- Buhari, Brazilian President, Others To Speak Via Video Link
By Hamilton Nwosa (Head, The New Diplomat’s Polling, Research and Data Desk)
Given the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s 75th United Nations General Assembly in New York would be held principally through virtual proceedings. The theme of this year’s UNGA which focuses on “The future We Want, The United Nations We Need: Reflecting Our Collective Commitment To Multi-lateralism” would be attended virtually by many Heads of States and Governments across the world.
The New Diplomat’s findings indicate that the proceedings would commence on September 15 with the high-level General Debate scheduled to hold between September 22nd – 25th.
Going by the schedule of programme which is still being reviewed daily, only the United States President, Donald Trump as the leader of the host country of the UN would physically be present to address the United Nations General Assembly during the high-level debate.
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President Trump is billed to speak between September 22nd and 25th. Trump would however be preceded by the President of Brazil who customarily speaks first before all other world leaders and presidents. This has been the conventional practice since 1955 when Brazil was given the slot as the first speaker. Brazil is immediately followed by the host country, the United States.
Diplomatic sources hinted that so far “the Brazilian President has not confirmed to attend physically so he would likely speak via video link or send in recorded speech, and in line with UN protocols, he would speak first or his recorded speech would be aired first, then followed by President Trump.”
The source added: “President Trump has confirmed that he would physically be present. So far, he is the only one coming physically to address the UNGA during the high-level General Debate.” It was also gathered that Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari may participate virtually. Going by the planned schedule, President Buhari is expected to speak on this year’s theme between 22nd and 25th September.
Recall that Ambassador Muhammad-Bande, the President of the outgoing 74th Session of the UN General Assembly who is Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN had on Tuesday urged Heads of States and Governments to also share with the world the difficulties they encounter in their bilateral relation in linens during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Envoy this would help the UN to design methods for improved systems in its drive for a better system of multilateralism across global jurisdictions.
Recall that the UN General Debate provides a unique opportunity for Heads of States and Governments to speak on subject matters of global significance. However, most world leaders would this year be allowed to send pre-recorded speeches or speak via video links to be provided by the UN.