Nigeria Assumes UN Security Council Presidency

Security CouncilNigeria will by midnight on Friday, July 31, assume the one month rotational presidency of the United Nations Security Council.

Nigeria’s Permanent Secretary to the United Nations takes over from Ambassador Gerald Bohemen, the Permanent Representative of New Zealand, who held the presidency for the month of July, 2015.

This would be the first time in the history of the United Nations, that an elected member of the Security Council would assume presidency for the fourth time in two separate tenures.

Nigeria was elected a non permanent member of the security council on October 17, 2013.

With this feat, Nigeria would be serving for the fifth time since independence of the most powerful decision making organ of the United Nations.

A statement signed by Dr. Tope Elias-Fatile says that Nigeria’s return to the council, after having left in December 2012, represents one of the shortest periods in the anals of the United Nations, that a member state has served two terms in the council.

According to him, “This is even more remarkable, as it is occurring under institutional memory of the same Permanent Representative, Joy Ogwu, who chairs the two security council committees, the first, Security Council Committee, and Iraq Sanctions Committee.”

Nigeria is also one of the three vice chairs of the Security Council Committee, established on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and also one of the vice chairs of the Security Council Committee on Sudan.

Young Nigerian Professionals Abroad Urged To Return Home

Joy Ogwu.
Professor Joy Ogwu said young Nigerians abroad must begin to think of how to contribute to Nigeria’s development.

Young Nigerian professionals in the United States have been encouraged to return to Nigeria and help in developing the country.

The appeal was made by speakers at a forum organised by the Nigerian Young Professionals in New York, United States of America with the theme “Harnessing the Potentials of Young Nigerian Professionals Toward Accelerated Development in Nigeria”.

One of the speakers, Professor Joy Ogwu, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said the future of the country depended on young people playing an active role in its development.

One major asset of Nigeria is her population and a large part of this population is made up of youths.

The challenge of how to translate this asset into the needed manpower for the country is one that continues to confront Nigeria.

The chairman of the group, Moses Siasia said Young Nigerian Professionals were needed to develop the nation.

Some other key speakers at the event touched on the need for young professionals abroad to partner with the administration at home.

The Young Professionals were told to start thinking of how to help develop their country as every country needed the resilience and commitment of her youths to drive the economy.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir Sacks Army Chief

President Salva KiirSouth Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir has sacked the head of the Army.

A decree read out on state television announced that General James Hoth Mai would be removed with immediate effect. No reason was given.

The country has been in turmoil since December. Last week, rebels seized the oil hub of Bentiu.

Meanwhile the UN has accused the government of providing “erroneous information” regarding a massacre of hundreds of civilians in the town

The UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said that after rebel forces captured Bentiu on April 15 and 16, they targeted hundreds of people who had taken refuge inside a mosque, a church and a hospital, and killed them because of their ethnicity.

U.N. Peacekeeping Chief, Hervé Ladsous briefed the Security Council on Wednesday (April 23) on the recent attacks and emphasized that the circle of violence in the country most stop immediately.

“The first, from my part is that we are not and cannot be in the business as usual format. I think this cycle of violence that started on the 15th of December last year has to stop. It must stop immediately. Yet, we see that neither party is ready to in any way cease the hostilities, the agreement on that which was signed exactly to this day three months ago has never been implemented. They do not give indication that they sincerely want to participate in the peace talks.”

The rebels slaughtered hundreds of civilians when they seized the South Sudan oil hub of Bentiu, hunting down men, women and children who had sought refuge in a mosque, church and hospital.

Joy Ogwu, Nigeria’s U.N. Ambassador and the current council president, echoed Ladsous’ sentiment. She said that most council members in the meeting had suggested “using the principle of deterrence to send a message unequivocally to the parties responsible for this impunity that it must not happen again.”

“The responsibility of every nation – that is to protect its citizens and maintain order within its territory. And we stressed the inviolability of U.N. institutions resident in the member state countries that they can’t violate the sanctity of the U.N. institution and kill people inside those institutions. It’s intolerable, it should not happen,” she said.

The U.N. Mission in South Sudan, known as UNMISS, has approximately 8,500 military peacekeepers and police deployed in a country the size of France with a population of some 11 million.


Jonathan Vows To Empower More Women

President Goodluck Jonathan has pledged that his Administration will not rest on its oars over the economic and political empowerment of Nigerian women, but will do more before the expiration of its tenure to give women even greater access to elective offices and opportunities for wealth creation.

Speaking after being commended by the United Nations Under-Secretary and Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet for appointing women to very important positions in the Federal Government, President Jonathan said that he was determined to take women empowerment a step further by working to ensure that more women contest and win future elections in the country.

President Jonathan also assured Ms Bachelet who was the first female President of Chile that the Federal Government remains fully committed to taking Nigeria as far as is possible towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

Reaffirming his personal commitment to the accelerated reduction of maternal and infant mortality, the president said that he has directed that a comprehensive status report on Nigeria’s current standing on the achievement of the MDGs be produced with a view to identifying urgent actions that need to be taken to move the country rapidly towards their attainment.

Ms Bachelet, who was accompanied to the Presidential Villa by Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Joy Ogwu, recommended and endorsed the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund by Nigeria, saying that from her personal experience as President of her country, she had learnt that savings and investments made under such funds were very important for countries which rely on extractive industries.

She praised President Jonathan for having already done a lot to fulfil his campaign promises on the empowerment of Nigerian women, including the appointment of the first female Chief Justice of the Federation and female ministers for very important ministries such as Finance, Petroleum, Communications Technology, Education, Water Resources, Housing, Environment, Power and Defence.

The United Nations Women Executive Director thanked Nigeria for being one of the strongest political and financial supporters of her agency in Africa.

She also applauded President Jonathan’s efforts as co-Chair of the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, and called for Nigeria’s support for the UN’s new initiative for the prevention of violence against women.