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ImageFor the first time in the organization’s history, the General Assembly will be held virtually. The world leaders usually gather yearly at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Credit…Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

The General Assembly will begin its annual speeches by world leaders on Tuesday, but on Monday it held a separate and largely virtual gathering to commemorate the passage of the United Nations into its fourth quarter-century.

In the cavernous hall at the headquarters of the organization, each delegation was limited to one or two envoys spaced far apart and wearing masks. The new president of the General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir of Turkey, opened the commemoration by declaring the organization’s commitment to multilateralism, a tenet of the United Nations Charter that obliges nations large and small to work together.

“Without your continued commitment to multilateralism, we would not be sitting here today,” he said.

The secretary-general, António

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