World Leaders converge on UN headquarters: Five things to watch

World Leaders converge on UN headquarters: Five things to watch

A man passes with an umbrella in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York [File: Mike Segar/The Associated Press]

More than 100 world leaders and heads of government were converging on the New York headquarters of the United Nations this week for days of events and speeches to mark the beginning of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

The UN’s most prominent gathering – coming a year after it celebrated its 75th anniversary – began on Monday with high-level and bilateral meetings as well as a speech from South Korean supergroup BTS that drew a million viewers to its YouTube channel.

On Tuesday, nine days of the annual General Debate will begin. That will include opportunities for world leaders to address the wider international community, often with an eye to their home audience.

The gathering itself – a partial return to normalcy after the last year’s event were forced almost entirely online – reflects the reality of the world struggling to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

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