World leaders’ speeches at the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly began Tuesday with a notable change of protocol: The president of the United States will not be speaking on the first day.
Because he was in London on Monday attending the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II along with many other world leaders, President Biden will speak on Wednesday morning.
The United States hosts the U.N. headquarters, so the American president traditionally speaks second after Brazil, whose leader has traditionally spoken first since the 1950s.
António Guterres, the secretary general of the U.N., opened the session with a speech about a divided world in peril facing enormous challenges, from the threat of multilateralism, to conflict, climate change and food insecurity. Mr. Guterres told reporters last week that he will set out a call to action with concrete steps for tackling and overcoming these challenges.
President Emmanuel Macron of France will be another notable speaker on Tuesday afternoon, reiterating the threat to world order and international law because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine and its many rippling effects will be a major theme of the General Assembly this week. But there are not many world leaders who have access to the presidents of both Russia and Ukraine.
One who does, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, pitched himself as a mediator in his address, after saying in an interview that Russia should return all Ukrainian territory it has captured. Mr. Erdogan has emerged as a key figure in mediating between Ukraine and Russia and, together with Mr. Guterres, led the negotiations that resulted in a deal that allowed Ukraine’s grain to be shipped out of ports in the Black Sea.
The United States, the European Union and the African Union are jointly hosting a conference on Tuesday to address the global food insecurity crisis and appease the concerns of developing countries who say the West has ignored their problems and focused too much of its attention and aid on Ukraine.
Kishida Fumio, the prime minister of Japan, had been expected to speak on Tuesday, but his trip to New York has been delayed because of a typhoon in Japan. He will be leaving Japan on Tuesday to take on the U.N. stage.
Some other speakers on Tuesday:
Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, who faces a tight election next month, was the first world leader to give remarks. Mr. Bolsonaro, who faces an election in less than two weeks, focused much of his remarks on his own accomplishments.
Olaf Scholz, the new chancellor of Germany, which could face an energy crisis this winter because of the standoff with Russia over Ukraine.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines, the son of the former dictator, who was elected president in June.