U.S. President Donald Trump hopes to address the U.N. General Assembly in person in September, his U.N. envoy said on Thursday, while all other world leaders will send videos instead of traveling to New York amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The annual high-level gathering had been shaping up to be a weeklong celebration of the 75th anniversary of the world body, but U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres suggested in May that leaders send video statements due to likely travel issues.
The 193-member General Assembly agreed last week to the special measures.
“We’re hoping that President Trump will actually be speaking in person in the General Assembly. He will be the only world leader to be speaking in person,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft told the Meridian International diplomacy think tank.
“Obviously we’re going to be focused on human rights issues, on transparency, on accountability,” she added.
The United States is traditionally the second country after Brazil to address the General Assembly, which is due to start this year on Sept. 22.
The coronavirus has infected at least 17.1 million people and there have been more than 668,000 known deaths worldwide, according to a Reuters tally. New York was an epicenter earlier this year for the virus, which emerged in China in December.