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Zelensky arrives in US to attend UN meeting, meet Biden

by Martin Fornusek September 19, 2023 12:10 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis after signing an agreement at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece, on Aug. 21, 2023. (Photo credit: Costas Baltas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky and First Lady Olena Zelenska arrived in New York as the president plans to address the U.N. General Assembly and meet his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden, Zelensky announced on Sept. 18.

While Russia's war against Ukraine is expected to be on the agenda of the U.N. gathering, The New York Times writes that the main focus will likely lie on challenges facing the Global South.

Unlike the West, many countries in Africa, Latin America, and South Asia have been hesitant to throw their support behind Ukraine, instead nurturing economic ties with Moscow.

Nations of the Global South have also decried the world's focus on Ukraine's struggle against Russia while they feel that their own problems, such as extreme poverty and hunger, receive little attention in comparison.

Zelensky is expected to address the Assembly on Sept. 19 and attend a Security Council meeting a day later, which is meant to focus on the principles of the U.N. Charter.

As Russia is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will reportedly attend the meeting as well.

"Territorial integrity of the state is a key principle of all basic international documents, including the U.N. Charter," Zelensky wrote on his Telegram channel.

"And it is necessary to return to (the Charter) its full power destroyed by the Russian invasion and to strengthen the U.N's. capabilities in stopping and preventing aggression," he said, adding that Ukraine will present a clear proposition to the U.N. on this topic.

The president's first steps upon arriving in New York led to injured Ukrainian soldiers recovering in local hospitals. Zelensky said he will also attend the Sustainable Development Goals Summit and hold several bilateral meetings.

After his New York trip, Zelensky will head to Washington, D.C. to meet with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden, senior members of Congress, and other American political and military leaders.

Zelensky's visit comes just as the White House seeks approval from U.S. lawmakers for $24 billion in additional funds to bolster Kyiv's struggle against Russia.

Some members of Congress grow increasingly critical of the level of support that Washington provides to Ukraine.

Zelensky has previously visited the U.S. in December 2022, meeting Biden and addressing Congress members.

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