20 January 2022
Moment for Nature to Provide Assessment Amid High-level Meetings
Photo by IISD/Mike Muzurakis
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UNGA President Abdulla Shahid outlined priorities for the remainder of the 76th session.

He said a 'Moment for Nature' will take place in July, noting that the 76th UNGA coincides with high-level meetings on biodiversity, desertification, the ocean, energy, and climate.

The President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) outlined priorities for the remainder of the 76th session (January-September 2022). Among the high-level meetings convening in the coming months, he noted the ‘Moment for Nature’ that will take place in July.

Addressing delegates gathered in the UNGA Hall at UN Headquarters, on 19 January 2022, UNGA President Abdulla Shahid underlined the need to end the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring vaccines for all; otherwise new variants will continue to emerge and evade our vaccines, he explained. “Timely access to vaccines, for everyone, everywhere, is how we break this cycle.” A high-level event on ‘Galvanizing Momentum for Universal Vaccination’ will take place on 25 February.

As energies turn to rebuilding from the pandemic, he said communities most adversely affected must be prioritized. These often lie in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS).

Shahid said that if humanity cannot achieve the SDGs, the consequences for nature and natural resources will be dire. He added that his country, the Maldives, is “one among many low-lying SIDS faced with imminent extinction this century if sea-levels continue to rise.” However, the path we are all on is the same, even if the dangers are less imminent to other locations, he warned.

Such environmental challenges will be the subject of two high-level events in the coming months: a high-level thematic debate in May 2021 on ‘Sustainable Recovery from COVID-19 through Tourism’; and a ‘Moment for Nature’ in July. Shahid noted that the 76th UNGA session coincides with high-level meetings on biodiversity, desertification, the ocean, energy, and climate, and the Moment for Nature will enable Member States to assess progress holistically.

He also reminded governments that the UNGA will hold five thematic informal consultations on the proposals contained in the UN Secretary-General’s report, ‘Our Common Agenda.’ The consultations aim to identify initiatives that have broad support and deliberate on the best method of implementing them. The first two-day consultation begins on 10 February.

Shahid also informed Member States that the UNGA will host high-level events on: the International Decade of Indigenous Languages; and the first International Day for Countering Hate Speech. The first Migration Review Forum will take place in May 2022.

Finally, the President noted that he will assist gender champions and ensure that his staff remains gender balanced, as part of efforts to remove barriers to women’s participation, challenge gender biases, and deconstruct patriarchal norms. He also intends to act on the advice of his Advisory Board on Gender.

The President’s calendar of meetings and events is regularly updated here. [Briefing of UNGA President

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