Starting today, world leaders will meet in New York for the 78th edition of the United Nations General Assembly. This year the official motto of the high-level meeting is “rebuilding the confidence and reactivate global solidarity». It seeks to open new global agreements and create tools that allow achieving the objectives of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs, given the clear evidence of achievements below expectations, seven years from the end of the period outlined for said agenda.
¨This is a time to adopt postures or positioning. This is not the time for interference or indecision”, said the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, “we must unite in search of real and practical solutions. It is time to reach a compromise to achieve a better tomorrow. Other issues that will surely be on the table will be the invasion of Ukraine and tensions between the West and the Global South. By tradition, the inaugural speech is on Brazil’s behalf and the world will be able to hear its president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva who wants to make it clear that “Brazil is back”, but the truth is that many view him with suspicion due to his controversial stance on the war in Ukraine.
The regular budget for this year’s meeting is $3.4 billion, thanks to President Joe Biden restoring hundreds of millions of dollars in UN funding that had been cut during Donald Trump’s presidency. These days, getting around the Big Apple will not be easy due to the closure of several streets. At a time when the city is going through one of its worst crises in terms of cleanliness and safety, City Hall has stepped up to the plate to welcome the prominent guests and the New York Police Department has deployed thousands of officers who will ensure that the meeting develops in harmony. As usual, getting a hotel room these days is not an easy task, the average price is around 700 dollars per night (656 euros), and the most famous restaurants in the city are shielded to serve exclusively and with maximum privacy. the world heads of state and their long security team. The reservations were confirmed at least 7 months ago, the restaurateurs say. “It is the most important diplomatic meeting of the year, and nothing can go wrong,” explains chef Carlos Mirañi to LA RAZÓN.
While the city prepares for the most important political event of the year, within the United Nations they already have everything ready to welcome the men and women who run the world. A large tent has been erected in the grounds of the venue that will host the hundreds of journalists from around the world who will cover the event next week. Each media outlet will be very attentive to the words of its leader or, in his absence, the representative who will speak in his place. In the case of Russia, its president is not expected Vladimir Putin given the arrest warrant that the International Criminal Court issued against him in March of this year. He will not travel to New York either, as is tradition, to the Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Peacemaker French president will be missed Emmanuel Macron who this time will stay in Paris welcoming the British King Charles III on his inaugural visit to France as monarch. France’s leader will also meet Pope Francis in Marseille on September 22. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will also not be able to hear the speech of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, instead the Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, James Cleverly, will lead the British delegation. It is the first time in a decade that a British leader has resigned from this meeting.
The absence of prominent leaders is a hard blow for the meeting of leaders at a time when many doubt the usefulness of the organization. In fact, the only permanent member of the UN Security Council who will attend the high-profile meeting will be US President Joe Biden, who during his two-day visit to the Big Apple “will meet with world leaders to discuss cooperation to address threats to international peace and security, promote global prosperity and protect human rights,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who last year addressed the chamber remotely, this time plans to travel to New York. For obvious security reasons, many details of his agenda are unknown, but he is scheduled to address the General Assembly on September 19 and the Security Council the following day.
For the Ukrainian president, this trip will be an opportunity to get closer to the leaders of the Global South. In his speech, Zelensky will surely condemn the invasion, emphasize Ukraine’s efforts to bring food to needy countries in Africa and the Middle East, and criticize Russia for its decision to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July. He is also likely to meet with the Israeli Prime Minister on the sidelines of UNGA. Benjamin Netanyahu. When their meetings in New York end, the Ukrainian leader plans to travel to Washington for a meeting with his American counterpart, Joe Biden.