COVID-19: World Leaders to Stay at Home, in First ‘Virtual’ UN General Assembly

Secretariat Building at United Nations Headquarters (UN Photo/Rick Bajornas)
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(United Nations News) The General Debate of the General Assembly, traditionally the most high-profile UN event of the year, will be a slimmed-down affair this September, with world leaders staying away from New York, and contributing set-piece speeches via video link, a UN spokesperson confirmed on Thursday.

The new virtual format is largely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with many countries continuing to grapple with the health, social and economic fallout from the crisis.

While the number of new cases of COVID-19 in New York has dramatically fallen, since the city was for a while the global epicentre of the pandemic in April, the US as a whole has almost four million reported cases, higher than any other country.

Pre-recorded speeches

In a press briefing on Thursday, Reem Abaza, Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, said that each Member State, Observer State, and the European Union, was invited to submit a pre-recorded video, delivered by its designated high-level official, which will be played in the General Assembly Hall.

Read more at: United Nations News

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