Face-to-face meetings at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City were cancelled due to the corona virus that was reportedly outbreak during the Niger mission.
Volkan Bozkir, President of the UN General Assembly, wrote a letter to all member states on Monday evening, in which he announced that the medical department of the organization had recommended the cancellation of the personal meetings at the headquarters on Tuesday.
Bozkir said he had received information from the UN Secretariat that there had been five COVID infections during a mission of a member state.
He added that the meetings would be cancelled pending the results of the contact tracing.
The letter seen by Tekk.tv did not specify which mission had seen the outbreak, but Pamela Falk of CBS News reported that members of the Niger mission had been infected.
Tekk.tv asked the United Nations and the Niger Mission for comments.
What the letter says
In the letter, Bozkir wrote that at least five infections had been reported in a mission of a member state and that personal meetings were cancelled.
He wrote: “According to information from the Secretariat about five COVID infections in a mission of a member state, the Medical Unit advises to cancel the personal meetings at UNHQ tomorrow, Tuesday, October 27, until contact persons are identified.
“Accordingly, after consultation with the Chairs of the main committees and in view of the need to protect public health, all tomorrow’s personal meetings of the General Assembly main committees will be cancelled. I am in contact with the Secretariat and will keep you informed of any further news.
Coronavirus at UN headquarters in NY closes personal meetings
The UN announced on Monday that it will suspend the face-to-face meetings at its headquarters in NYC on Tuesday until contracts are traced, after an accumulation of COVID19 cases at the Niger mission @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/TNjuvnKQio
– Pamela Falk (@PamelaFalk) October 27, 2020
What is the schedule for Tuesday?
October 27 is World Audiovisual Heritage Day, the UN said on its website.
In the morning, the Security Council is also scheduled to hold a briefing on the Middle East, followed by consultations on the Middle East with a focus on Syria.
The webinar on voluntary national reviews in the Arab region is also scheduled to start on Tuesday.
At noon, the spokespersons of the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly are scheduled to hold a hybrid press conference, which will be broadcast live on UN web TV.
It is also expected that the Security Council will hold a private session on Wednesday with a briefing on the International Court of Justice.
It is not clear how these events could be affected by the reported outbreak or whether members of the Niger Mission could have come into contact with anyone at headquarters.
The meeting will take place after the General Assembly has concluded its high-level meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN on Monday.
Several member states, including Timor-Leste, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Kuwait, Namibia and Palestine, paid tribute to the organization’s peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts, which have helped to bring them out of conflict.
At the meeting, there were pre-recorded statements by the foreign ministers due to the restrictions of the assembly in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic.