Bye bye bilaterals: UN general assembly to embrace Zoom diplomacy

Conditions that make the annual event a diplomats’ playground will be absent as it goes mostly online

Diplomats and foreign ministers are slowly emerging from their Covid-induced hibernation, but the 75th United Nations general assembly – supposedly a display of the world’s connectedness – will largely be an exercise in remote Zoom diplomacy.

World leaders will not be at the podium in New York delivering set-piece speeches, but instead will be sending pre-recorded messages from behind their flag-festooned office desks in their capitals. Only national diplomats already in New York will be present in the UN chamber, probably about one per country.

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