New York [US]: More than 140 world leaders are meeting to discuss the pressing world issues at the 78th session of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, Al Jazeera reported.
US President Joe Biden is the only representative among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council who is attending the UNGA.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will attend the General Assembly for the first time since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of his nation in February 2022.
One of the most anticipated annual UN events, the General Debate, provides a platform for leaders to discuss topics of worldwide concern in 15-minute statements. While speakers at the General Debate are free to discuss whatever they like, each year’s event is framed by a broad theme, Al Jazeera reported.
This year, the theme is “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity”.
Joe Biden is scheduled to be the second world leader to speak at Tuesday’s General Debate, but he is also the only top leader representing the UN Security Council’s five permanent members at this year’s event.
The Security Council is one of the most powerful committees in the United Nations, tasked with maintaining peace, imposing sanctions, and adopting binding resolutions for the 193 member states.
The council has 15 members, just five of whom are permanent: the United States, China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
However, several of those officials have declined to attend this year’s high-level gathering. French President Emmanuel Macron, for example, has stated that he will not attend the ceremony in order to focus on King Charles III’s imminent visit, as reported by Al Jazeera.
Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak will be the first British Prime Minister in a decade to miss the General Assembly owing to schedule issues.
Zelenskyy’s presence was questionable until recently, but experts believe Zelenskyy is seeking to rekindle worldwide support for Ukraine as the battle continues.
He is the 14th speaker on the agenda for today. The Security Council will also have an open debate on the “maintenance of peace and security in Ukraine” on Wednesday, which could place Zelenskyy in the same room with Russian diplomats – a potentially explosive encounter.
Following that, Zelenskyy is anticipated to go south to Washington, DC, for his second wartime appearance before the US Congress.
The theme urges world leaders to evaluate the UN’s 2030 agenda, which includes a deadline for its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It urges for “accelerating action” towards those aims in order to promote “peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability for all,” according to Al Jazeera.
The 78th UN General Debate began on Tuesday, kicking off a period of high-level discussions that will continue till September 26.
However, while the event is billed as a “debate,” it is actually a series of 15-minute statements delivered by world leaders on issues of their choosing.
As a result, the General Debate is one of the most eagerly anticipated – and extensively viewed – events on the UN calendar, Al Jazeera reported.