U.N. Gathering Will Be Virtual, Hampering Informal Diplomacy

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The United Nations is gearing up to hold its annual General Assembly in a mostly virtual format later this month, curtailing the informal diplomatic hobnobbing that occurs every year in New York but giving some leaders who rarely travel the chance to address the world, at least online.

The heads of state of Iran and Venezuela are set to address the annual meeting through video messages, according to a preliminary schedule of the speeches, which will give online airtime to controversial leaders and far-flung heads of state who in past years have had lower-level officials speak in person at the U.N. headquarters in New York.

President Trump, on the other hand, has said he may speak in person at the event, potentially taking advantage of his ability to visit New York when other delegations face travel restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“If we can do it, I’ll do it directly,” Mr. Trump said last month at the White House. “This will not be like it is in the past because some countries will not be able to escape the problems they’re having.”

A spokeswoman for the office of Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., referred questions about U.S. participants at the annual General Assembly to the White House. A White House spokesman declined to comment.

A Global Asset Management Seoul Korea Magazine

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