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  • This year the General Assembly Hall will be empty due to COVID-19.

    This year the General Assembly Hall will be empty due to COVID-19. | Photo: AFP

Published 18 June 2020
Opinion

In accordance with this, heads of state and ministers will submit their pre-recorded video statements, which will be played on the screens of the General Assembly Hall.

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande's proposal to have heads of state submit a video statement at this year's General Assembly's meeting was approved Thursday amid COVID-19 measures.

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The proposal came as a preventive measure as New York, the seat of United Nations Headquarters, is by far the most affected U.S. city.

"UNGA President has proposed that only the president of the General Assembly and the United Nations (UN) secretary-general will be delivering live speeches in the General Assembly Hall for the opening of the General Debate, which is scheduled for Sept. 22-29," a U.N. spokesperson announced.

In accordance with this, heads of state and ministers will submit their pre-recorded video statements, which will be played on the screens of the General Assembly Hall. As a requirement, video statements cannot exceed 15 minutes and should be submitted five days in advance.

"Muhammad-Bande wants the video statements to be pre-recorded to make sure that the General Debate will not be disrupted by technical glitches that are common in live streaming," the spokeswoman explained.

"We don't want to be in a position that the signal is not good enough, so the speech of a president would be cut off, we want to avoid all these technical errors that happen all the time."

In 2019 high-level meeting 125 heads of state and government made live speeches.

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