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UNGA session to be ‘assembly of empty chairs’ as some world leaders won’t show up — TV

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are not scheduled to attend the event

GENEVA, September 18. /TASS/. The upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly risks to turn into an assembly of empty chairs as some important political leaders, including from Russia and China, will not attend the event in New York this year, journalist Sebastian Ramspeck said in an article published on the website of the Swiss SRF television channel.

The journalist said the UN General Assembly is traditionally considered "the most important global political event of the year." This year, however, some "important figures, including [Chinese President] Xi Jinping, [Russian President] Vladimir Putin and [Indian Prime Minister] Narendra Modi" are not scheduled to attend, although "there are plenty of issues for discussion," Ramspeck said. Their absence will make the event "an assembly of empty chairs."

Ramspeck wrote that it seems important for the UN leadership to discuss the so-called sustainable development goals, namely the reduction of poverty and hunger, as well as the development of education and health care in the world. According to the journalist, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is scheduled to address the assembly on September 19 to seek further support in the conflict with Russia, but he said that behind the scenes, Western governments will discuss the Ukrainian conflict "more intensely than before." That’s because, according to Ramspeck, support for Ukraine is "waning" in many countries, including in the United States.

The high-level week of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly will begin in New York on September 19. This year, Biden will be the only leader from the five permanent UN Security Council member countries to attend the UNGA. The leaders of Russia, Britain, China, and France are not planning to visit New York this year.

On September 20, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will attend a meeting of BRICS foreign ministers on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UNGA in New York.