The UN General Assembly celebrates the war in Ukraine

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

United Nations, 20 September (EFE) — Leaders from around the world will address the UN General Assembly today, marked this year by the war in Ukraine and several crises exacerbated by that conflict.

After 2020, when the General Assembly was held virtually due to the pandemic, and 2021, when it was held in a hybrid manner, in this case, all leaders who intervene do so in person from New York.

The one exception is precisely Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has been given permission to address the rest of the world via pre-recorded video given the state of war in his country.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on the screen during a meeting of the UN Security Council. EFE/EPA/PETER FOLEY/File


The war in Ukraine will be the theme of this year’s great week of international diplomacy, which takes place during Kyiv’s military offensives that have allowed it to reclaim some of the territory occupied by Russia.

So far, a clear majority of the world’s countries have supported Ukraine at the United Nations, and it is expected that this week the Western powers will also try to enlist the support of major countries that have been more or less on the sidelines for months, as this is the case from India.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not go to New York, and his government delegation will be headed by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

In addition to addressing the Assembly, Lavrov will take part in a ministerial meeting on Ukraine at the Security Council on Thursday.


Another issue that will be at the center of the debate at the UN General Assembly will be the food crisis, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.

Much attention is also expected to the conflict-related energy crisis – of direct relevance to European countries, but to the world at large due to rising fuel prices – and climate change – with the UN looking for new citizens’ commitments.

The economic situation, marked by strong inflation around the world, will also figure prominently in the speeches of many leaders.

With thousands of diplomats present in New York, in parallel with the General Assembly, there will be an opportunity to discuss all kinds of issues, including key issues on the international agenda, such as nuclear negotiations with Iran, the situation of deep-rooted conflicts such as in Yemen, Libya or Syria, and crises in various African countries, especially in the Sahel.


Logistically, this year’s meetings will be driven to some extent by the celebration of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. The presence of many heads of state in London will prevent their participation in this meeting and, moreover, will change the usual scenario of the General Assembly.

For example, US President Joe Biden, who always speaks on opening day, will not speak on the matter until tomorrow.

Yes, this launch will have Jair Bolsonaro, who will carry out the tradition and, as President of Brazil, deliver the first speech among the more than one hundred heads of state and government that will pass through the rostrum of the General Assembly.


Today’s session will have an important Latin American presence and will mark the UN premiere of several of the region’s new leaders, such as the Chilean Gabriel Boric, the Colombian Gustavo Petro and the Honduran Xiomar Castro.

Along with these new banners of the Latin American left, Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, Argentinean Alberto Fernandez and Bolivian Luis Arce will speak.

Other Latin American leaders of various political stripes are also expected to attend, such as Presidents of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benítez; from Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei; and from El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, who will arrive in New York after announcing his controversial decision to run for re-election.

Among the most important leaders who will speak this day are French President Emmanuel Macron; German Chancellor Olaf Scholz; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; and Prime Ministers of Italy Mario Draghi and Japan Kishida Fumio.

Online edition: Marina Gonzalez

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at

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