ED opts to attend UN general assembly virtually

President Mnangagwa
President Mnangagwa

Rhys Balicholo

President Mnangagwa will miss this year’s United Nations General Assembly opting to attend the annual meetings held at the UN Headquarters in New York virtually.

In a statement, presidential spokesperson, George Charamba said the decision was in line with President Mnangagwa’s decision was informed by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers of this year’s UN assembly have recommended a hybrid were where member states have an option to either attend physically through country delegations or virtually through online platforms.

“In light of the continuing Covid-19 global threat and to allow for the consolidation of reforms and recovery of our economy whose fundamentals are pointing in a positive trajectory, His Excellency the President, Dr E.D. Mnangagwa, has this year decided not to attend the UN General Assembly in person,” Charamba said.

Charamba said President Mnangagwa will participate at the UN General Assembly virtually via video conferencing including his pre-recorded address which is slotted for Thursday, September 23, 2021.

The President will also virtually attend any other high level meetings occurring on the side-lines of the main debate.

This year’s United Nations General Assembly is scheduled for September 21 to 27 September at the UN headquarters in New York.

“Key issues and decisions are set to be discussed and decided on in due course of the General Assembly,” Charamba said.

Some of the key issues set for discussion at the UNGA include appointment of a new Secretary-General on the recommendation of the Security Council, electing the non-permanent members of the Security Council and approving the UN budget.

President Mnangagwa and his predecessor, the late President Robert Mugabe, have been accused of traveling with a large delegation including family members to the UN meeting.

While Mugabe was accused of taking his inner circle for shopping sprees in New York with a delegation of more than 100 people, President Mnangagwa has opted to travel using chartered planes.

Most members of President Mngangagwa’s delegation travel using commercial airlines unlike Mugabe who used to charter Air Zimbabwe planes.

The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed at least 4.6 million lives while 219 million people have been infected by by the virus.

In Zimbabwe, a total of 126 000 cases have been confirmed while 4 482 people have succumbed to the virus.


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