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Weekly News Update January 18-22, 2021

Conversation with New Consul Général Jérémie Robert of France to New York and The Paris American Club

Consul General Jérémie Robert

Jérémie Robert, 43, took office as Consul General in New York on September 3, 2020. Since September 2018, he was advisor for Africa, Development and Global Affairs in the office of the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves le Drian. In this capacity, he contributed to the renewal of France’s relations with Africa and the rebuilding of its development policy, and worked on the management of the crisis in the Sahel. He has worked for France’s global priorities, in particular the preservation of global public goods such as global health, climate and biodiversity.

The Paris American club hosted a virtual conversation with Consul General Jérémie Robert to celebrate French-American friendship. Along with various events, every second Tuesday of the month, author and club member Mathieu Legende hosts a Non-judgmental Français session for the members.

For more information on The Paris American Club New York:

There is also a link to the mapstr app, an initiative to help support local French businesses in New York.

Geneva, Switzerland, 18 January 2021 – The World Economic Forum Davos Agenda, taking place virtually on 25-29 January, will bring together the foremost leaders of the world to address the new global situation. Heads of state and government, chief executives and leaders from civil society will convene under the theme: A Crucial Year to Rebuild Trust. The meeting will focus on creating impact, rebuilding trust and shaping the policies and partnerships needed in 2021. “In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to reset priorities and the urgency to reform systems have been growing stronger around the world,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “Rebuilding trust and increasing global cooperation are crucial to fostering innovative and bold solutions to stem the pandemic and drive a robust recovery. This unique meeting will be an opportunity for leaders to outline their vision and address the most important issues of our time, such as the need to accelerate job creation and to protect the environment.” The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that no institution or individual alone can address the economic, environmental, social and technological challenges of our complex, interdependent world. The pandemic has accelerated systemic changes that were apparent before its inception. The fault lines that emerged in 2020 now appear as critical crossroads in 2021. The Davos Agenda will help leaders choose innovative and bold solutions to stem the pandemic and drive a robust recovery over the next year. The five programme themes are:
  1. Designing cohesive, sustainable, resilient economic systems (25 January)

  2. Driving responsible industry transformation and growth (26 January)

  3. Enhancing stewardship of the global commons (27 January)

  4. Harnessing the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (28 January)

  5. Advancing global and regional cooperation (29 January)

Special addresses from G20 heads of state and government and international organizations will provide crucial insights into a range of important issues in the year ahead. Participants will hear first-hand how these public figures will demonstrate leadership and drive action in areas such as the environment, jobs, and advances in innovation brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Heads of state and government include: Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China; Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India; Yoshihide Suga, Prime Minister of Japan; Emmanuel Macron, President of France; Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor of Germany; Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission; Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy; Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea; Alberto Fernández, President of Argentina; Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa; Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain; Guy Parmelin, President of the Swiss Confederation and Federal Councillor for Economic Affairs, Education and Research; Ivan Duque, President of Colombia; Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica; Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana; Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece; Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel; Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, the host of the World Economic Forum Special Annual Meeting 2021. Other world leaders are expected to confirm. Leaders from international organizations, government agencies and central banks include: António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations (UN); Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO); Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF); Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations (UN); Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Undersecretary-General and Executive Director, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN); Dongyu Qu, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); Inger Andersen, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); David Beasley, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP); Fang Liu, Secretary-General, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, USA; Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); Mauricio Claver-Carone, President, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO); Jürgen Stock, Secretary-General, International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL); Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA); Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, Executive Director, APEC Secretariat (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation). Christine Lagarde, President, European Central Bank; François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Central Bank of France; Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England. The private sector will be represented by more than 1,000 leaders from the Forum’s member and partner organizations. Seven of the top ten companies by market capitalization are engaged year-round with the Forum and many will participate in The Davos Agenda week. As a working meeting to advance ongoing project work, more than 500 chief executives and chairpersons will take part in sessions throughout the week. Leaders from civil society are a critical voice in shaping the agenda. Those taking part in the meeting include: Seth Berkley, Chief Executive Officer, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director, Oxfam International; Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC); Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, President, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT); Marco Lambertini, Director-General, WWF International; Laura Liswood, Secretary-General, Council of Women World Leaders; Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair, Transparency International; Peter Sands, Executive Director, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GF). Drawn from over 10,000 civic-minded young leaders, members of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers, Young Global Leaders, Technology Pioneers and Social Entrepreneurs communities will bring unique perspectives to The Davos Agenda. Flagship reports, initiatives, and the latest book on Stakeholder Capitalism On January 25, Professor Schwab will release his latest book, titled “Stakeholder Capitalism: A Global Economy that Works for Progress, People and Planet.” It explores how societies can build the future post-COVID, and builds on the Forum’s 50-year-old advocacy of the stakeholder approach. The World Economic Forum will release its Global Risks Report 2021 on 19 January. The flagship report is an important marker for prioritizing action in public and private sectors in the year ahead. The Davos Agenda will also mark the launch of several World Economic Forum initiatives to accelerate the race to net-zero emissions, to champion new standards for racial justice, to ensure artificial intelligence is developed ethically and in the global public interest and to close the digital divide. More details on these initiatives and others will be disclosed at the meeting. Opening Event and Crystal Awards The meeting will be preceded by the Opening Event, available on YouTube on Sunday 24 January at 19.00 CET, featuring a welcome from Klaus Schwab and a special address by Guy Parmelin, President of the Swiss Confederation, just before the 27th Crystal Awards hosted by Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, and the photographer Platon. The awards will be followed by the world premiere of “See Me: A Global Concert.” The official programme of The Davos Agenda will begin on 25 January.


UN Security Council Briefing – Cooperation between the UN Security Council and the League of Arab States

18 January 2021 Ireland Statement, delivered by Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason Thank you very much indeed Mr. President and I wanted to begin by thanking you, Minister, for organizing today’s meeting. I want to give a warm welcome to Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit. Ireland has worked closely with the Arab League and its member states over time and we very much appreciate the important role that the League plays regionally. Ireland believes that in drafting the Charter, the UN founders recognised the reality, frankly, that regional organisations, regional arrangements, such as the League of Arab States, have a central and often critical role to play in maintaining peace and security. While progress has been made, and we have heard much of that this morning, in bringing Chapter VIII to life, it is clear that much needs to be done to fully exploit the potential of regional organisations to deliver on our collective goals. So, it is in that spirit Mr. President that we welcome this opportunity today. Before looking to some of the specific regional challenges, I would like to make a few general remarks. Mr. President, coming from Europe, a region transformed - through regional cooperation - from a post-war wasteland to a thriving and peaceful Union of states, Ireland strongly supports, indeed we advocate for regional cooperation. We firmly believe that cooperation on addressing common challenges faced by states, from water management, to threat of climate change, from the role of women in sustaining peace, to of course the current common challenge we have of COVID-19 – can build confidence and trust, promote solidarity and lay importantly the foundations for peace. Mr. President, in framing today’s debate, Tunisia rightly welcomes the progress achieved on cooperation between the League of Arab States and the UN, and its contribution to regional stability. The thoughtful briefings this morning by USG DiCarlo and Secretary-General Aboul Gheit underline the shared ambition and indeed the need to build on this further. Ireland encourages both organisations to actually invest in strengthening the relationship. We welcome the establishment in 2019 of the UN Liaison Office to the League of Arab States, and urge the Secretariat to ensure that the office is staffed at a senior level to facilitate enhanced dialogue and cooperation between the organisations. Ireland strongly supports Tunisia’s suggestion for intensified coordination between the League of Arab States and UN Special Envoys in addressing current crises in the region, very mindful of the interconnected nature of the challenges and the nature of the conflicts in the region. We echo Tunisia’s call for support for efforts undertaken by both organisations on conflict resolution, on conflict prevention, on mediation, on peacekeeping and on peacebuilding. Mr. President, Ireland firmly underlines also the urgent need for lasting political solutions to disputes and conflicts in the region, we have heard every speaker say that this morning. We are ready to play our part as a Security Council member in supporting that work here at the Security Council but also in working to support the efforts by the League of Arab States and by its member states. We welcome the Al-Ula Declaration of 5 January by the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Egypt. The Declaration we see represents a key milestone in the development of closer regional integration, cooperation, stability and prosperity. We just hope that the progress made in Al-Ula will be built on in the months to come. We underline our welcome for the ceasefire agreement in Libya in October and the Secretary General's December report on ceasefire monitoring options. The European Union and its Member States remain ready to support the monitoring of that ceasefire. Ireland is concerned, that key elements of the agreement remain unimplemented, especially around the withdrawal of foreign fighters. Ireland looks forward to fulfilment of the political road map to December elections, thanks to the ongoing work of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF). Women participants in that dialogue forum have played a critical role. Ireland welcomes their recommendations for improving women’s participation in the political process and in governance. We hope this can be usefully drawn on elsewhere in the region, but we also hope that the League of Arab States will continue to assist in that process. We all know that we must redouble our efforts to bring to an end the terrible conflicts in Yemen and Syria. We recognize that there are no military solutions to those conflicts and we share the ambition to agree political pathways forward. We also know that sustained peace will require respect for human rights and that those responsible for violations of international law and international human rights law need to be held accountable. Collectively we must also continue to do everything to support humanitarian workers reaching those in need. Today, on behalf of Ireland, I renew our call for the unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid to all in need particularly in conflict areas. Mr. President, as a leading troop contributor to UNIFIL since 1978, Ireland remains resolutely committed to the stability of Lebanon, as its people grapple with complex political and economic challenges. We welcome the strong support and solidarity of the Arab League for Lebanon. We also recognise that there are 9 peacekeeping operations under the League of Arab States’ regional watch. Peacekeeping is an important and I would say a noble function, and Ireland supports the work of the League to reinforce regional capacity in that regard. Finally, Mr. President, as Secretary General Aboul Gheit is all too aware, a key element for regional and global security is a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting two-State solution is not just critical for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples we know, but to unlock a better, more peaceful future for the region as a whole. Ireland welcomes the Presidential decree issued by President Abbas on 15 January on the holding of elections. This is an important step in renewing legitimacy. The European Union stands ready to support the electoral process. We welcome the normalization agreements between Israel and a number of countries in the region. We sincerely hope that this will be followed by inclusive engagement to support tangible confidence building measures with and by the parties, and a reinvigorated role for the Middle East Quartet to achieve progress towards a just and lasting peace. In conclusion, I wish to thank you Minister and the Tunisian Presidency for organising today’s important discussion. Thank you very much Secretary General Aboul Gheit. Ireland will continue our committed partnership with you, the League of Arab States and its member states in tackling peace and security issues as a Member of this Council over the next two years. Secretary General, you have an important and onerous responsibility. You can count on Ireland. Thank you Mr. President.

Meghan Boroughs Public Diplomacy & Social Media Manager | @irishmissionun | +1 508-361-7896



NYC COUNCIL TO VOTE ON WILLIAMS' LEGISLATION TO TRACK REMOTE LEARNING ATTENDANCE, EFFECTIVENESSNEW YORK: As the majority of students continue to receive an all-remote education amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, the New York City Council will vote today on legislation from Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams to track remote learning attendance and assess the effectiveness of the practice for students across the city. It is expected to pass after being voted out of the Committee on Education on Tuesday.

The legislation, Intro 2058-A, would require the Department of Education (DOE) to report on a monthly basis student attendance data during the use of remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendance data would be disaggregated by: School, School district, Grade level, Gender, Race or ethnicity, Individualized education program status, English language learner status, Status as a student in temporary housing, Status as a student residing in shelter

"Monitoring student engagement is an essential way to determine the effectiveness of remote learning- whether fully remote or hybrid, every student will be using remote learning in the coming months," said Public Advocate Williams of the bill. "Tracking student attendance rates allow us to hold the DOE accountable for ensuring our students have the ability to access all of their classes remotely. The money and energy the Administration has spent in rushing to re-open, and then close, in-person classes could have been better spent improving remote learning and fulfilling our obligation to provide students with safe and equitable education. This bill will help to correct that error and imbalance. I thank Council Member Treyger for his leadership on these issues and Speaker Johnson for making this a priority." Collecting, categorizing, and making public this attendance information will help to determine whether the Department of Education is equitably and effectively implementing remote learning, particularly for students of greatest need - and hold them accountable for any inadequacies. The information shared will help the DOE tailor their approach to better meet the needs of our students and families and maximize the effectiveness of remote and hybrid learning throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill will be voted on alongside companion legislation from Council Member Mark Treyger, Intro 2104-A , which would require the DOE to report a breakdown of the number and percentage of students who participated in remote learning and the hybrid mode language access as well as a series of metrics include language accessibility, access to remote learning in juvenile facilities, access to city-issued remote learning devices, and other information. At a Council hearing held by the Committee on Education at the end of May, the DOE stated that the student engagement rate was about 86%, compared to in-person attendance, which was roughly 93%. That discrepancy was likely due to the fact that many students, especially those in temporary housing, shelters, and foster care, did not receive laptops, tablets, iPads, Chromebooks, or any other devices needed to connect to virtual classroom sessions. Months later, many student engagement issues remain unsolved. "COVID-19 has impacted every single person in this city, but its impacts have not been evenly felt. Inequities in remote learning mirror inequities in the spread of COVID-19. In order to know how much support is needed for our students and educators, we need data that illustrates the gaps. Additional specific data on remote learning participation is the only effective way to acknowledge the problem and allocate resources where necessary to eliminate gaps of inequity," said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education. "I thank Public Advocate Williams for his partnership and leadership on Intro 2058. I'm proud that this bill is passing today as part of a remote learning transparency package with my Intro 2104."

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United States will remain a member of WHO - Dr. Anthony S. Fauci

At the meeting of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) today (21 Jan), WHO Director-General Dr Tedros welcomed the pledge that the United States will remain a member of WHO.


Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons - United Nations Secretary-General

Video message by António Guterres (UN Secretary-General) on the occasion of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.



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