Amidst the still raging coronavirus pandemic and recovering Empire State, leaders from around 100 countries from across the globe are to reconvene for the United Nations’ annual high-level gathering. The high-level meetings are to start today and end on September 27.
Unlike last year, this time, the annual meet will be taking place in person, with countries having to discuss an escalating climate crisis and severe vaccine inequities to Afghanistan’s future under its new Taliban rulers and worsening conflicts in Myanmar and the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has stated that the world is at “a pivotal moment” and must shift gears to “a greener and a safer world.” To do that, leaders need to give multilateralism “teeth,” starting with joint action to reverse the global failure to tackle COVID-19 in 2020 and to ensure that 70% of the world’s population is vaccinated in the first half of 2022.
To ensure the city’s safety, all attendees are required to be tested and fully vaccinated. Assembly President Abdulla Shahid said in a letter Thursday that the U.N. is relying on an honor system only. That means there will be no New York City police checking people entering U.N. headquarters.
The meet is to commence today morning as the secretary-general brings world leaders and the global pop sensation band BTS together to put a spotlight on the 17 U.N. goals for 2030 ranging from ending poverty and protecting the planet to achieving gender equality, providing every child a quality education and ensuring healthy lives for all people.