They said it: Leaders at the virtual UN, in their own words

Lots of leaders saying lots of things about lots of topics — topics that matter to them, to their regions, to the world.

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That’s what the speechmaking at the U.N. General Assembly invariably produces each year. And each year, certain enormous topics and certain louder voices dominate.

Here, The Associated Press takes the opposite approach and spotlights some thoughts you might not have heard — the voices of leaders speaking at the first all-virtual U.N. General Assembly leaders meeting who might not have captured the headlines and the airtime on Saturday, the fifth day of the 2020 debate.


“Let us all spread kindness faster than the virus and not hate, fear and misinformation.”

— TUILAEPA SAILELE MALIELEGAOI, prime minister of Samoa


“Something, something is awry with planet Earth.”

— TIMOTHY HARRIS, prime minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis


“A population of 24 million is too big to be left off the table.”

— ALLEN MICHAEL CHASTANET, prime minister of Saint Lucia, on Taiwan


“Nobody wins with Africa more impoverished.”

— JOSÉ ULISSES CORREIA E SILVA, prime minister of Cape Verde


“The old order is passing away before our very eyes as a consequence of the pandemic. ... We are still quarrelling away about inconsequential matters. ... Metaphorically, all hell has broken loose.”

— RALPH GONSALVES, prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines