World leaders return to the UN in an assembly still marked by the pandemic

The UN General Assembly begins on its annual debates on Tuesday, with around a hundred international leaders gathered in New York despite the pandemic and with

World leaders return to the UN in an assembly still marked by the pandemic

The UN General Assembly begins on its annual debates on Tuesday, with around a hundred international leaders gathered in New York despite the pandemic and with an agenda marked by the COVID-19, climate change and the situation in Afghanistan.

After celebrating a year ago telematically, the Assembly now will have a hybrid format, with heads of state and government that will offer its traditional speeches in person and others who will do it with pre-recorded videos.

According to the last official list, it is expected that around one hundred rulers travel to New York to participate in this week's sessions, among others the president of the United States, Joe Biden; that of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro; that of Colombia, Ivan Duque; Or the New Peruvian leader, Pedro Castillo.

They will be some of the outstanding names of the first day, on Tuesday, in which the speeches, among others, from the French President, Emmanuel Macron, or of Iranian, Ibrahim Raisi, although in both cases per video are foreseen.

With the relatively controlled virus in New York, local authorities fear that the appointment can become a super propagator event given the large number of diplomats that will move from different continents and the meetings that are planned to maintain.

The US government, in fact, requested without much success that the greatest possible number of leaders intervened from its capital and the New York City Council called for the UN to require a certificate of vaccination to anyone wishing to enter the Hemicicle of the Assembly.

The measure, although initially supported by the President of the Body, Abdulla Shahid, will finally not apply, given that the United Nations defends that it has no authority to veto access to the room to any leader, and in fact the measures of access to the complex of The UN did not include any control of vaccines or PCR tests on Monday.

Thus, a leader who boasts not being vaccinated as Bolsonaro, will have no problems accessing that Hemicycle, in which the capacity has been very importantly limited, since the delegations of each country may have a maximum of four people .

Vaccination is going to be a central element of debates, with the UN and many countries insisting on the need for a global plan that guarantees that the doses reach the whole world, because inequality in their access manifests itself in that the rich countries They discuss whether to inoculate reinforcement doses while the poor start just to immunize their population.

Biden plans to organize on the next day a virtual summit to promote new measures in the fight against pandemic, including the donation of vaccines to get 70% of the world's population immunized.

Also climate change is emerging as another one of the great axes of this marathon week of diplomatic contacts, which precisely start today with a "parallel summit" in which some forty leaders convened by the United Nations will seek to promote new commitments.

The presence in New York of Heads of State and Government and most of the world's foreign ministers will also offer a unique occasion to address the main crises of the moment, starting with that of Afghanistan.

Except for a last minute turn, the Taliban is not expected to be at the UN, but the country will be represented by the ambassador appointed by the previous government.

However, the Assembly will serve that the rest of the nations discuss how to deal with the new Kabul authorities - including the possible lifting of sanctions at several Taliban leaders and a possible official recognition - and how to respond to the humanitarian emergency that the Afghan population lives .

The US is also at the center of another diplomatic crisis, it is much more recent and unexpected, after the discomfort that has generated in France the military treaty subscribed with Australia and that it has involved the suspension of a French submarine sales agreement to that country.

Updated Date: 22 September 2021, 15:58

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