They said it: Leaders at the hybrid 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 in pre-recorded speeches or from the rostrum at the United Nations after a yearlong pandemic break — from leaders who might have not captured the headlines and airtime on Wednesday, the second day of the 2021 debate.

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“We see more and more security crises arising in different parts of our planet. In an interdependent world, their aftershocks can be felt across the globe.”

— Maia Sandu, president of Moldova

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“If you pollute the planet that we all call home, it is only right that you should pay to clean it up.”

— Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, president of and minister of defense for Malawi

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“With the ongoing crisis caused by the pandemic of COVID-19, we have often reflected and pointed out that it is also a crisis of opportunity, challenging both the present and future generations with responsibility, young people first and foremost.”

— Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca, president of Cabo Verde

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“We, Mongolians, view the United Nations, as an organization for peace and security, human rights and development of nations in five continents, and as a faithful companion of the past 60 years and a reliable partner of many more 60 years ahead of us. Mongolians say that ‘a person with friends lives in a wide space like a steppe and a person without friends lives in a tight space like a palm.’”

— Ukhnaa Khurelsukh, president of Mongolia

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“Leadership must come from all who are committed to act — small and large nations alike. We cannot abide by attempts to rewrite the script on universal human rights. And my own Pacific islands region faces an emerging security threat in the form of geopolitical competition by the world’s largest powers. Are we again to be caught in the middle of a tug-of-war?”

— David Kabua, president of the Marshall Islands

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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