The annual General Assembly, the diplomatic mega-event that was held almost entirely virtually last year because of the pandemic, will be far more physical when it convenes for two weeks beginning on Tuesday.
Although strict pandemic rules will be enforced — including mandatory mask-wearing for all participants, required vaccinations for headquarters staff and severely limited access to its 16-acre campus on Manhattan’s East Side — the United Nations is aiming for at least a partial restoration of the person-to-person diplomacy that its leaders regard as critical.
The outgoing annual president of the General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir of Turkey, told reporters in his farewell news conference last week that at least 83 leaders were planning to attend this year’s event, albeit with slimmed-down entourages. (Mr. Bozkir will be succeeded by Abdulla Shahid, foreign minister of the Maldives.)
A provisional list of speakers provided by U.N. officials indicated that President Biden would attend, for what would be his first address as president to the 193-member world body. Mr. Biden, unlike his predecessor Donald J. Trump, is a United Nations enthusiast, and diplomats say a personal appearance would reinforce his “America is back” pledge.
The White House has not specified Mr. Biden’s plans, and U.N. officials said the speakers list could change up to the last minute.
According to the provisional list, top leaders from Brazil, Britain, Canada, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Turkey and Venezuela also plan to personally deliver their speeches, all scheduled for the second week. China’s speech will be delivered by its deputy prime minister, the list indicated, and Russia’s by its foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov.
Iran’s new president has opted to send a prerecorded video, but diplomats said the country’s new foreign minister is expected to attend.