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‘Trump likely to be only world leader speaking in person in UN General Assembly’: UN envoy

US Ambassador Kelly Craft said, ‘…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.’

SNS | New Delhi |

Amid Coronavirus pandemic, President of United States Donald Trump is likely to travel to New York to attend the annual United Nations(UN) General Assembly session in September, the only world leader to address this year’s virtual high-level week in person, the US envoy to the UN said.

US Ambassador Kelly Craft said, “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,” on Thursday, at a virtual briefing.

As the UN is commemorating its 75th anniversary this year, Craft said, “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.”

The annual General Assembly session, for the first time in the UN’s 75-year history, 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 high-level week, the 193-member organisation had decided last week.

US is the host country of the United Nations and there is a possibility that President Trump could travel to New York to address the General Debate of the 75th session of the Assembly on September 22.

The US is traditionally the second speaker at the debate after Brazil. This would be President Trump’s final address to the General Assembly of the first term of his presidency before the US heads into elections in November and he could use the UN platform to highlight his foreign policy achievements while also tout his campaign agenda.

The General Assembly while deciding for a virtual UNGA, had noted “with concern” the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the “limitations recommended on meetings within the United Nations premises as precautionary measures aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19.”

So, for the first time all the heads of state and government and ministers will not gather here for the high-level week that annually brings thousands of diplomats, government officials, civil society members and media persons from around the world to New York City.

Earlier, addressing a virtual press conference in June, General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande had said that world leaders cannot come to New York for the annual UN General Assembly session in September because of the COVID19 pandemic.

(With PTI inputs)