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World Leaders Gather In New York For UN General Assembly

World leaders are gathering in New York for the UN General Assembly’s 71st annual meeting.

The 135 heads of state and government and dozens of ministers will meet until September 26 against a backdrop of global crises, including the Syrian conflict, attacks around the world by Islamic extremists, and millions of people fleeing fighting and poverty.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. President Barack Obama will address the General Assembly for the last time on September 20.

Many leaders came a day early to attend a UN summit on refugees and migrants, which approved a declaration aimed at providing a more coordinated and humane response to the world's 65.3 million displaced people.

More concrete progress is expected at a follow-up summit on September 20, called by Obama, where some 40 countries are expected to make new offers of aid for refugees and migrants.

Early in the day in New York, the U.S. and Russian top diplomats will lead a meeting of the International Syria Support Group, comprised of countries supporting opposing sides in the conflict.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa