United Nations General Assembly Begins In New York With Ukraine at the Top of the Agenda

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The 77th United Nations General Assembly has started in New York this week with putting an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the top of the agenda. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres opened the session with a speech in which he highlighted the ongoing war in Ukraine and especially the negative global impact that the continuation of the war is having.

Mr Guterres spoke about the serious risk of famine around the world as a result of the war and warned that the “UN charter is being devoured by the acids of nationalism and self-interest.”

The UNGA is an important annual conference where all the world’s leaders get together to discuss and try to resolve some of the world’s most pressing problems including President Zelenskyy who is expected to address the General Assembly via video link on Wednesday September 21st.

A delegation from the Ukrainian World Congress will also be attending the conference.

UN to Vote on Allowing Zelenskyy to Pre-Record Address to General Assembly

President Zelenskiy addressing a conference via video

Based on reporting by AP - The UN General Assembly will vote on September 16 on whether to make an exception to a rule requiring leaders to speak in person at the General Assembly to accommodate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The proposal would permit Zelenskyy to submit a pre-recorded statement to be played during the annual gathering of the 193-member body at which the leader or another top representative of each member state has an opportunity to speak.

The document expresses concern that leaders of "peace-loving" UN sovereign nations can't participate in person "for reasons beyond their control owing to ongoing foreign invasion, aggression, (and) military hostilities that do not allow safe departure from and return to their countries."

The document stresses that allowing Zelenskyy to submit a pre-recorded version of his speech would not set a precedent for future high-level assembly meetings.

The draft document refers to the General Assembly resolution adopted at an emergency special session on March 2 -- six days after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine -- demanding an immediate halt to Moscow’s offensive and withdrawal of all Russian troops. The vote on the resolution was 141 to 5 with 35 abstentions.

The proposal to let Zelenskyy pre-record his speech requires a majority vote in the assembly. If approved, his address will be delivered on September 21, according to the latest schedule.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual meeting of world leaders was all virtual in 2020 and hybrid in 2021. But this year all speeches must be in person.

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Those are just some of the major developments we have been working on this week. We will continue to keep you updated on our efforts and we thank all those who have donated, supported, and partnered with us so far – you are saving lives!!

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