UNITED NATIONS (TBEN) — It was the only video speech at the UN General Assembly, and it came from someone who had an official excuse: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
While the summit returned in full in person to UN headquarters in New York this year after a remote release in 2020 and a hybrid session last year, member states voted overwhelmingly last week to allow the head of the war-torn country. to address the hall.
But there were a few dropouts. In his speech on Wednesday, Zelenskyy did not let go of them.
“I want to thank the 101 countries that voted for my video address to take place. It wasn’t just about size. It was the vote on principles. Only seven countries voted against: Belarus, Cuba, North Korea, Eritrea, Nicaragua, Russia and Syria,” Zelenskyy said. “Seven. Seven who are afraid of the video address. Seven that respond to principles with a red button. Only seven. One hundred and one — and seven.”
There were also 19 abstentions.
During Zelenskyy’s speech, his wife, Olena Zelenska, and the Russian delegation were sitting in the hall of the General Assembly. The latter remained seated during the speech and chose not to go outside – a sanctioned form of protest. Zelensky’s speech was received with a standing ovation by several delegations.
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