Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic that has particularly struck New York, the seat of the UN headquarters, the 193 memvers of the "global council" have not met. The organization claims however, that its membership has remained active, saying that East River diplomats are seeking an answer to the aftermath of the global health crisis.
Following quiet consultations with Member States, the President of the UN General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande appointed Croatian diplomat Ivan Šimonović the body's coordinator for COVID-19 issues together with Afghan Ambassador Adela Raz.
Šimonović's specific role will be to coordinate the exchange of opinions, approaches and initiatives of the Member States of the General Assembly in response to COVID-19.
"All Member States wanted to respond to the crisis, which aspects require a response, which actions need to be undertaken. Individual resolutions were launched at a time when the most important instrument of diplomacy, negotiation, was taken away from us because of the pandemic. Coordination will allow us to hear the views of the UN General Assembly member countries, to exchange ideas and agree on how to respond jointly to the crisis," Croatia's Permanent Representative to the UN said.
Together with Ambassador Raz, Šimonović announced that he will shortly invited Member States to participate in a virtual conference focusing on the current aspects of the crisis, problems that could possibly arise in the future, and resolutions that imply action and a concrete response to the crisis.
Along with serving as Croatian Justice Minister Šimonović has also held a number of high-level positions on the international scene. Among other things, he was Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations for Human Rights and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect.
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