United Nations: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address the UN General Assembly on September 26, according to a provisional list of speakers issued by the world body for the high-level meeting.
For the first time in the UN’s 75-year history, the annual General Assembly session this year will be held virtually and heads of state and government will not be physically attending the annual gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic. World leaders will submit pre-recorded video statements for the session.
The Department for General Assembly and Conference Management at the UN on Tuesday issued the provisional list of speakers for the General Debate of the 75th session of the General Assembly to permanent missions.
According to the list, Modi is expected to address the General Debate on the morning of September 26. However, it must be noted that the list is provisional and two more iterations will take place as scheduled and speakers for the General Debate can change in the course of the next few weeks. The final speaking order for the General Debate could be different.
The General Debate will commence on September 22 and run through September 29.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is listed as the first speaker. The US is traditionally the second speaker on the opening day of the General Debate and it is expected that President Donald Trump will travel to New York to deliver the final address of his presidency’s first term in-person.
According to the provisional list, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and French President Emmanuel Macron are expected to address the virtual General Debate on an opening day.
The US is the host country of the United Nations and Trump will likely be the only world leader to address this year’s virtual high-level week in-person.
This would be Trump’s final address to the General Assembly of the first term of his presidency before the US heads into elections in November. Trump could use the UN platform to highlight his foreign policy achievements, while also touting his campaign agenda.
The Department for General Assembly and Conference Management said by the existing practice at the General Debate, a voluntary 15-minute time limit needs to be observed by the speakers.
In the case of pre-recorded statements, the time limit would include remarks by the representative physically present in the Assembly Hall to introduce the pre-recorded video along with the video itself.
The meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations will take place on September 21 and the Declaration will be formally adopted at the meeting.
Along with the General Debate and the anniversary commemoration, other key sessions will also be held virtually at the UN.
The Summit on Biodiversity will be held on September 30, the meeting of the General Assembly on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women on October 1 and the meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on October 2.
Member states will submit their pre-recorded video statements for these meetings as well.
The General Assembly had adopted a decision in July that each member state, observer state and the European Union can submit a pre-recorded statement of its head of state, vice-president, crown prince or princess, head of government, minister or vice-minister, which will be played in the General Assembly Hall during the General Debate after the introduction by their representative who is physically present in the Assembly Hall.
The General Assembly session had particular significance this year as it would have commemorated 75 years of the existence of the United Nations and would have seen tremendous participation from leaders of the 193 member states to mark the event.