Measures to Strengthen Preparedness and Continuity of Operations in Response to COVID-19

12 March 2020| Articles


Notification by the Director-General of IRENA

I would like to inform IRENA Members, States-in-Accession and partner entities that, after careful consideration, the IRENA Secretariat has decided not to hold any physical meetings during March and April at its premises in Abu Dhabi, Bonn, New York and elsewhere.

This exceptional measure aims to contain the spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and constitutes an added health safeguard for all participants attending IRENA meetings, as well as to address the requisite duty of care of and by the Secretariat in such circumstances. IRENA stands in solidarity with all Members, States-in-Accession and partner entities in addressing this issue.

This decision is in response to the COVID-19, and the measures introduced by the host country authorities as well as in recognition of the increasing challenges posed by travel restrictions and quarantine measures that some countries have implemented, which may result in participants not being able to return to their point of departure and/or being subject to mandatory quarantine upon arrival or while in transit. The decision is also taken considering the Secretariat’s responsibility to manage resources, in a manner that minimizes the risk of any funds committed to meetings which, on postponement at short notice, might not be recoverable.

In addition the Secretariat, guided by the advice of the World Health Organisation and local authorities at duty stations, has decided that events be placed on hold taking into account instructions from the local authorities and that the safety and wellbeing of all participants is paramount.

The Secretariat is working with Members to find suitable alternative arrangements for its calendar of meetings scheduled during March and April, such as virtual meetings, or postponement. Precautions have also been taken to ensure the safety and well-being of staff including appropriate measures to limit non-essential travel and make greater use of flexible working arrangements based on discussions with the Agency’s medical advisor.

The Agency, in coordination with its Members, will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and decide on possible additional measures, and will make every effort to ensure that work scheduled to be undertaken during this period will be carried out in the coming months. These arrangements are with immediate effect and applicable until further evaluation of the situation. Updates will be provided as necessary.

For any queries, please contact the Secretariat at Secretariat@irena.org.

Francesco La Camera 

 

The World Health Organization’s situational dashboard can be found here.