Zelenskyy arrives in the US and will address the UN General Assembly: what issues will be key and what Ukraine should expect

Maryna LisnychukPolitics
Zelenskyy will speak at the UN General Assembly in New York

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has arrived in the United States to address the United Nations General Assembly, which will take place on September 19-21. The debate will focus on holding Russia accountable for its aggression against Ukraine and war crimes.

In addition, the Ukrainian leader is to attend a meeting of the UN Security Council and meet with world leaders, including his American counterpart Joe Biden. OBOZREVATEL tells you what is known about this and what expectations are placed on Zelenskyy's visit to the United States (to see photos and videos, scroll down to the end of the article).

During his speech at the UN General Assembly, US President Joseph Biden said that for almost two years now, the international community has been alarmed by "the terrible war waged by Russia against its neighbor."

"Like all other nations, the United States wants this war to end. But no one wants this war to end more than Ukraine. We have been the most active in supporting Ukraine in finding a diplomatic solution to this crisis to ensure a lasting peace. But only Russia is responsible for this war. Only Russia has the ability to end this war immediately. And only Russia stands on the path to peace," the American leader emphasized.

According to him, "Russia's price for peace" is the surrender of Ukraine, Ukrainian territories and Ukrainian children. And Russia plans to achieve its goals by prolonging the fighting.

"Russia expects the world to get tired. It will allow it to seize Ukraine without any consequences. However, let's ask ourselves: if we abandon the basic principles of the UN to please the aggressor, can every member of this General Assembly feel confident that they will be protected? If Ukraine falls, will the independence of each of you be protected? And I think the answer is the same: we need to fight against such actions of Russia today so that there are no aggressors tomorrow. That's why the United States, together with partners and allies around the world, stands with Ukraine as they (Ukrainians - Ed.) defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and freedom of their country," Biden emphasized.

Debate at the UN General Assembly

The 78th session of the UN General Assembly has already started in New York. More than 140 heads of state and government are expected to gather at the organization's headquarters in the United States.

Zelenskyy arrives in the US and will address the UN General Assembly: what issues will be key and what Ukraine should expect

According to the schedule, the week of debate is dedicated to the topic "Restoring trust and global solidarity: accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its sustainable development goals to ensure peace, prosperity, progress and resilience for all." Another topic will be holding the terrorist state of Russia legally accountable for its aggression against Ukraine and war crimes.

On the first day of the debate, about 40 presidents will take the floor, including US President Joe Biden, Poland's Andrzej Duda, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Brazil's Lula da Silva, the Czech Republic's Petr Pavel, and others.

According to the schedule, Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy will speak on the fourteenth, in the first half of Tuesday. Biden will speak before him, followed by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Before his speech, the Ukrainian president called for Russia's expulsion from the Security Council.

What Zelenskyy will talk about

Mykhailo Podolyak, Advisor to the Head of the Presidential Office, said that at the UN, the President will defend the need for a speedy victory over Russia. He will also explain why the war must have a just end and why helping Ukraine is a contribution to stability and the restoration of international law.

In addition, he wants to convey to world leaders that "the end of the war can be accelerated if there is a sufficient amount of weapons for Ukraine."

Zelenskyy arrives in the US and will address the UN General Assembly: what issues will be key and what Ukraine should expect

Another presidential spokesperson, Igor Zhovkva, indicated back in August that Zelenskyy would talk about a peace formula, a special tribunal for Russia, and a mechanism for compensation for war damage at the UN. According to him, the visit will still be devoted to meetings on the so-called peace formula.

LB.ua, citing sources in diplomatic circles, writes that in New York, Zelenskyy will not present the "peace formula," but will instead promote it and inform countries about the implementation of certain points. At the same time, the Ukrainian side intends to expand the geography by inviting a certain number of states to join the president's peace initiative.

Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, explained the importance of the fact that the President of Ukraine is on the list of speakers at the General Assembly in the first half of the first day. In his opinion, this "reflects the place and importance that Ukraine occupies in global issues."

What to expect from the debates and meetings

Last week, EU High Representative Josep Borrell said that during the UN General Assembly, the European Union would express its firm support for Ukraine and reiterate the need for reforms in the Security Council, whose decisions are blocked by Russia. In his opinion, this step will help make the Security Council a more representative organization to reflect the changes that have taken place in the world.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, on the other hand, noted that at the session at the UN headquarters in New York, representatives of the member states will again raise the issue of bloody aggression that Moscow continues. It is known that the German politician will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the event. Preliminarily, they will hold talks on further assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, including long-range Taurus missiles.

According to The Washington Post, at the next session of the General Assembly, the presidents of the United States and Ukraine may face opposition from the leaders of the so-called Global South. It is noted that many of these countries still maintain economic and diplomatic ties with the Kremlin, and therefore do not support anti-Russian sanctions and only want an early end to the war through immediate negotiations with Moscow and are not ready to support Kyiv.

Zelenskyy arrives in the US and will address the UN General Assembly: what issues will be key and what Ukraine should expect

Valeriy Klochok, political expert and head of the Center for Public Analysis "Vezha", said in a commentary to Channel 24 that despite this, much will be determined for Ukraine on September 19-21. He believes that Volodymyr Zelenskyy's bilateral meetings may be the most important. In particular, the president will discuss the supply of long-range ATACMS missiles with Joe Biden, military assistance from Israel with Benjamin Netanyahu, and the "peace formula " with the leaders of the Global South, which still remain neutral.

According to the expert, the success of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the front line can significantly strengthen Ukraine's position. This is what is likely to have a direct impact on the decision to provide the same missiles. At the same time, the UN General Assembly may announce a so-called peace plan for our country. Although there are no details yet, Klochok suggested that it will be about the agreements reached during the summits in Copenhagen and Jeddah.

"Of course, this all fits into the framework of preparing the final document on peace in Ukraine. On what terms? We want it to be on our terms," he said.

As reported by OBOZREVATEL, in parallel with these events, the International Court of Justice is considering the second case in Ukraine's lawsuit against Russia - on the Genocide Convention. Hearings in this process resumed on September 18, and it is unprecedented in that 34 countries are involved and it has great consequences.

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