Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not scheduled to be at the high-level UN General Assembly session in September this year but two newly elected leaders of troubled South Asian countries, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe, are among the scheduled participants, media reports here stated.
Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, Sher Bahadur Deuba of Nepal and Lotay Tshering of Bhutan are also listed to be speakers during the 2022 General Assembly of thew world body.
The Taliban regime, which is not recognized by any country, does not have a slot, nor does anyone from the government of ousted President Ashraf Ghani, which still in effect holds the country’s seat at the UN.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is likely to be the possible speaker at the UN, representing India, according to the roster of speakers available Wednesday at the United Nations.
Modi has so far addressed the General Assembly four times in person and once by video. He skipped the meeting in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
In a sign of the world emerging from the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, all the speeches will be in person at this year’s session that begins on September 20, Paulina Kubiak, the spokesperson for Assembly President Abdulla Shahid, said on Wednesday.
The high-level session went all virtual in 2020 and turned hybrid last year with some speaking remotely and others like Modi attending in person.
The leaders are scheduled in a hierarchical order starting with the 101 heads of state, followed by prime ministers, the deputies, the ministers and others.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, which will take up a chunk of the session’s bandwidth, is scheduled to be at the meeting this year.