Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) today. Zelenskyy’s visit to the
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) today.
Zelenskyy’s visit to the annual gathering in New York is his first in-person appearance at the UN since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. His primary goal is likely to persuade Western leaders to continue supplying arms and aid for Ukraine, as the war moves into its 19th month.
He will also be focused on garnering support from the ‘Global South’, who’ve comparatively not provided similar military aid. Furthermore, a majority of them haven’t lent their diplomatic support for Ukraine at the UN since the war began. These countries—primarily from Africa, South America and Asia—have been beneficiaries of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, whose abandonment by Russia in July lead to a spike in food prices. Ahead of Zelenskyy’s visit, the Ukrainian foreign ministry released a statement asserting that the Global South’s “voices matter” in this war.
Ukraine’s push towards building diplomatic bridges with the Global South will be challenging given that many have strong commercial ties to Russia and have Cold-War era links to the Non-Aligned Movement. Nonetheless, Zelenskyy will hope to convince such countries to pressure Moscow, especially to halt its aggressive actions against Ukrainian grain shipping in the Black Sea.