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 prerecorded 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 Monday, the sixth and final day of the 2021 debate.


“In recovering from the pandemic, we cannot revert to business as usual. We need to do better, and build a greener, bluer, and more equitable and sustainable future.”

— Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, foreign minister for Iceland


“Even as contemporary issues demand our focus and attention, Grenada and the Caribbean community remain conscious of the history and the impact of slavery.”

— Oliver Joseph, foreign minister for Grenada


“There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has endangered the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to its very core. We don’t have to let this crisis hinder our ambitions and hopes, because the principles underpinning the Sustainable Development Goals are essential to build back better in the post-COVID-19 recovery.”

— Luca Beccari, foreign minister for San Marino


“The extreme pace of human advancement in the 21st century has demonstrated that we have the capacity and ingenuity to combat climate change, and to develop means of production and consumption to sustain humanity, while at the same time protecting our planet.”

— Kenneth Darroux, foreign minister for Dominica


“The cuts in international financing for programs aimed at promoting resilience and adaptation to climate change, has led to an adverse impact and constitutes a major challenge to developing countries.”

— Véronica Nataniel Macamo Dlhovo, foreign minister for Mozambique