Czech President Petr Pavel heads to New York for UN General Assembly

Pavel will lead the Czech delegation during the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, which is expected to focus on the situation in Ukraine. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 17.09.2023 15:43:00 (updated on 17.09.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech President Petr Pavel embarked on a journey to the United States on Sunday morning, where he will lead the Czech delegation during the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The primary focus of the UN assembly is expected to revolve around the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, particularly with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's announced participation. Climate change mitigation will also feature prominently on the agenda.

In the coming week, President Pavel anticipates approximately a dozen bilateral meetings and a visit to the historic factory of American gun company Colt, which was recently acquired by Czech firearms manufacturer Colt CZ (formerly Česká zbrojovka Group).

The President's itinerary kicks off with participation in the Sustainable Development Goals summit on Monday. On Tuesday, he will address the general debate of the UN General Assembly. On Wednesday, Pavel will contribute to an open debate during a UN Security Council meeting focused on Ukraine.

Given the high stakes, the UN Security Council meeting may include the presence of both Russian and Ukrainian representatives, although Ukrainian President Zelensky's attendance remains uncertain. Russia's delegation to the UN General Assembly is led by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Throughout the UN assembly, President Pavel has numerous bilateral meetings scheduled. He will engage with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Liechtenstein's Grand Duke Hans Adam II, representatives of the American Jewish community, and retired United States General John R. Allen, among others.

The annual General Assembly provides a unique platform for heads of governments and states to directly engage with one another. This year, the event's social dimension will be underscored by a reception hosted by US President Joe Biden at the Metropolitan Museum.

Additionally, a gala dinner commemorating the 30th anniversary of the independent Czech and Slovak Republics will feature speeches by President Pavel and Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová.

President Pavel will conclude his visit to the United States with a tour of the historic Colt Armory in Hartford, Connecticut, headquarters of Colt's Manufacturing Company. The renowned American arms manufacturer was acquired in 2021 by Česká zbrojovka Group, prompting a name change to Colt CZ.

Accompanying the President, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský will deliver a speech regarding the upcoming Summit of the Future. The Czech Republic aims to discuss its candidacy for the Security Council with its partners, aspiring to become a non-permanent member in 2032 and 2033.

President Pavel's representation at the UN General Assembly marks a Czech president's first participation in the event since 2017, when Miloš Zeman led the national delegation. In subsequent years, foreign ministers and former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš had represented the Czech Republic at the UN General Assembly.

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