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Jakarta Post

UN proposes pre-recorded leader addresses for General Assembly


    Kyodo News

New York, United States   /   Wed, May 20, 2020   /   11:34 am
UN proposes pre-recorded leader addresses for General Assembly This combination created of nine video grabs taken on May 18, 2020 from the website of the World Health Organization shows (top to bottom, LtoR) WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering their speech via video link at the opening of the World Health Assembly virtual meeting from the WHO headquarters in Geneva, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. - The World Health Organization on May 18 kicked off its first ever virtual assembly, but fears abound that US-China tensions could derail the strong action needed to address the COVID-19 crisis. (AFP/- / World Health Organization )

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has proposed pre-recordings of speeches by world leaders to be aired during the annual General Assembly in September, in lieu of the leaders gathering at UN headquarters amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Guterres sent a letter to Nigeria's Ambassador to the United Nations Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, who chairs this year's General Assembly, asking him to examine the possibility of a format using pre-recorded addresses or other measures due to the virus outbreak.

Following guidance from the chairman, the international body's 193 member states will determine how to handle the speeches at the gathering.

Although all 50 US states are moving to reopen their economies, New York City and some surrounding areas remain under large-scale social distancing.

Workers at UN headquarters in Manhattan have been asked to work from home until the end of June.

Guterres has indicated that it will be difficult for heads of state to gather in New York in September due to possible continued quarantine measures and restrictions for large gatherings.