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Despite Covid Risks, Many Leaders Plan to Attend U.N. General Assembly

todaySeptember 12, 2021

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A provisional list of speakers provided by U.N. officials, who said it could change up the last minute, indicated that President Biden would attend, for what would be his first address as president to the 193-member world body.

Mr. Biden, in contrast to the isolationist views of his predecessor, Donald J. Trump, is a United Nations enthusiast, and diplomats say a personal appearance would reinforce his “America is back” pledge.

The White House has not yet specified Mr. Biden’s plans.

According to the provisional list, top leaders from Brazil, Britain, Canada, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Turkey and Venezuela also plan to personally deliver their speeches, which are all scheduled for the second week. China’s speech will be delivered by its deputy prime minister, the list indicated, and Russia’s by its foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov.

Iran’s new president has opted to send a prerecorded video, but diplomats said the country’s new foreign minister is expected to attend.

Each delegation in the General Assembly hall will be permitted up to five members, compared with two in 2020, when the speeches of all member-state leaders were delivered via prerecorded video on a large screen to largely empty seats. The lack of spontaneity, physical contact and unscripted encounters created a stilted, artificial ambience that participants want to avoid replicating.

Original story from https://www.nytimes.com

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