Ambassador Alaa Youssef, Egypt’s Permanent Representative to the UN’s Geneva headquarters, took over on Tuesday the presidency of the UN’s African Group.
The African Group is one of the UN’s five regional groups, consisting of 54 member states from across the continent. The group’s main goal is to support African interests at the UN and other international institutions located in Geneva.
In a statement, Youssef expressed Egypt’s solidarity and support for all efforts exerted by countries across the continent, to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). He also passed on his wishes for the African people speedy recovery from the crisis and its repercussions.
During the meeting, Youssef emphasised the need to intensify the African Group’s activities in Geneva in the coming period. This would be in support of efforts exerted by the African Union (AU) to deal with the health and economic repercussions of the virus.
Youssef called on the African Group to focus on a number of issues during talks with international organisations in the forthcoming period. These include gaining access to medical supplies and external debt relief, and providing necessary support for migrants, refugees and the internally displaced.
The meeting also tackled ways to enhance various aspects of cooperation with the UN’s international organisations. This would also see the AU’s interests be promoted to ensure the continent would benefit from the new programmes which were designed to mitigate the negative effects of the coronavirus.