Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses the United Nations Security Council in New York via video link during a meeting on April 5.
The UN General Assembly will vote on September 16 on whether to make an exception to a rule requiring leaders to speak in person at the General Assembly to accommodate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
The proposal would permit Zelenskiy to submit a pre-recorded statement to be played during the annual gathering of the 193-member body at which the leader or another top representative of each member state has an opportunity to speak.
The document expresses concern that leaders of "peace-loving" UN sovereign nations can't participate in person "for reasons beyond their control owing to ongoing foreign invasion, aggression, (and) military hostilities that do not allow safe departure from and return to their countries."
The document stresses that allowing Zelenskiy to submit a pre-recorded version of his speech would not set a precedent for future high-level assembly meetings.
The draft document refers to the General Assembly resolution adopted at an emergency special session on March 2 -- six days after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine -- demanding an immediate halt to Moscow’s offensive and withdrawal of all Russian troops. The vote on the resolution was 141 to 5 with 35 abstentions.
The proposal to let Zelenskiy pre-record his speech requires a majority vote in the assembly. If approved, his address will be delivered on September 21, according to the latest schedule.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual meeting of world leaders was all virtual in 2020 and hybrid in 2021. But this year all speeches must be in person.