The United Nations General Assembly is set to return to an in-person meeting for the first time in two years amid general division in the world instigated by the war in Ukraine.
After two years of pandemic restrictions and video addresses, the UN General Assembly has asked leaders to come in person if they wish to address the world at the occasion — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is the only leader who has been granted an exception.
But the death of Queen Elizabeth II disrupted the summit anew. President Joe Biden of the United States, by tradition the second speaker on the first day, will instead speak on Wednesday.
The first day will feature French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the leaders of the two largest economies of the European Union, which has mobilized to impose tough sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Top EU diplomat Josep Borrell told reporters in New York that, “This year, Ukraine will be very high on the agenda. It will be unavoidable,” whearas German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has vowed to support countries hardest hit by the fallout from the war as she headed to the General Assembly on Tuesday.
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