The President of the General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid is in Cote d'Ivoire.
One of his first engagements since arriving was taking part in the Youth Forum at the 15th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.
The President said that we need to hear from youth and work with youth.
Later this morning, the President addressed the Heads of States Summit at the COP. The theme is "Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity."
In his address, President Shahid urged the international community to recommit to achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030.
He said that land degradation undermines the well-being of some 3.2 billion people. He pointed to man-made practices, such as unsustainable land use, agriculture and soil management, as some of the biggest drivers of desertification, land degradation and drought.
We cannot afford letting our relationship with mother nature deteriorate to the point of no return, he said.
President Shahid spoke alongside the President of Cote d'Ivoire Alassane Ouattara; Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed; UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw. The opening session also heard from the First Lady of Cote d'Ivoire, Dominique Ouattara. The founder of Isha Foundation, Sadhguru. And Musician and UNCCD Land Ambassador Inna Modja.
Since arriving in Abidjan, President Shahid has met with Vice-President Tiémoko Meyliet Koné.
Meanwhile, here in New York…
The UN Forum on Forests also known as UNFF17 started today. This is being held in a hybrid format.
President Shahid addressed a High-level Round Table on multilateral developments.
In his video message, he said that international cooperation and response in the protection of forest is imperative.
He also noted the importance of involving and recognizing the rights of indigenous landowners.
The forum is taking place as the President is at desertification event, and ahead of a high-level event on "Moment for Nature" that the President will convene in July.
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
And looking to tomorrow, in the General Assembly at 10AM Eastern, there will be the election for the vacancy in the Human Rights Council.
The Spokesperson was asked if there was still only one candidate for the Human Rights Council vacancy. The Spokesperson confirmed that yes, currently the only candidate is the Czech Republic.
The Spokesperson was asked why President Shahid was meeting with Cote d'Ivoire First Lady Dominique Ouattara. The Spokesperson clarified that she was taking part in the COP15 opening ceremony, but there was no official bilateral with the First Lady.