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UNGA General Debate to be bare bones this year as four permanent members skip out — expert

"The only member of the highest decision-making body who will speak is" US President Joe Biden, Guga Chacra underscored

RIO DE JANEIRO, September 19. /TASS/. The opening of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and the coming General Debate will be lacking something without the leaders of four out of the five countries with permanent seats on the UN Security Council, namely Russia, Great Britain, China and France, Guga Chacra wrote in an opinion piece for O Globo.

"Four out of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council will not participate in the General Debate of the UN General Assembly. [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, [Chinese leader] Xi Jinping, [British Prime Minister] Rishi Sunak and [French leader] Emmanuel Macron will not be in New York this week. The only member of the highest decision-making body who will speak is the host, [US President] Joe Biden. These absences, along with the non-attendance of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, show how lean the most important annual event of the entity that brings together 193 countries will be this year," the columnist wrote in the Brazilian newspaper on Monday.

The high-level week of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly opens in New York on September 19. It is traditionally attended by heads of state and government as well as foreign ministers and representatives of international organizations from around the globe. This year’s High-Level Week will be held with no health restrictions for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic, with speakers being obliged to address all events in person and no video addresses being allowed.