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Monday, September 24, 2012

NYPD: Street closures, traffic delays for U.N. General Assembly

NEW YORK  – New Yorkers can expect road closures and traffic delays as world leaders meet for the United Nations General Assembly this week.

The NYPD is encouraging the use of public transportation for the duration of the session as street closures will be in effect on the East Side.

Police said the road closures end when the U.N. session ends each day.

President Barack Obama is set to deliver opening remarks when the 67th session of the General Assembly kicks off on Tuesday.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose presence in the city often sparks protests, will be speaking Monday during a rule of law meeting and will address the General Assembly on Wednesday.

Democratic uprisings across the Arab world and the Palestinians’ bid for U.N. membership sparked excitement and hope at last year’s meeting of world leaders. But with war raging in Syria, the Palestinian application sidelined, and deadly protests generated by an anti-Islamic video, the mood as this year’s U.N. gathering begins is one of disappointment and frustration.

More than 120 leaders meeting this week at the General Assembly and in sideline events will also be preoccupied by the possibility of an Israeli strike against Tehran’s nuclear facilities, al-Qaida’s inroads in the Sahel region of west Africa, and the first decline in years in international aid to help developing countries combat poverty.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the ministerial session is taking place at “a time of turmoil and transition.”

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