The 68th session of the U.N. General Assembly starts Tuesday, Sept. 24 with all eyes on the Presidents of the U.S. and Iran, both of whom are scheduled to deliver speeches that same day. Many wonder: Will Barack Obama and Iranian newcomer Hassan Rouhani meet? Will they shake hands? That such a small, fleeting gesture is so anticipated and fraught with meaning is a consequence of three decades of Washington-Tehran hostility. It’s also because there’s little else to get excited about at this year’s world leader gabfest.
Gone now are the despots and demagogues that gave life to the marble–green podium—Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez are both deceased; Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad trundled off into political obscurity earlier this year. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will close proceedings on Oct. 1, but surely his speech can’t match the one last year, aided by an unforgettable cartoonish prop? Still, there are reasons to pay attention. TIME spotlights a few leaders who could make things a bit more interesting.