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UN cuts global conference on women in New York over coronavirus. IMF and World Bank in-person Spring Meetings already canceled in Washington D.C. Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 25, 2021

The United Nations has cut a global conference on the status of women which was meant to take place in New York this month over COVID-19, the deadly respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have already canceled in-person Spring Meetings in Washington D.C. scheduled to take place next month.

“Following the UN Secretary-General’s recommendation to Member States to amend the format of the 64th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in light of the current concerns regarding coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an informal meeting took place today.

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The Commission decided that the 64th session of the Commission will convene on 9 March, at 10.00 a.m. (EST), for a procedural meeting. The meeting will include opening statements, followed by the adoption of the draft Political Declaration and action on any other draft resolutions. The session will then suspend until further notification. No general debate will take place and all side events planned by Member States and the UN system in conjunction with CSW 64 will be cancelled,” the Commission on the Status of Women said in a statement on Monday.

Read the full letter from the Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women

Chairperson
Commission on the Status of Women

2 March 2020

Excellencies,

I refer to my letter of Friday, 28 February and have the honor to write in follow up
to the informal meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women held this morning, where it was decided that the sixty-fourth session of the Commission will convene on 9 March, at 10.00 a.m.

It was agreed that the meeting will be of a procedural nature, with Member States being represented by their Permanent Missions to the United Nations. It will include opening statements by the Chair, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the General Assembly, the President of the ECOSOC, the President of the Security Council for the month of March, as well as UN Women Executive Director and a representative of civil society, followed by the adoption of the draft Political Declaration and action on any other draft resolutions. There will be no general discussion. The session will then suspend until further notification.

In this regard, the meeting reiterated the Secretary-General’s strong recommendation that capital-based delegations and other stakeholders refrain from
travelling to UN Headquarters. The meeting recommended that all side events planned by Member States and the UN system in conjunction with CSW64 will be cancelled.

Please accept, Excellencies, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Mher Margaryan

Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Armenia

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank announced on Tuesday that the 2020 Spring Meetings that were scheduled to hold in Washington DC in April with thousands of people in attendance will now be held online to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and keep participants safe.

The IMF and World Bank took similar extraordinary steps in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and Washington―by postponing and then shifting policy meetings to another location.

In a joint statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C., the IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank Group President David Malpass said the 2020 IMF-World Bank Group Spring Meetings will adopt a virtual format.

“Like everyone else around the world, we have been deeply concerned by the evolving situation of the Coronavirus and the human tragedy surrounding it. Given growing health concerns related to the virus, the Management of the IMF and World Bank Group and their Executive Boards have agreed to implement a joint plan to adapt the 2020 IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings to a virtual format. Our goal is to serve our membership effectively while ensuring the health and safety of Spring Meetings participants and staff.

“We remain fully committed to maintaining a productive dialogue with our stakeholders and will leverage our IT-related and virtual connection capabilities to the fullest to hold our essential policy consultations with the membership. We will also continue to share IMF and World Bank analyses. With this adapted format, we are confident that our member countries will be able to effectively engage on pressing global economic issues at these Spring Meetings,” they wrote.

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