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.

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 Wednesday, the second day of the 2020 debate.

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“We must think now about the world that will emerge from this crisis and that cannot entirely be yesterday’s. If every crisis is a suffering, it is also a moment of change that allows us to reinvent ourselves.”

— SIMONETTA SOMMARUGA, president of the Swiss Confederation

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“We must find a global balance between human beings and other creatures on our earth.”

— UHURU KENYATTA, president of Kenya

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“We have all gone down together. We should all rise together.”

— NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO, president of Ghana

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“We pray to the almighty God that the next meeting can be held in a pandemic-free world.”

— BARHAM SALIH, president of Iraq

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“The pandemic has done for us what World War II did for generations before us.”

— ASHRAF GHANI, president of Afghanistan