International heads of state will be descending upon New York City today for the start of the United Nations General Assembly.
The gathering comes in the midst of global turmoil, including unrest in Syria and Muslim anger of inflammatory videos and cartoons of the prophet Mohammad. The U.N. is also expected to take on Iran’s nuclear program.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently called Israel a “disturbance” to Iran.
“They (Israel) have no roots there in history,” Ahmadinejad told reporters in New York, according to Reuters. “They do not even enter the equation for Iran.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has spoken out against Iran’s “inflammatory rhetoric” following Ahmadinejad’s comments.
Ahead of today’s meeting, Ban Ki-moon asked the Iranian president to “take the measures necessary to build international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program.”
President Barack Obama will arrive in NYC this afternoon on Air Force One at 2 p.m. Numerous street closures around the U.N. at 42nd St. and First Avenue will slow traffic in the area for the day.
According to the NYPD, First Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street is open only to emergency vehicles, as well as 44th, 45th and 46th streets from First Avenue to Second Avenue. 49th and 50th streets between Lexington and Park Avenue are closed until Tuesday at 5 p.m.