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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 Saturday, the fifth day of the 2020 debate.

In this photo provided by the United Nations, Timothy S. Harris, Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, at the U.N. headquarters. (Rick BajornasUN Photo via AP)

“Let us all spread kindness faster than the virus and not hate, fear and misinformation.”

— TUILAEPA SAILELE MALIELEGAOI, prime minister of Samoa

“Something, something is awry with planet Earth.”

In this image made from UNTV video, Allen Michael Chastanet, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, at U.N. headquarters. (UNTV via AP)

— TIMOTHY HARRIS, prime minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis

“A population of 24 million is too big to be left off the table.”

— ALLEN MICHAEL CHASTANET, prime minister of Saint Lucia, on Taiwan

“Nobody wins with Africa more impoverished.”

In this image made from UNTV video, Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, at U.N. headquarters. (UNTV via AP)

— JOSÉ ULISSES CORREIA E SILVA, prime minister of Cape Verde

“The old order is passing away before our very eyes as a consequence of the pandemic. ... We are still quarrelling away about inconsequential matters. ... Metaphorically, all hell has broken loose.”

— RALPH GONSALVES, prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

In this image made from UNTV video, Cabo Verde's Prime Minister José Ulisses Correia e Silva speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, at U.N. headquarters. (UNTV via AP)