More than 100 heads of state and government plan to attend the 76th annual UN General Assembly September 21-30 in New York City.
According to the latest speaker list, those in attendance include the President of the United States, Joe Biden, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and the Presidents of Brazil and Venezuela.
The Prime Ministers of Japan, India and the United Kingdom will also be at the UN headquarters to deliver their country’s speech to the 193-member assembly, along with Israel’s new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. . And 23 ministers are also scheduled to speak in person.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, UN members decided to make this year’s meeting hybrid, offering nations the ability to send leaders to New York in person or make pre-recorded statements to be displayed in the chamber of assemblies.
The resumption of the annual United Nations General Assembly will bring with it a major security operation and a traffic nightmare on the East Side, city officials said Friday.
Some low-level diplomatic meetings have already been held at the UN in preparation for the arrival of world leaders starting Monday. President Biden is expected to address the General Assembly on Tuesday.
The NYPD will execute its usual layered security approach to protect the leaders and foreign ministers of 132 nations, a number that is fewer than previous meetings attended by up to 200 countries.
Officials from the United States Secret Service, the main agency dealing with security, and the Diplomatic Security Service of the State Department also participate in the security operations.
“We know there are no specific credible threats, we have said that several times,” New York Police Deputy Commissioner John Miller said at a news conference on security preparations.
Miller noted that diplomatic officials from Afghanistan will be present, be it the government-in-exile or the new Taliban regime.
“There is no seat for them in the United Nations, given their current state,” Miller said of the Taliban.
The high command indicated that some world leaders – some of them considered as high security profiles – will be the subject of more than 30 protests that are already on the police radar.
Miller recalled the 2016 terrorist attack in Chelsea by Ahmad Khan Rahimi.
“Putting all of that together, New Yorkers will be able to see a lot of security, a lot of caravans and a lot of street closures,” he warned.
There will also be heavy traffic, with street closures planned for an area of several blocks around the UN headquarters.
“Beginning Monday, September 20, from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm there will be various street closures and checkpoints around the UN area,” said New York Police Chief Kim Royster, a area spanning First Avenue to Fifth Avenue.
“We are asking the public if they have to be in that area to take alternate traffic routes,” said Royster, Chief Transportation Officer.
While in general terms, the vicinity of the UN will be the most affected by the traffic nightmare, the street closures will affect the entire east side of Manhattan and nearby areas.
These streets may be closed at the discretion of the NYPD and the Department of Homeland Security from September 21 through September 30:
- FDR Drive between Whitehall Street and Willis Avenue Bridge / RFK Bridge
- Area delimited by streets 60 to 34 and avenues First to Third
- Area bounded by 54th to 48th streets and First to Madison avenues
- 6th Avenue entre 50th Street y 59th Street
- Grand Army Plaza between 58th and 60th streets
- 5th Avenue entre 56th Street y 63rd Street
- Madison Avenue between 42nd Street and 58th Street
- Streets 76 and 77
- Park Avenue between 76th and 77th streets
- FDR Drive service road between 48th and 49th streets
- 76th and 77th streets between Madison and Park avenues
- 61st Street between Fifth Avenue and Lexington Avenue
- 59th Street between Seventh Avenue and Fifth Avenue
- 58th Street between Broadway and Madison Avenue
- 57th Street between Seventh Avenue and FDR Drive
- 56th Street between 6th Avenue y Madison Avenue
- Streets 54 and 55 between Seventh Avenue and Madison Avenue
- 53rd Street between Seventh Avenue and FDR Drive
- 52nd Street between Seventh Avenue and Madison Avenue
- 50th Street between Seventh Avenue and FDR Drive
- 51st Street between Seventh Avenue and First Avenue
- 48th and 49th streets between First Avenue and FDR Drive Service Road
- 42nd Street between Seventh Avenue and FDR Drive
- 34th Street between Seventh Avenue and FDR Drive
In addition to street closures, there are traffic changes during the duration of the General Assembly. The New York Police Department has a daily breakdown of how traffic will be affected by the gathering, with the area around the United Nations being the hardest hit by the changes. But many highways in Midtown and even as far south as lower Manhattan will have “managed access,” meaning little access to the public or completely closed to traffic until the 30th. Take alternate routes if you travel through the area often.
FERRY TO NEW YORK CITY
NYC Ferry passengers can expect changes to service during the week, including possible cancellation of service on the Astoria, East River, Lower East Side or Soundview routes. Check the website or feed de Twitter NYC Ferry for more details.
Visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/news/tr0910/traffic-advisory-street-closures for more information.