04:22 GMT +316 December 2018
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    United States President Donald Trump speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

    1st Day of General Debate: World Leaders Speak at 73rd UN General Assembly

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    Denis Bolotsky
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    World leaders gathered in New York to take part in the 73rd UN General Assembly meeting. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is taking part in the debate, held a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the assembly.

    Even though it's been a week since the 73rd UN General Assembly begun, it's the General Debate that usually attracts the most attention.

    Hundreds of journalists from all over the world arrived to cover the debate. However, it seems that this year the organizers decided to put media further away from key newsmakers and the main events. Stricter rules for journalists were introduced at the UN headquarters and the media center was located in a temporary tent outside the main building rather than inside the HQ.

    It was the UN, where Donald Trump gave his "rocket man" speech last year, so, his presence at the 73rd General Assembly was highly anticipated.  

    Trump arrived late, so his "time slot" was taken by Ecuador President Lenin Moreno, who criticized the US for a number of issues, including the blockade of Cuba and interventionist policies.

    Trump seems to be occupied with battles on the home front, with his nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, being under fire for alleged sexual misconduct. The story is all over the TV in the US, so POTUS chose to write about the stronger points of his domestic policy ahead of the speech — issues such as the country's growing economy.

    ​Nevertheless, in the speech itself, Trump mostly focused on foreign policy, highlighting issues that he considers successful, such as the North Korea peace process.

    Other topics, such as the war in Syria, were presented purely from the American perspective, with Obama-era labels still in place.

    ​Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is holding a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the main UN event. He's expected to speak before world leaders at the General Debate later this week.

    ​The 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly opened on 18th September and is scheduled to run until September 25th.

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