UN scales back major conference amid COVID-19 outbreak
Bebeto Matthews
International

UN scales back major conference amid COVID-19 outbreak

Agency News

United Nations, Mar 5 : The organizing committee of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a major UN conference scheduled to take place in March, has decided to cut the event down to a one-day meeting, citing current concerns surrounding the spread of the COVID19 coronavirus.

The move came following a recommendation from UN Secretary-General António Guterres to Member States, on February 29, to amend the format of the 64th session of the conference, which was originally due to last several days (March 9 to March 20), and would have welcomed representatives of Member States, UN entities and non-governmental organizations from around the world.

The commission decided to limit the event to a procedural meeting on March 9, including opening statements – from the chairperson, Mher Margaryan, Mr. Guterres, the President of the General Assembly and several other high-level UN officials – followed by the adoption of a political declaration, and action on any other draft resolutions.

The event will then be suspended until further notice: no general debate will take place, and the planned side events will be cancelled. Member States will be represented by their New Yorkbased Permanent Missions to the UN. In a letter sent to all UN ambassadors on Monday, Ms. Margaryan reiterated the SecretaryGeneral’s strong recommendation that delegations and other stakeholders should refrain from travelling to UN Headquarters in New York.

Regarding a potential resumption of the Commission later in the year, the Secretary-General’s spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, briefed reporters on Tuesday that this would be a decision made by Member States and, if they agree on rescheduling the event, the UN will do its best to accommodate the request. (UNI)

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