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 from the rostrum at the United Nations — from leaders who might have not captured the headlines and airtime on Tuesday, the first day of the 2023 debate.


“I look at the key menace of our time: disinformation. ... It is an era of snack news, attention economy, the fabrication of facts, and of increasing disagreements about facts precisely because we no longer trust any narratives. We may have the freedom of information, but we are not protected against false information, manipulation and deceit.”

— Nataša Pirc Musar, president of Slovenia


“Syrian refugees’ future is in their country, not in host countries. But until they are able to return, we must all do right by them.”

— Abdullah II, king of Jordan


“Current negative trends further exacerbate human suffering. 108 million people are forcibly displaced, more than 1 billion live in poverty, and 2 billion do not have access to essential medicines. The ultimate result is humanity’s loss of confidence in the future stable development of the world. The younger generations no longer believe that the world they inherit will be a better one.”

— Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, president of Kazakhstan


“The threats we face are global and interconnected. Because of Russia and a handful of other countries, our world is more dangerous and rougher. ... Those who contest the international rules steer the wheel of global security backwards, into confrontation, and sooner or later at the expense of all of us.”

— Petr Pavel, president of the Czech Republic


“Many proclamations have been made, yet our troubles remain close at hand. Failures in good governance have hindered Africa. But broken promises, unfair treatment and outright exploitation from abroad have also exacted a heavy toll on our ability to progress.”

— Bola Tinubu, president of Nigeria

The Associated Press