UN Day is celebrated all over the world on the 24th of October. The day Mark’s anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter which ratifies the founding document by the majority of its signatories.
This year’s UN Day was marked with a theme: “The future we want, the UN we Need: Reaffirming our commitment to Multiculturalism.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has explained why his administration is fighting the scourge of corruption headlong in Nigeria.
The President says this is because corruption contributes to the denial of the resources required for development.
He stated this on Thursday in New York at the high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development.
Right To Development
President Buhari called on development partners to also step up the fight against corruption by returning ill-gotten financial assets and halting future illicit financial flows to their countries.
He noted that such collective action “will guarantee a stronger international defence of the right to development”.
The Nigerian leader added that illicit financial assets stashed abroad deprive developing countries including Nigeria, and invariably deny people the enjoyment of their national wealth and resources needed for development.
He cautioned that non-repatriation of illicit financial assets could impinge on the determination of States to achieve an all-inclusive 2030 sustainable development.
The President further called on the United Nations “to remain vocal and active in addressing the negative impact of non-repatriation of illicit financial assets on their countries of origin”, adding that “as soon as stolen assets are legally established, they should swiftly be repatriated”.
He welcomed the commemoration of three decades of the Declaration on the Right to Development, which he observed, coincided with the first anniversary of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“It reminds us all of the essence of development and provides us with the opportunity to reaffirm commitments to converting this right into the policies and operational activities of relevant actors at the national, regional and international levels,” he said.
Lop-Sided Terms Of Trade
President Buhari noted further that as a developing country, Nigeria considers the Right to Development an inalienable right of fundamental importance, stressing that at the national level, his administration has been making strenuous efforts to ensure that the right to development is at the centre of all development initiatives.
He reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to the UN Charter and other international conventions that uphold the Right to Development.
The President also drew the attention of the international community to the urgent need to address the lop-sided terms of trade between developed and developing countries, which have impacted negatively on the capacity of many developing countries to embark on development programmes for the benefit of their peoples.
“Nigeria is convinced that the Right to Development is a shared responsibility considering the growing inequality and poverty resulting from climate change impact, natural disasters, violent extremism, social unrest and deprivation.
“The Right to Development must be promoted and protected like all other rights. Its universality and interdependence are indisputable,” said the President in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina.
Nigeria has opened the debate on regional peace and security at the United Nations Security Council which is in line with the resolve by African leaders for regional bodies to lead peace-building and peace-keeping in their areas.
UN Secretary General, Ban-ki Moon and over 20 countries, who participated in the debate, agreed that the role of regional organisations in conflict resolution could not be over emphasised, drawing inferences from Chapter 8 of the UN Charter.
However, India strongly disagrees with the popular views, calling into question, Africa’s ability to effectively handle peace- keeping missions.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), on Thursday, said that “the failure of the government of President Goodluck Jonathan to genuinely seek and fully accept assistance from other states and international organizations is a major contributory factor why the over 200 pupils of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, kidnapped by the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, have not been safely returned to their families.”
In a statement signed by SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organization said that, “It is 101 days today that the girls were taken away from their families. The question Nigerians are asking is why this government has not admitted that it cannot do it alone. It is now time for the government to genuinely and proactively seek help and international assistance to obtain the badly needed intelligence, logistics and other support so that the schoolgirls can return to their families without further delay.”
“At this point in time, seeking such assistance will not breach Nigeria’s sovereignty. As a matter of fact, SERAP believes that Nigeria has a duty under international law not only to seek international assistance but also to accept any such assistance when offered. This is the basis of the principle of international cooperation for the protection of human rights,” the organization also said.
According to the group, “the government does not have unchecked right to withhold its consent or refuse to genuinely and fully accept assistance in the case of the Chibok schoolgirls. A state cannot be allowed to arbitrarily refuse international assistance or to restrict such assistance for political reasons where it is unable to satisfactorily respond to a crisis like the case of the abducted schoolgirls.
“SERAP also reminds members of the international community of the common offices of humanity owed by all states to each other, which means that they must move beyond the rhetoric of the past 100 days to be more proactive, willing and ready to offer assistance. Proactively offering assistance to the government and civil society will not be an unwanted incursion into the country’s territory but will rather advance the fundamental principles of international cooperation, solidarity and respect for human rights,” the organization added.
The organization said that, “following this path will be entirely consistently with the UN Charter, which commits states to take joint and separate action in cooperation with the UN to promote universal respect for human rights, including the rights of the schoolgirls to human dignity and education.
This principle has been further articulated by the General Assembly in the Declaration on Friendly Relations, which offers authorities interpretation of the Charter”, the statement added.