UNITED NATIONS, July 23 (Xinhua) - World leaders will not be coming to New York for their annual gathering in September for the first time in the 75-year history of the United Nations because of the coronavirus pandemic, a UN spokesperson confirmed on Thursday.

The General Debate of the General Assembly, traditionally the most high-profile UN event of the year, will be a slimmed-down affair this September, with world leaders staying away from New York, and contributing set-piece speeches via video link, Reem Abaza, spokesperson for the president of the General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, told reporters at a press briefing.