UN member states voted on Friday 16 September to make an exception to allow Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky to address the General Assembly by video, despite Russia’s objections.
Of the 193 member states, 101 voted in favor of allowing Zelensky to “present a pre-recorded statement” rather than face-to-face as is normally required.
Seven member states, including Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February, voted against the proposal. 19 states abstained.
Starting Tuesday, about 150 heads of state and government will take to the podium to address the General Assembly in New York.
World leaders were allowed to speak via video in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but this year the event will return in person, allowing only those in attendance to speak.
More than 50 states, including the United States, France, South Korea and Turkey, have submitted proposals to make an exception for Zelensky.
The sentence highlights the situation in which leaders “are unable to attend the meetings of the General Assembly directly for reasons beyond their control because of ongoing foreign aggression, aggression and military hostilities.”
Proponents decided that Ukraine could “submit a pre-recorded statement of the head of state,” which would be played during the general debate.
However, he noted that the decision does not set an exception for future discussions.
Ukrainian ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kislitsa said he “deeply regrets that the president was unable to take part in person due to the Russian war”, citing “very special circumstances” as the cause. .
Russia rejected the allegations, with Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyansky denouncing the “politicization of procedural decisions”.
“If the General Assembly is prepared to consider the possibility of pre-recorded statements during the general debate, this right must be given to everyone who needs it,” he said. I got
Russia-allied Belarus voted 67 against, 23 in favor of an amendment that would allow all leaders to be banned from traveling to New York to send pre-recorded messages. was rejected with 27 abstentions.
Ukraine’s speech is scheduled for the afternoon of Sept. 21, but is likely to change as many leaders head to London for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday.