For the first time in the UN’s 75-year history, the General Assembly of the UN will be held virtually starting from September 21 through September 29, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Heads of State and Government therefore will not be travelling to New York for the General Assembly and will instead submit pre-recorded video statements for the various summits and sessions that will be played in the iconic General Assembly hall in New York.
The General debate, which is scheduled from September 22 to 29, will see 119 Heads of State and 54 Heads of Government speak through pre-recorded video statements as opposed to previous year’s in-person sessions.
UN chief Antonio Guterres said the virtual edition of the General Assembly will see a record attendance of Heads of State and Government who will make their national statements recorded in their own countries and broadcast it in the General Assembly room where permanent representatives will be present.
“Virtual participation may mean that a record number of Heads of States and Government take part in the high-level week, but going online will undoubtedly create new challenges. We will need to learn as we go, and continue to demonstrate the greatest flexibility,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address the high-level meeting on September 26 through a pre-recorded statement.