UN votes to allow Zelenskyy to address General Assembly via video

The UN General Assembly voted on Friday to allow a pre-recorded video address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to be played next week when the world's leaders gather in New York.

The Ukrainian government requested that Zelenskyy be allowed to address the session virtually. It said the ongoing Russian invasion made it difficult for him to travel safely to and from the UN headquarters.

The request was approved by 101 UN member states. They condemned the Russian invasion and said the situation justified the exception.

On the other hand, Russia, Belarus, North Korea and four other countries voted to deny the request. China, Brazil and 17 other nations abstained. They said it was unfair to give Ukraine special treatment.

The annual meeting of world leaders at the UN General Assembly was all virtual in 2020 and hybrid in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the assembly decided that all speeches should be delivered in person this year.