The 193-member United Nations General Assembly announced on Friday that it had allowed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to speak next week at the annual meeting of world leaders with pre-recorded video.
The decision was adopted by 101 votes to 7 with 19 abstentions. Russia, Belarus, Cuba, North Korea, Eritrea, Nicaragua and Syria voted against.
The Ukrainian representation at the UN argued that Zelenskiy “cannot personally attend the sessions of the General Assembly due to the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine.”
Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polanski, said Moscow had always stood for “personal diplomacy at the United Nations,” and accused its Western counterparts of double standards.
– This is happening at a time when representatives of African countries, who often face similar difficulties when it comes to coming to New York (…), have been denied a similar right – said Polanski on Friday at the General Assembly.
For the past two years, world leaders have been able to make video statements about the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year they were expected to come to New York to speak at the UN General Assembly hall.
The UN General Assembly is one of the six main organs of this organization, established under the Charter of the United Nations. It meets in annual ordinary sessions, starting on the second Tuesday in September, and in extraordinary sessions when requested by the Secretary-General or a majority of members (so far there have been 24 extraordinary sessions). The 77th ordinary session of the UN General Assembly began on Tuesday, September 13 and is expected to run until September 27. At the Assembly, each country has one vote. Each occurrence must be notified in advance.
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