this event was made on 17 December 2021 in a letter signed by Singapore, Denmark, Grenada, Kenya and Portugal.

In his remarks today, President Shahid said the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is recognized as the 'Constitution of the Sea'. And it is quote "perhaps one of the most successful outcomes of rules-based multilateralism - culminating in a legally-binding document for our Ocean."

UNCLOS continues to play a fundamental role in the development of international law, and in the promotion of peace, security, cooperation, friendly relations among all nations, and sustainable development of the ocean and sea.

President Shahid used today's anniversary as an opportunity to again draw attention to the harm that human action is causing to the environment. But he said that renewed attention to the Ocean's health – with the General Assembly at its core and other international platforms – gives hope.


This afternoon… starting at 3PM ET, the High-level meeting on Peacebuilding Financing wraps up in the GA Hall. This is the continuation of the High-level meeting that began on Wednesday.

President Shahid will give closing remarks.


President Shahid is meeting today with Eng. Basim Bin Yacob Alhamer, Minister of Housing of Bahrain. This is in the context of yesterday's High-level Meeting to access implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

President Shahid will also meet today with a group of seven indigenous women taking part in the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. This is part of his effort to more fully include women and their opinions and concerns in the work of the UN.

The President will meet with the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, Ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, and Permanent Representative of Denmark, Ambassador Martin Bille Hermann. They are the chairs of the informal consultations on the reform of the UN Security Council.

President Shahid will also meet with the Executive Director of Green Climate Fund, Yannick Glemarec. The Green Climate Fund is the world's largest climate fund, mandated to support developing countries raise and realize their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) ambitions towards low-emissions, climate-resilient pathways.

On Saturday, President Shahid will meet with the Italian Minister of Health, Robert Speranza.


Today is Friday so our HOPE Fellows are in the weekly UNITAR training class. Today's topic is on UN Funds and Programmes.


And looking to next week, the High-level Thematic Debate on Tourism will take place on Wednesday, 4 May.

The theme is Putting sustainable and resilient tourism at the heart of an inclusive recovery."

The aim is to renew political commitment to support tourism as a driver of sustainable, inclusive and resilient COVID recovery.

This high-level thematic debate is held in close collaboration with UN World Tourism Organization (WTO), the UN Development Progamme (UNDP), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The opening segment will include statements from President Shahid, from Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, and WTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. Heads of State and Government and senior Ministers are expected to participate.

This Thursday, 5 May, in the Trusteeship, there will be an informal interactive dialogue with the candidate for the Presidency, Mr. Csaba Kőrösi of Hungary.

The dialogue is being held in accordance with resolution 71/323.
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