September 29, 2022, 21:44

Ukraine and Food Crisis Expected to Be Focus of UN High-Level Week – 20.09.2022, Sputnik International

Ukraine and Food Crisis Expected to Be Focus of UN High-Level Week – 20.09.2022, Sputnik International


UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – The situation around Ukraine and the food and energy crisis will be among the main topics of the upcoming high-level week of the UN General Assembly session – the main foreign policy event of the year held from September 20 to 26 at the UN headquarters in New York.The General Assembly is taking place against the backdrop of the most powerful geopolitical divisions since the Cold War. The Russian delegation to the United Nations, which had problems obtaining US visas, is expected to work in the hostile atmosphere created by Western countries that have previously unleashed a sanctions war against Moscow, as well as a proxy war in Ukraine.Among Western leaders, US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Liz Truss, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz are expected to be at the high-level week among the speakers.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian leader Ibrahim Raisi are expected to speak. Brazil is expected to have President Jair Bolsonaro. China will be represented at the level of a vice-premier.

Key Events & Speeches

The Russian delegation to the UN is headed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He is scheduled to address the high-level week’s general debate on September 24. Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Lavrov would take part in a number of bilateral meetings and multilateral events. About two dozen bilateral meetings are expected.On the sidelines of the high-level week, a traditional meeting of the heads of the foreign ministries of the BRICS countries is planned. Lavrov will also meet with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Guterres, in an interview with Sputnik, said that he plans to discuss a grain deal with Lavrov, as well as the export of Russian food and fertilizers to world markets.Ukraine is represented at the general debate by President Vladimir Zelensky, however, as it turned out, he will not come to New York in-person. Despite the fact that this year’s debates involve only face-to-face participation, Kiev managed to achieve a decision in the General Assembly to go around Zelensky’s presence.

Ukrainian soldiers fire at Russian positions from a U.S.-supplied M777 howitzer in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region Saturday, June 18, 2022Zelensky’s pre-recorded video speech will be shown in the General Assembly hall. Kiev argued this is for security reasons, saying that Zelensky cannot leave Ukraine. Meanwhile, Richard Gowan, an expert at the International Crisis Group analytical center, believes that if Zelensky did come, his reception at the UN would not be as warm as he would like.According to Gowan, the African and Latin American member countries of the UN gradually “got tired of the Ukrainian topic,” and many do not want to constantly attack Russia.

"So, even if Zelensky came, he might find that the reaction to his presence would be somewhat colder than one might expect," Gowan said in a conversation with reporters.

Meanwhile, a number of diplomats told Sputnik that they have heard rumors about the alleged arrival of Zelensky’s wife for a high-level week. Sputnik has not yet been able to confirm this information officially.Also, as it became known to Sputnik from a source, one of the European countries plans to bring Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya as part of its delegation. As of now, it became clear that the country is – Estonia.Such a step, according to the UN source, may lead to thoughts that the Belarusian opposition is financed by the West and is used as a lever to undermine the situation in Belarus.Significant adjustments to the list of speakers were made by the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. By tradition, on September 20, after the President of Brazil, the American leader should speak. However, after it became known that Biden had flown to London for the funeral, his speech was moved to September 21.The speeches of some other heads of states and ministers, as many attend the funeral, also shifted.

Ukraine, Food & Energy Themes

Experts agree that the issue of the Ukrainian conflict will be one of the central issues this high-level week. In particular, a meeting of the Security Council on the situation in Ukraine at the ministerial level is expected on September 22.Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba will participate. Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken are expected to take part as well. As Gowan believes, during the high-level week, Biden and most Western leaders will repeat their theses against Russia, accusing it of “aggression” against Ukraine.

A boat with Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and U.N. officials heads to the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, to check if the grain shipment is in accordance with a crucial agreement signed last month by Moscow and Kyiv, at an inspection area in the Black Sea off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022Meanwhile, it will be interesting to hear what the nuances in the speeches will be, for example, the French leader Emmanuel Macron, who often stressed the need for diplomatic engagement with Moscow, will say.Another key topic this week will be food security and the crisis in the energy markets. According to Gowan, a summit on the topic of the global food crisis, hosted by the US, EU and African Union, is expected.In general, the world will have to hear a huge number of statements from Western leaders about what they are going to do to combat the global food crisis.


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