United States President Donald Trump might be the only world leader to attend the annual United Nations General Assembly session in New York this year, Politico reported on Friday. The annual session of the UN General Assembly will take place between September 22 and September 25, but most world leaders have agreed to send pre-recorded video messages, given the coronavirus pandemic.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft said on Thursday that Trump would be the “only world leader to be speaking in person”. “This is the 75th anniversary [of the UN], so it makes it even more special,” she added according to PTI. “...obviously we’re going to be focused on human rights issues, on transparency, accountability because anytime during Covid-19 where the American taxpayers have really stepped up on a personal level, it is now.”
The United States is traditionally the second speaker at the conference after Brazil. This will be Trump’s last speech of his current term to the UN General Assembly, as presidential elections are due in the US on November 3.
In a virtual press conference in June, General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande had said that world leaders will not attend the summit in person. “World leaders cannot come to New York because they cannot come as single individuals,” he said. “A president doesn’t travel alone. We don’t expect therefore to have presidents here.”
However, member states could send delegations to New York. Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said the UN Secretariat will be in touch with the 193 member states for their representation at the session. “When it comes to it, we have made clear what the conditions in the building are, what the need is for a scaled back ceremony,” he said. “The member states are aware that they have different options, including recorded messages, or in some cases, appearances. We trust and expect that all member states will abide by the need to keep the numbers low...”
Only one or two delegates per country will be allowed in the General Assembly hall.
The United States is the worst-affected country in the world. As of Friday, it has recorded more than 44.95 lakh cases, and over 1,52,000 deaths. Globally, the number of cases is more than 1.73 crore, and 6.73 lakh people have died, according to the Johns Hopkins University.