More than 100 heads of state and government will be coming in person, including PM Modi, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden. While Modi is expected to speak at the debate on September 25, he is scheduled to participate in a bilateral meeting with President Joe Biden a day before.
Biden will also meet Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide on September 24, the White House said as it released the president’s weekly schedule. This meeting will be held before Biden hosts the first-ever in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit at the White House with Modi, Suga and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Biden is scheduled to leave for New York on Monday afternoon to address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. In New York, Biden is scheduled to meet Morrison. On his return from New York, the White House said, Biden will host a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday.
The issue of vaccine access will be at the top of the UNGA agenda. Health experts have repeatedly warned the world will not move on from Covid-19 without widespread immunization — and the World Health Organization (WHO) has sharply criticized wealthier nations’ stockpiling of vaccines and distribution of booster shots while poor nations face shortages.
Next Wednesday, the US president will host a virtual summit with world leaders on the coronavirus pandemic. This will be held a day after he addresses the United Nations General Assembly.
“This meeting is about expanding and enhancing our shared efforts to defeat Covid-19" and will seek to “align on a common vision" against the virus, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. The summit will be “on the margins of the UN General Assembly."
No details about participants were provided. Psaki said in her statement that the summit will build “from previous gatherings of world leaders and ministers in fora like the G7, G20, and Act Accelerator to rally civil society, NGOs, philanthropists, and industry along with world leaders and align on a common vision for defeating Covid-19 together."