The annual general debate of the UN General Assembly in New York begins on Tuesday (from 3 p.m. CEST) with Joe Biden’s first speech as US President. At the start, speeches by representatives from Brazil, Iran, Turkey, France and Switzerland are also expected. Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen traveled to New York on Sunday. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (both ÖVP) flew to on Monday.
After the general debate last year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, mainly ended with pre-recorded video speeches, many heads of state and government traveled to New York again this year, albeit with significantly smaller delegations. The rest of the representatives from the 193 member states take part online.
The focus of the event, scheduled until Monday, is to be on the coronavirus pandemic and climate change. Numerous conflicts like the one in Afghanistan will also be an issue. Several side events are planned, including a high-level online summit on Wednesday for a fairer international distribution of vaccines, organized by US President Biden.