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Monday, October 18, 2021

76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. President Andrzej Duda visiting the USA, Zbigniew Rau talked to the secretary general of the Council of Europe

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The head of Polish diplomacy, Zbigniew Rau, met in New York with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Buric. The talks focused on, inter alia, the prospects for the activities of the Council of Europe and its priorities, as well as the current migration crisis and the situation in Belarus and Russia. President Andrzej Duda, who will take part in the general debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, will begin his visit to the USA on Tuesday.


The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs visits New York from Monday to Thursday, where he participates in the high-level week opening the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

During the visit, Minister Rau will hold – as the ministry informed in a press release – a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts, and will also take part in a meeting of EU foreign ministers with the participation of Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy.

The head of Polish diplomacy will also accompany President Duda during the general debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly and in selected meetings.

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President Andrzej Duda at the forum of the General Assembly

The president will begin his participation in the General Assembly on Tuesday at 9 a.m. local time. An address to the general debate is scheduled for 6:15 pm local time.

President’s spokesman, Błażej Spychalski, told journalists on Monday that the president’s speech will focus on three issues, the first of which is COVID-19 and Polish experience in fighting the pandemic.

– The second issue will be related to security, especially in our part of Europe. It is related to what has been going on in Ukraine since 2014, to the Russian invasion of Crimea, the spokesman said. He announced that the president would also talk about the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border.

In addition, Spychalski informed, in his speech at the UN forum, Duda will also talk about the primacy of international law.

Błażej Spychalski PAP / Radek Pietruszka

Andrzej Duda in the USA – meeting program

During his visit to New York, the president will also hold meetings with the President of Moldova, Maia Sandu, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, and the Presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – Kersti Kaljulaid, Egils Levits and Gitanas Nauseda. The topics of the talks will be the security of Europe and the situation on the border with Belarus.

Duda’s meetings are also planned with, among others, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, UN Deputy Secretary General for Peacekeeping Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Deputy Secretary General for Humanitarian Aid Martin Griffiths and with Atul, Deputy for Operational Support Kharem.

Spychalski, when asked during a press briefing why the Chancellery of the President did not seek a meeting with US President Joe Biden, replied that “it was the US side that informed that President Biden may not attend the UN summit at all.” Later, this information was clarified in such a way that “bilateral meetings of President Biden are not planned at all”.

Andrzej Duda during his speech at the United Nations un.org

Increased police presence and traffic jams in New York City

Already on Monday morning, some streets around the New York headquarters of the United Nations have been closed.

Many officers are concentrated in the eastern part of the city. The UN headquarters there will host 132 countries, including many of their leaders. Next week, 37 protest actions are planned in the immediate vicinity.

– We know how patient New Yorkers are. I’m sure they’ll be very patient with the (forced – ed) tour, joked City Police Commissioner (NYPD) Dermot Shea.

As his deputy John Miller said, there is currently no reliable information about any threats to the city or the General Assembly. He argued that this does not mean lowering police vigilance. – It has little to do with our approach. (…) We are always prepared for unexpected threats – announced Miller.

The Daily News, citing representatives of the authorities, reported that neither representatives of the Taliban ruling Afghanistan nor the previous team were attending the session. According to the newspaper, this will eliminate a number of potential threats.

Security measures are usually intensified especially when the American president arrives in New York at the UN session. There are then more check points and complete traffic closure in some areas. Biden is expected to address the delegation at United Nations Headquarters on Tuesday.

According to the presented program, the sessions of the 76th UN General Assembly will last until September 27.

Main photo source: The World in HDR / Shutterstock

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