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 Tuesday, the first day of the 2022 debate.


“It is time to overcome the reticence and to deconstruct the narratives that persist in confining Africa to the margins of decision-making circles.”

— Macky Sall, president of Senegal


“Sure, we can delay and compromise. But again, history teaches us that passivity and ignorance never solve crises, they only delay the moment of reckoning. And since obeying even the smallest of rules matters, let me finish here to respect the agreed time limit.”

— Zuzana Čaputová, president of Slovakia


“What is more harmful to humanity? Cocaine, carbon dioxide or oil?”

— Gustavo Petro, president of Colombia


“As a young person who was on the street protesting not very long ago, I can tell you that representing unrest is a lot easier than producing solutions.”

— Gabriel Boric, president of Chile


“In this turbulent world, those who stoke the flames of conflict bear a special responsibility. But we all must ask ourselves: Have we done all we can to avert violence? Have we done what we can to make a positive change?”

— Sauli Niinistö, president of Finland


For more AP coverage of the U.N. General Assembly, visit

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