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Guatemala, Youth Skills Day & other topics – PGA…

Guatemala, Youth Skills Day & other topics – PGA Spokesperson's Briefing
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Briefing by Paulina Kubiak, Spokesperson for the President of the 76th Session of the General Assembly.


The President of the General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, is today in Guatemala.

He has a busy agenda with bilateral meetings. He will meet with the following officials today:

  • Mr. Mario Rojas Espino, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Mr. Alberto Pimental Mata, Minister of Energy and Mines
  • Mr. José Ángel López Camposeco, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food
  • And Undersecretary for Planning and Programming of the Presidency, Mr. Franco Doménico Martínez Mont

This afternoon, President Shahid will visit the Peacekeeping Memorial. There, he will meet peacekeepers from the Guatemalan Special Forces known as GUASFOR, who will be heading to MONUSCO. 

This evening, President Shahid will witness the signing of the Agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guatemala and the United Nations System in Guatemala, for the creation of a roundtable on migration and refugee issues


Tomorrow, President Shahid will tour a project supported by FAO on how rural communities are adapting to climate change – improving their resilience and livelihoods.

He will also visit Tikal National Park due to the efforts of Guatemala on Sustainable Tourism and protection of biodiversity. Tikal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

On Sunday, President Shahid will tour a project on promoting sustainability and resilience in areas impacted by volcanos. That is supported by UNDP, in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food, the National Council of Protected Areas and the National Institute of Forests.

President Shahid returns to New York late Sunday night.


Today is Youth Skills Day.

In a video message, President Shahid called young people our world's engines of change, but unfortunately, those engines are not running at capacity. They are deprived of needed resources.

He called for more education and training, and more youth employment opportunities.

The global unemployment level is at around 13.5 per cent. But that's the average, with some countries at 80 per cent.

The message was prepared for today's World Youth Skills Day event. Organized by UNESCO, ILO and the Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, along with the permanent missions of Sri Lanka and Portugal.


And turning to the week ahead.

Monday, 18 July, in the morning is the annual commemoration of the Nelson Mandela International Day.

The keynote will be delivered by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex.

I can also confirm the participation of New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

We will also hear from Mr. Modli Gungubele, Minister in the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa, and Dr. Morissanda Kouyaté of Guinea.

A pre-recorded message by Mrs. Marianna Vardinoyannis of Greece will be shown.

And of course, the President of the General Assembly Abdulla Shahid and the Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed will take part.

 As tradition on the Day, there is a community service activity that will be held 1-3pm in Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem. 

Monday in the afternoon, is the event on food security. This is jointly organized with the UN Committee on World Food Security. 

On Tuesday, 19 July President Shahid will take a Moment for Nature. President Shahid will call for a coordinated approach to environmental action. You will have a media advisory soon.

Wednesday, 20 July is an event on development in Africa, jointly organized with ECOSOC.  

And then in the morning on Thursday, 21 July, the General Assembly will hold a debate in connection with the most recent use of the veto in the Security Council. A veto was cast on 8 July under the agenda item "The situation in the Middle East".  

Also on Thursday, President Shahid will undertake an official visit to Latvia. The working visit will focus on ensuring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular focus on climate change and the environment, as well as offer an opportunity to see how regional countries are supporting families displaced by the Russian aggression against Ukraine.