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

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Many leaders saying many things about many topics that matter to them, to their regions, to the world: That’s what the U.N. General Assembly invariably produces each year.

And each year, certain voices dominate. Here, The Associated Press takes the opposite approach and spotlights some thoughts — delivered universally from the rostrum at the United Nations following successive years of a virtual, then hybrid summit — from leaders who might have not captured the headlines and airtime on Friday, the fourth day of the 2022 debate.


“We are not a footnote.”

— Siaosi ‘Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni, prime minister of Tonga


“So, myself as a sufferer, I can rightly realize the pain and agony that people endure due to the horrors of war, killings, coups and conflicts. Therefore, I do not want war, I want peace, I want welfare for humankind. I want economic development for people. I want to ensure a peaceful world, developed and prosperous life for future generations.”

— Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of Bangladesh


“The United Nations finds itself at a crossroads in our reckoning with history’s judgment. Do we want to be the body that abdicated our responsibility to protect the planet? Or the body that debates and postures as the world around us submerges beneath cascading crises?”

— Terrance Drew, prime minister of St. Kitts and Nevis


“History, a cruel history, is repeating itself. For centuries, colonialism transported trillions in plundered wealth to the oppressors. Reparations are overdue. And now I ask, how much longer will this new climate colonialism punish the victims and spare the victimizers?”

— John Briceño, prime minister of Belize


“As we witness aggression and atrocities on European soil again and as the rule of power threatens to bring the world order down, we owe it to future generations to be on the right side of history.”

— Andrej Plenković, prime minister of Croatia


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