gwar in Ukraine, climatic disasters, food insecurity… In a world besieged by crises, the leaders of the planet follow one another from this Tuesday, September 20 at the podium of the UN General Assembly tested by divisions deep. For nearly a week, some 150 heads of state and government from around the world will speak at this annual diplomatic high mass, which resumes in person after two years disrupted by Covid-19.
Traditionally, this first day gives pride of place to the speech of the American president, who as leader of the host country of the United Nations headquarters is expressed in the prime ministers. But exceptionally, as on very rare occasions in the past – this will not be the case: Joe Biden, who was at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, postponed his intervention to Wednesday.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will be there with an opening speech for this 77e General Assembly which “is not going to water down things”, promised its spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, evoking a picture “posed, real and focused on solutions” of a world “where geopolitical divisions put us all in danger”. “We have come together at a time of great peril for the world,” Antonio Guterres stressed on Monday, indicating “conflicts and climatic disasters”, “mistrust and division”, “poverty, inequality and discrimination”.
The war in Ukraine annoys
On the danger side, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be at the heart of this high-level diplomatic week, with an intervention on Wednesday by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – by video thanks to a special authorization voted last week by member states – and a Security Council on Thursday at the level of foreign ministers.
But the countries of the South are increasingly annoyed that Westerners are focusing their attention on Ukraine. “We don’t just want to talk about ending the conflict in Ukraine. We want the conflicts to end in Tigray, we want the conflicts to end in Syria, we want the conflicts to end where they point their noses in the world”, thus hammered Monday the Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley during a preliminary day focusing on education and development goals.
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In an attempt to respond to the concerns of certain countries, Americans and Europeans are organizing a high-level meeting on Tuesday on food security, a consequence of this war from which the whole planet is suffering. French President Emmanuel Macron, who will be at the podium on Tuesday in the middle of the day, will insist on the need to prevent the “fracture” between countries of the North and the South, it is said at the Élysée, specifying that the leader of the State will host a dinner on this theme with several other leaders.
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While the Chinese and Russian presidents will be the major absentees on Tuesday, Brazilian heads of state Jair Bolsonaro and Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will take the podium. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is also in New York this week for his first General Assembly and the nuclear issue could once again be at the center of discussions.
Even if the negotiations to save the Iranian nuclear agreement of 2015 then take place in Vienna, Ebrahim Raïssi must notably have a meeting on Tuesday with Emmanuel Macron who has encouraged him in recent months during telephone interviews to accept the proposed conditions. by the Europeans to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement. The text is supposed to prevent Tehran from acquiring the atomic bomb in exchange for the lifting of suffocating sanctions on its economy.
“The ball is in the Iranians’ court”, declared Emmanuel Macron at the end of August, judging that an agreement would be “useful” even if it “would not settle everything”.
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