TRUMP likely to be an only world leader to address coming UN General Assembly session in person

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AS  most of 193 members of the United Nations are unlikely to travel to its imposing headquarters in New York to address its 75 annual general assembly session due to coronavirus, US President Donald Trump is expected to address it in his home town in person. Kelly Craft, the US envoy to the UN, has not ruled out the possibility saying  We’re hoping that President Trump will actually be speaking in person in the General Assembly. He will be the only world leader to be speaking in person. Coincidently, Trump was born and raised in Queens, a borough of New York City, 74 years ago. Speaking to media persons, Craft said that with the UN commemorating its 75th anniversary this year, that makes it even more special that we really take the virtual and amplify it to be able to celebrate the 75th and obviously we’re going to be focused on human rights issues, on transparency, accountability because anytime during COVID where the American taxpayers have really stepped up on a personal level, it’s now. For the first time, the annual General Assembly session 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 as has been decided by the world body. Kelly Craft says since the US is the host country of the United Nations, there is a possibility that Trump would address the General Debate on September 22. As per protocols being observed by the multinational body, The US  remains the second speaker at the annual event after Brazil. Since POTUS Trump is contesting for the second term to remain in the hallowed White House for another four years before November presidential election, he is expected to speak out on several national and international issues with particular reference to coronavirus impacted economy. PTI adds the coming General Assembly has noted with concern the situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic and the limitations recommended on meetings within the United Nations premises as precautionary measures aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19. Earlier at a virtual press conference, General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande had said that world leaders cannot come to New York for the annual UN General Assembly session because of the COVID-19 pandemic. World leaders cannot come to New York because they cannot come as single individuals. A president doesn’t travel alone. We don’t expect therefore to have presidents here, Muhammad-Bande said. Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, responding to a question on Trump addressing the UNGA session in person, said that the UN Secretariat will be in touch, through the Office of the President of the General Assembly, with the member states on their representation. We trust and expect that all member states will abide by the need to keep the numbers low, and we’ll see what they do in terms of their preparations added that the UN has made clear to all member states the need to keep the delegations’ number low during the high-level week. There is an absolute upper limit of how many people we can safely accommodate, and all Member States have been made aware of that. How they will adjust is a matter ultimately of discussion between the Member States and the United Nations. Along with the General Debate and 75th-anniversary commemoration, key high-level sessions will also be held virtually at the UN. The Summit on Biodiversity will be held on September 30, high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women on October 1 and the high-level meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on October 2. Each country would be encouraged to observe the time limit of 15 minutes in the General Debate that would include remarks in the Assembly Hall to introduce the pre-recorded video and the video itself. Muhammad-Bande has urged the Member States to limit footprint into the UN building and a maximum of two delegates will be permitted in the General Assembly Hall. Edited by @chakravartypk

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