Remarks by H.E. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande,
President of the 74 th Session of the UNGA
I thank the Co-Facilitators of the modalities for the 31 st special session of the United Nations
General Assembly on the Coronavirus disease, for their diligence in accelerating the
consultations in this challenging task. I trust that they would lead the process toward a
successful special session on COVID-19 by the General Assembly.
My thoughts remain with Member States battling the pandemic. I mourn with you the many
lives lost and extend my best wishes for a swift recovery to those suffering from the disease.
You recall that before the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic by the World
Health Organization, we at the General Assembly had already started consultations on how
to respond to the evolving situation in a sustainable manner.
We recognized very early that the dire nature of the pandemic demanded the prompt
reaction of the General Assembly.
On 27 th of March, we passed GA resolution 74/544 authorising silence procedure in
response to the pandemic’s threat to in-person meetings.
Since then, we have proceeded with our business and passed around 70 decisions and
resolutions in continuation of the work of the General Assembly in these abnormal
Through these initiatives, we have been able to cover a lot of grounds amidst all the
I believe that with more focus and commitment at the highest levels of governance, we
would make significant progress in the race to defeat the pandemic.
The proposal to hold a special session on the pandemic by the General Assembly is a
veritable platform to mobilise global commitment against the pandemic.
We thank Azerbaijan, as Chair of NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) , for pushing for this very
important session and the General Assembly for accepting to hold the special session.
The co-facilitators with your cooperation and support, have produced a solid draft as a good
basis for negotiation. And I trust that the special session will ensure greater involvement of
world leaders toward a result-oriented response to the pandemic. This will further
strengthen the General Assembly as a critical global partner in the fight against the
pandemic and its impact on lives and livelihood.
Indeed, I trust that this special session will be a vehicle for a coordinated response from the
I am already encouraged by the keen interest of many Member States in the success of the
special session and as such; I commend those of you who have made important
contributions leading to this point.
In the same vein, I call on all Member States to work closely with the Co-facilitators in the
spirit of cooperation during the process. I enjoin you to avail yourself of today’s deliberations
as a platform to share experiences on modalities to address the Pandemic.
The current situation underscores the necessity to work together to defeat COVID-19, and
to strengthen multilateral cooperation.
Indeed as you strive to ensure a better world for all, the Office of the President of the
General Assembly will remain your partner, enhancing global partnerships for sustainable
I thank you and wish you very successful deliberations.