The president of the U.N. General Assembly said Monday that world leaders will not be coming to New York for their annual gathering in late September for the first time in the 75-year history of the United Nations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Tijjani Muhammad-Bande told a news conference that he hopes to announce in the next two weeks how the 193 heads of state and government will give their speeches on pressing local and world issues during the assembly’s so-called General Debate.
“World leaders cannot come to New York because they cannot come simply as individuals,” he said. “A president doesn’t travel alone, leaders don’t travel alone” and “it is impossible” to bring large delegations to New York during the pandemic.
“We cannot have them in person as we used to — what happened in the last 74 years — but it will happen” Muhammad-Bande said of the annual event.
Read more at TIME.