UN chief welcomes world leaders as 78th General Assembly session kicks off
September 19, 2023 07:26 pm
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the heads of state, including President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the UN Head Quarters in new York, the President’s Media Division (PMD) reported.
Meanwhile, the General Debate of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) commenced at the UNHQ a short while ago.
Heads of state and government from at least 145 countries are expected to take the dais at this year’s general assembly, presided over by Trinidad and Tobago’s Dennis Francis.
Among those scheduled to speak on Tuesday are Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the US president Joe Biden, and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy – who is appearing at the UN in person for the first time since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of his country.
But there are some notable absences; the leaders of the UK, France, China and Russia will not be attending, meaning Biden will the sole leader of the UN security council’s five permanent members to appear at the UN. Leaders from major countries such as India and Mexico are also slated to send ministers in their steads.