The annual high-level meetings of the 76th session of its General Assembly will kick off at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, with the attendance of more than 110 heads of state and government of Member States (193 countries), with climate change, the coronavirus and Afghanistan at the fore.
The meetings of this session differ from the previous ones, as the fear of infection with Corona and its spread among diplomats coming from different countries of the world will be the master of the situation.
Although the host country (the United States) has demanded that public discussion and high-level meetings be virtual for fear of spreading the virus, more than 110 leaders and prime ministers of member states insisted on personal participation.
And last month, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield, sent a letter to representatives of member states, urging them not to attend the leaders of their countries to the headquarters of the international organization in New York.
The same ambassador openly expressed in a press conference, Friday, her country’s fear that the largest diplomatic event in the world would turn into a “super-spreading hotbed for Corona”.
The statement comes despite the United Nations’ announcement that strict rules to combat the pandemic will be enforced, including the mandatory wearing of masks for all participants, mandatory vaccinations for Headquarters staff, and the restriction of personal access for diplomats inside the General Assembly Hall.
And UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a press conference that “personal diplomacy (ie, face-to-face meetings of heads of state) is necessary in order for the United Nations to regain the critical role it plays in many of the major issues facing the world.”
At the top of these issues that heads of state will discuss during their meetings next week: the current situation in Afghanistan after the “Taliban” movement took control of matters, the absence of justice among the countries of the world in the issue of distributing vaccines against Corona, and climate change, according to statements by officials of the international organization.
While the President of the General Assembly, Abdullah Shahid, after consulting with representatives of member states, set the topic for general discussion this week, which is “building resilience with hope to recover from the Corona pandemic and rebuild sustainability, respond to the needs of the planet, respect human rights and revitalize the United Nations.”
On Tuesday, world leaders are scheduled to begin discussing these topics in succession, as the morning session of the General Assembly will witness speeches from the presidents of Brazil, the United States, the Maldives, Colombia, Qatar, Slovakia, Portugal, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Uzbekistan, Iran, Chile, South Korea, Turkey and Switzerland, on straight.
In the afternoon session, the presidents of Croatia, Egypt, Peru, France, Turkmenistan, Latvia, the Philippines, El Salvador, Argentina, Palau, Romania, Costa Rica, Mexico, Poland, Ecuador, Finland, Bulgaria, Zambia and Hungary will begin to speak.
Then, for a whole week, the words of the rest of the world’s leaders and heads of state will follow, and perhaps the most prominent will be the words of the leaders of Afghanistan, Myanmar, North Korea and Guinea.