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Zelenskyy to address UN General Assembly: Details

Zelenskyy to address UN General Assembly: Details Photo: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will deliever a speech at the UN General Assembly today (Getty Images)

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as part of his visit to the United States, will deliver a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. His address is scheduled for September 19.

RBC-Ukraine has gathered all the available information as of now.

UN General Assembly Session 78: Theme of debates and speakers

The United Nations General Assembly is the principal advisory, directive, and representative organ of the United Nations. It consists of 193 members of the UN and serves as a forum for discussing international issues.

Today marks the beginning of a high-level week. During these days, leaders from 140 countries will gather in New York to discuss the world's major problems.

The declared theme of the debates is "Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all."

Зеленський виступить на Генасамблеї ООН: усі подробиці

Photo: The United Nations General Assembly convenes to discuss global issues (Getty Images)

As expected, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be among the speakers. However, according to AP, the most notable absence will be the leaders of France, the United Kingdom, and China - countries that are permanent members of the UN Security Council. French President Emmanuel Macron will miss the session due to a planned visit by British King Charles III, and Rishi Sunak is on a tight schedule.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell suggested that one of the key topics will be the Russian-Ukrainian war.

"This week comes indeed at a crucial moment for the world and the multilateral system. With its war of aggression against Ukraine, Russia, a nuclear power and permanent member of the UN Security Council, trampled on the UN Charter. We will again use this year’s High-Level Week to explain our unwavering support for Ukraine and rally countries from every corner of the world to team up with us in defense of the UN charter and refusal of Russia’s neoimperialism," he said.

According to the schedule, the session will be opened on September 19 by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and President of the General Assembly Dennis Francis. They will be followed by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and U.S. President Joe Biden.

Zelenskyy is already in the United States. When will he address the Assembly?

The Ukrainian President arrived in New York the evening before. He immediately visited military personnel undergoing treatment and rehabilitation in the United States.

Зеленський виступить на Генасамблеї ООН: усі подробиці

Photo: Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Olena Zelenska arrived in New York on September 18 (

This is his first visit to New York and his second to the United States since the start of the Russian invasion. Prior to this, in December 2022, he visited Washington, D.C., addressed Congress, and met with President Joe Biden.

According to him, the visit will be intense, and he will participate in the work of the General Assembly, the UN Security Council, and the Sustainable Development Goals Summit. Additionally, Zelenskyy announced important bilateral meetings.

He also stated that the UN Charter, which upholds the key principle of territorial integrity of states, needs to be restored to full force and increase the UN's capabilities to prevent and stop aggression.

"In Washington, D.C., I am going to meet with Joe Biden, leaders of the U.S. Congress’ chambers and parties, military leadership, American businesses, journalists, and members of the Ukrainian community. I will thank the United States on behalf of Ukraine for its assistance in our struggle for independence and freedom," he added.

It's worth noting that meetings with members of Congress and Joe Biden are scheduled for September 21. Zelenskyy will spend two days in New York before that.

Today, he will speak at the United Nations General Assembly. There is no exact time on the organization's website, but according to the schedule, he will deliver his address during the morning session, which means in the afternoon Kyiv time (a seven-hour time difference). He is listed as the 14th speaker.

What Zelenskyy will talk about

The day before, the advisor to the head of the Office of the President, Mykhailo Podolyak, in an interview with CNN, said that Zelenskyy would address the need for the fastest victory over Russia on the UN stage, he would explain why the war must have a just end for Ukraine, and assistance to our country was a contribution to stability and the restoration of international law.

In addition, Zelenskyy will emphasize that "the end of the war can be accelerated if there is sufficient weaponry for Ukraine."

Зеленський виступить на Генасамблеї ООН: усі подробиці

Photo: Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the United Nations General Assembly will talk about the need for the fastest victory over Russia (Getty Images)

In August, Deputy Head of the President's Office Ihor Zhovkva said that the president's speech at the UN General Assembly would be dedicated to several topics.

"The President will speak at the UN General Assembly, addressing the peace formula, the creation of a special tribunal, and a compensation mechanism for damages," he noted.

On the sidelines, there will also be a series of bilateral meetings, including with leaders of Global South countries. It is worth noting that today it is precisely known about negotiations with Polish President Andrzej Duda and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya emphasized that Zelenskyy is listed among the speakers in the first half of the day, reflecting Ukraine's place and importance in global issues.

He also noted that during a full-scale war, the main issue for Ukraine remains how to stop aggression, hold Russia accountable, and compensate for damages. According to him, today many countries still have the open question of how to make the aggressor answer for the crime of aggression.

"Therefore, the creation of an appropriate mechanism, a tribunal, is also one of the main topics that the country's leadership and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are working on. Depending on how the negotiations develop, this issue may have to be raised at the UN as well," he added.

What Zelenskyy talked about last year

Last year, Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed world leaders remotely. His speech at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly was dedicated to the peace formula.

The address on September 22, 2022, took place against the backdrop of seven months of Russian invasion. The President stated that Ukraine had suffered a crime, and it demanded fair punishment for the aggressor.

"This war was not provoked by us. We conducted 88 rounds of negotiations in various formats to prevent this war – this is only from the beginning of my presidency until February 24th. But Russia not only did not stop the crime of aggression that started in 2014 but escalated it into a full-scale invasion. And we have no other choice but to defend ourselves. We are doing that," he noted.

In the initial Ukrainian peace formula, there were only five points: punishment, protection of life, restoration of security and territorial integrity, security guarantees, and determination to defend oneself. In a few months at the G20 summit, a formula with 10 points will be presented.

Interestingly, the online address might not have taken place. The possibility of speaking remotely was even put to a vote, and President Zelenskyy's speech was supported by 101 countries. Seven countries voted against it – Belarus, Cuba, North Korea, Eritrea, Nicaragua, Russia, and Syria.

For more details about the trip and the President's plans, read the article "Zelenskyy's trip to the U.S.: What to expect from his visit."