Voice of America

Voice of America 21 May 2020

COVID-19 Dampens EID Festivities


Eid Al Fitr, the most festive Muslim holiday, is marked with celebrations, friends and family reunions, and a lot of feasting. This year, the coronavirus is threatening to dampen that spirit. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports on how Muslims in various parts of the world are planning to celebrate Eid this year.

Camera: Malik Waqar Ahmed, Hamada Elsaram, Ifiok Ettang    Produced by: Barry Unger

Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

- Secretary-General/Eid Message
- Programme Budget 2021
- Vaccination
- Bangladesh
- Senior Personnel Appointment
- Mali
- South America Appeal
- Forests
- Financing for Development

Today, the Secretary-General will give a virtual Eid Message at an interactive discussion with Member States representing the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The theme of the discussions will be Covid-19 Solidarity: Promoting Co-Existence and Shared Responsibility. 
The Secretary-General is expected to remind Member States that our world is like one body, and as long as one part is affected by this virus, we all are affected. Now more than ever, solidarity and unity must be our leading principles.
Yesterday, the Secretary-General presented his proposal for the programme budget for 2021 at a virtual session of the Advisory Committee on the Administrative and Budgetary questions (ACABQ).  He noted that the meeting was happening at a time when the pandemic has put the lives of billions of people around the globe in turmoil, inflicting grave suffering and destabilizing the global economy. 
In response, he said, the United Nations has mobilized fully to save lives, stave off famine, ease the pain and plan for recovery. The Secretary-General said that we are open for business and are running the Organization from thousands of dining tables and home offices. 
Regarding recent reforms, he added that reform is on track and beginning to yield results.  Resident Coordinators covering 162 countries and territories now have a direct reporting line to his office, enhanced analytical capacities and coordination tools, as well as support from a strengthened development coordination office. 
The new management processes and structures have proven instrumental in enabling the Organization to remain open and function effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic.  
The Secretary-General said that, to fully implement the mandates entrusted to us, we will require a total of $2.99 billion in 2021, which represents a net reduction of 2.8 per cent compared to 2020, despite additional initiatives and mandated activities. 
As this stage, he added, no resources have been included for COVID-19, as the programme budget proposals were largely put together before the pandemic came on scene and the situation is still evolving.
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