The Latest: UN crowds return but still lag pre-COVID times

The Latest on the UN General Assembly:


UNITED NATIONS — The part-virtual, partly in-person U.N. General Assembly meeting is again drawing people to the world body’s headquarters a year after going remote because of the coronavirus pandemic. But newly released numbers show it’s still far from the pre-pandemic crowd.

Over 1,900 people entered the U.N. headquarters on Tuesday, the first day of the national speeches that form the meeting’s main event. That compares to less than 900 on the first day of virtual speeches last year – but about 26,000 on the first day in 2019, U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Thursday.

This year’s meeting has limits on attendance, from leaders’ aides to journalists. No visitors are allowed, many events are being held virtually or partly so, and many U.N. staffers are working from home.