WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
World leaders are returning to New York, physically or virtually, for the world’s largest diplomatic stage – the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The 76th UNGA officially opened on September 14 with the oath-taking of Abdulla Shahid of Maldives as General Assembly president.
For the most important part of the gathering, heads of government and diplomats are set to discuss pressing issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic during the UNGA’s General Debate to be held from September 21 to September 27.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, US President Joe Biden, and Chinese President Xi Jinping are among the world leaders expected to address the UN this week.
Bookmark and refresh this page for articles, photos, and videos on the latest developments in the 76th United Nations General Assembly.
UN debates end with no one from Myanmar, Afghanistan addressing world leaders
No representatives from Myanmar and Afghanistan, two Asian countries gripped by political turmoil and violence, addressed the world’s biggest diplomatic stage during the 76th United Nations General Assembly.
Both countries’ sitting ambassadors to the UN were initially scheduled to speak on the last day of the General Debate past 3 am (Manila time) on Tuesday, September 28.
But the diplomats later withdrew their names amid competing claims over the UN seats of Myanmar and Afghanistan.
When Harry – and Meghan – met the UN chief in New York
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited the United Nations in New York on Saturday, September 25, to meet with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the 193-member world body’s annual gathering of leaders.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in New York to attend the Global Citizen Live concert in Central Park later on Saturday, which aims to push for greater action to combat climate change and urge rich countries to share one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines with nations most in need.
Read more here.
Myanmar will not address world leaders at UN, Afghanistan will
No representative from Myanmar is scheduled to address the annual high-level UN General Assembly, a UN spokesman said on Friday, September 24, amid rival claims for the country’s UN seat in New York after a military coup ousted the elected government.
Competing claims have also been made on Afghanistan’s UN seat after the Taliban seized power last month. The ambassador for the ousted government is set to give his speech on Monday.
“At this point, Myanmar is not speaking,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
Read more here.
Maria Ressa urges world leaders: ‘Act now’ vs infodemic threatening democracies
Rappler CEO and president Maria Ressa appealed to world leaders for urgent action against disinformation during the first global Ministerial Summit for Information and Democracy held on the sidelines of the 76th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Friday, September 24.
“All around the world, these populist digital authoritarians are using the scorched earth policy to get elected. Then they use the formal powers of their post, the tools of democracy, to cave institutions in from within. It’s time to end the whack-a-mole approach on the technology platforms to fix what they’ve broken,” Ressa said. “Please, we need you to act now.”
Duterte told: UN only ‘as strong, effective as member-states want and will it to be’
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric responds to President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest tirades against the global organization, which the Philippine leader described as “inadequate’ and a ‘product of an era long past.”
In UN climate push, UK PM disputes Kermit: ‘It is easy to be green’
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed the world to “grow up” and tackle climate change during his annual United Nations address to world leaders on Wednesday, September 22, and contradicted Muppets character Kermit the Frog by saying: “It is easy to be green.”
Ahead of a critical climate conference in Glasgow, which kicks off on October 31, Johnson told the UN General Assembly: “We have an awesome power to change things and to change things for the better, and an awesome power to save ourselves.”