EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Eye Africa can independently confirm from sources that President Adama Barrow will not be attending the 74th session of United Nations General Assembly, which opens today at its headquarters in New York. Sources say he is expected to be represented by his vice president Dr. Isatou Touray.
The first day of the high-level General Debate, where heads of state or their representatives will address the Assembly will be held on Tuesday, 24 September.
we contacted the spokesperson of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Saikou Ceesay who said he could not confirm it yet.
In The Gambia, it is usually normal for a President to absent from participating in the largest world leaders gathering. This is the first time Mr. Barrow will be absent from the UN General Meeting since he came to power in December 2016.
He has been criticised for his frequent travels abroad by many Gambians. Last year, President Barrow traveled to New York with a chartered flight which brought several public disapproval in quarters, with some calling it a waste of public funds.
Many said even some presidents from gold-rich nations like Sierra Leone have been traveling to attend the General Assembly in commercial flights.
In 2016, just before the end of his regime, former President Yahya Jammeh was represented at the Assembly by his vice president Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy.
During the week of the debate this year, several other high-level events will be convene, including a Climate Summit and a day high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), which will be convened by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on 23 September,
On Tuesday, 24 September, following the opening of the 74th General Debate, the UNGA will convene a meeting of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which will take place on the afternoon of 24 September and all day on 25 September.
On Thursday, 26 September, the UNGA will also hold a high-level dialogue on financing for development (FfD), as well as a high-level meeting on the elimination of nuclear weapons; and on Friday, 27 September, it will hold the high-level meeting to review progress made in addressing the priorities of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) through the implementation of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway.