African leaders will join their global counterparts in New York when the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) officially kicks off on Tuesday September 19, 2017.
Whiles some leaders have already arrived in the United States with their entourage, others will depart today. Most likely, a majority of them will be arriving on Monday.
The Malawian and Ugandan governments have confirmed the arrival in the U.S. of their respective leaders – Peter Mutharika and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
South Africa’s government also confirmed on Sunday afternoon that President Jacob Zuma had arrived in New York.
President Jacob Zuma arrives in New York, USA ahead of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, taking place on 19-25 Sept. pic.twitter.com/jaXmVd9RfB— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) September 17, 2017
The Nigerian government on the other hand, disclosed on Saturday that President Buhari will leave on Sunday morning. A presidential aide confirmed him having flown out according to the scheduled information. He has since arrived in New York.
The Cameroonian president, Pul Biya, also confirmed on his Twitter handle his departure for New York for the summit as far back as last Thursday.
Congo Republic’s Denis Sassou Nguesso also left the capital, Brazzaville, and is heading for New York to join his peers to deliberate on pertinent global issues.
Senegal’s Macky Sall, Mali’s Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Burkina Faso’s Roch Marc Kabore have all landed in New York for the commencement of the summit.
KABORE (@rochkaborepf) September 18, 2017
A Gambian journalist has also tweeted that President Adama Barrow will be in attendance for what will be his first UNGA. He took over reigns of power from long-serving Yahya Jammeh earlier this year.
This will be his second international summit after the Arab-US Summit that was held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, months back. He delegated his ‘vice preseident’ and Minister of Women Affairs, Fatoumatou Tambajang, to represent him at the last African Union summit in Addis Ababa.
Amid a report that there was a pro and anti- Mugabe protests help concurrently as the 93-year-old leader arrived, the case was different for Gabon’s Ali Bongo, who an activist said was welcomed with cheers and balloons.
Instituted since 1946, the U.N. General Assembly is the biggest annual gathering of world leaders as the body put it, ‘to tackle humanity’s greatest challenges. 193 countries will have their leaders or representatives giving addresses.
It is the first UNGA for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who took over last year from Ban Ki-Moon. Ki-moon stepped down after serving two five-year terms.
The Summit takes place between Tuesday September 19 till Monday September 25. The theme for this year’s session is: “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for all on a Sustainable Planet”.