President Muhammadu Buhari will travel to the United States of America to participate in the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76), the Presidency has said.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.
He revealed that President Buhari would depart Abuja on Sunday for New York where the session is expected to open on Tuesday.
“The theme for this year’s UNGA is, ‘Building Resilience Through Hope – To Recover from COVID-19, Rebuild Sustainably, Respond to the Needs of the Planet, Respect the Rights of People and Revitalise the United Nations’.
“President Buhari will address the Assembly during the general debates on Friday, September 24 when he will speak on the theme of the conference and other global issues,” Adesina said.
In the course of the Assembly, the President and members of the delegation will partake in other significant meetings such as the high-level meeting to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, themed ‘Reparations, Racial Justice, and Equality for People of African Descent’.
“The delegation will also participate in food systems summit; high-level dialogue on energy; and the high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons,” he said.
President Buhari is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with a number of other leaders of delegations and heads of international development organisations while in the U.S.
He would be accompanied to New York by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; and Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor.
Also on the President’s delegation are the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno; Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Abubakar; Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa; and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire.
“President Buhari is expected back in the country on Sunday, September 26,” Adesina said.
Leaders from the Group of Seven, which the United States heads this year, had been scheduled to meet by videoconference in late June after COVID-19 scuttled plans to gather in-person at Camp David, the US presidential retreat outside Washington.
Trump created suspense just over a week ago, however, when he announced that he might hold the huge gathering in-person after all, “primarily at the White House” but also potentially parts of it at Camp David.
– ‘Cannot agree’ to trip –
l became the first leader to decline the in-person invitation outright.
“Considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to Washington,” her spokesman said Saturday.
Her response followed ambivalent to vaguely positive reactions to the invitation from Britain, Canada and France.
The 65-year-old chancellor is the oldest G7 leader after Trump, who is 73. Japan’s Shinzo Abe, also 65, is several months younger than Merkel. Their age puts them at higher risk from the coronavirus.
The G7 major advanced countries — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — hold annual meetings to discuss international economic coordination.
Russia was thrown out of what was the G8 in 2014 after it seized Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, an annexation never recognized by the international community.
The work of the G7 is now more important than ever as countries struggle to repair coronavirus-inflicted damage.
– Virus crisis –
The White House had previously said the huge diplomatic gathering would be a “show of strength” when world economies are gradually reemerging from shutdowns.
The virus is progressing at different speeds across the globe, with infection numbers falling in many of Europe’s most affected countries.
Trump’s announcement came after he flew to Florida earlier in the day to watch the first launch of a commercial company rocket to carry humans into orbit, ushering in a new era in space travel.
The launch was a rare bright spot in the United States Saturday as clashes broke out and major cities imposed curfews amid ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd, an African American who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
The demonstrations are taking place against the ongoing US coronavirus crisis: The United States is the worst-hit country for COVID-19 infections, recording more than 1.7 million cases and over 103,680 deaths.
Meanwhile, the number of workers filing for jobless benefits since the virus arrived in the country passed 40 million earlier in the week.
Read the President’s full speech at the meeting below:
Firstly, I wish to thank the General Assembly for the honour bestowed on the Government and people of Nigeria by electing our national, His Excellency, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande @BandeTijjani to the Presidency of the 74th Session of this august body.
This is indeed a great honour to our country! Nigerians are truly grateful and shall endeavour to live up to the expectations and responsibilities thrust upon us.
Ambassador Muhammad-Bande is an experienced and seasoned diplomat and I am confident that he will prove to the International Community his suitability for this most demanding assignment.
Let me also offer my sincere thanks to the outgoing President, Her Excellency Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, for her skill, resourcefulness and endless reservoir of patience in piloting the 73rd General Assembly.
In the same vein, may I commend the Secretary General, His Excellency @antonioguterres, for his tremendous energy, his genuine international outlook exhibited by his leadership of the United Nations.
Your Excellencies, Delegates,
The theme of the current General Assembly is: “Galvanising multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion.”
These are the prime areas calling for collective action which will benefit national and global interests.
Today, the world is at a critical juncture. This year marks the first anniversary of the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.
This year also marks the 100 years of the founding of the League of Nations, leading eventually to the establishment of the United Nations as part of the post-World War II international order.
Article 1(4) of the UN Charter called for “harmonising the actions of nations in the attainment of common ends”. These common ends include:
International peace & security;
Prosperity & social justice;
Respect for human dignity; &
Protection of the environment.
Multilateralism symbolised by the UN system, has brought immense benefits to the people of the world. It has saved lives, prevented wars, restored peace and stability as well as generated economic and social progress in many countries.
Mr President, Your Excellencies,
We must admit that as the world grows richer, there are regrettable signals in the World Economic and Political Order. Millions in Africa and around the world remain in abject poverty.
Furthermore, we are witnessing a backlash against multilateralism in the shape of rising tide of racism, xenophobia, resurgent nationalism, populism and tendencies towards protectionism and unilateralism. The pristine principles of the United Nations appear threatened.
On cessation of hostilities after World War II,the United States in one of the greatest selfless undertakings in history, decided to revive Europe through the Marshall Plan & uplift and restore Japan economically. This generous policy catalysed a great economic revival globally.
This action of the United States not only benefitted Europe and Japan but the United States as well through vastly improved trade and cross investments.
The United States and Europe have become friends and allies since the end of the war. The United States and Japan have also become friends and allies. This example can be replicated with respect to Africa.
A developed Africa will not be antagonistic to industrialised countries but will become friends and partners in prosperity, security and development.
A prosperous Africa will mean greater prosperity for the rest of the world. A poor Africa will be a drag on the rest of the world. Is this what the international community wants?
A coordinated multilateral effort should be set in motion to utilise and maximise the use of the enormous resources on the African continent for the benefit of all nations. Investing partners will be able to recoup their investments manifold over time.
Current attempts to help develop Africa by industrial countries are un-coordinated and plainly incremental. We have the skills, the manpower and the natural resources, but in many instances, we lack the capital – hence my plea for industrial countries to take a long-term view of Africa. We request you to come and partner with us to develop the continent for the benefit of all.
Africa charges you with the singular task of initiating the effort we are calling for. The United Nations has in place processes for promoting collective action to combat global threats. No threat is more potent than poverty and exclusion.
They are the foul source from which common criminality, insurgency, cross border crimes, human trafficking and its terrible consequences draw their inspiration.
Poverty in all its manifestations, remains one of the greatest challenges facing our world. Its eradication is an indispensable requirement for achieving sustainable development.
In this regard, Nigeria has developed a National Social Investment Programme @NSIP_NG – a pro-poor scheme that targets the poorest and most vulnerable households in the country.
Under this initiative easy, access to financial services are facilitated to our traders, artisans, market women and co-operative societies. This type of initiative can help lessen and eventually eliminate mass poverty in Africa.
At the core of our efforts to build an inclusive society, our programmes are focused on youth and women empowerment. These programmes aim at ensuring women and youth participation in governance, industry, climate action and agriculture.
On the international scene, Mr President, the United Nations has new opportunities to take the lead on issues that continue to cloud the prospects for international peace and prosperity, namely;
The rights of the Palestinian people to have their own country free of occupation. The international community has spoken from Resolution 242 of 1967 to the present day on the rights of the Palestinian people to have and live in peace in their own land;
The risks associated with nuclear proliferation;
Unfair and unjust trading practices notwithstanding the World Trade Organisation Rules and Precepts;
The looming danger of climate change
On climate change Nigeria stands resolutely with the international community in observing agreed carbon emission targets which I signed in 2015.
We have since issued two sovereign Green Bonds and have added an additional 1 million hectares of forested land taking our total forest coverage to 6.7% through collective national effort.
As we advocate & strive for inclusion within our societies, we must also ensure inclusion prevails in our collective action as members of International Community. That is why we support the expansion of the Security Council to reflect the diversity & dynamics of the 21st Century.
Mr President, Your Excellencies,
From Asia to the Middle East, Africa to South America, violence and the threat of conflict continue to blight the lives of too many people.
Our own country is no exception. Nigeria is a nation of nearly 200 million people of diverse groups.
Our diversity is our source of strength which is why in the elections this year, our people backed the politics of tolerance, inclusion and community over the politics of protest and division.
Our election promises emphasised political stability, freedom and prosperity, tackling poverty, schooling our young and providing them with the tools to build better lives. We are placing special emphasis on the role of women in our female gender advancement programmes.
Our progress and delivery are deliberate, purposeful and measured. We clearly appreciate there are no quick fixes to complex challenges.
In particular, the challenge of education in Africa is enormous. On December 3rd 2018, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 73/25 that proclaimed 24 January of every year as International Day of Education.
The Resolution which was spearheaded by Nigeria and co-sponsored by 58 other member states marked a watershed in the recognition of the fundamental role of education in building modern societies.
To ensure access to education for all, our Government has introduced the Home Grown Feeding Programme @NHGSFP to address the challenge of out-of-school and forced-out-of-school children.
This social intervention programme, Mr President, is aimed at encouraging increased school enrolment through provision of free school meals. The benefits extend beyond the school environment.
In addition, we have introduced mainstreaming and implementation of Safe Schools Declaration laws and policies across all educational institutions in Nigeria.
Mr President, Your Excellencies,
The world was shocked and startled by the massacre in New Zealand by a lone gunman taking the lives of 50 worshippers.
This and similar crimes which have been fuelled by social media networks risk seeping into the fabric of an emerging digital culture.
Major tech companies must be alive to their responsibilities. They cannot be allowed to continue to facilitate the spread of religious, racist, xenophobic and false messages capable of inciting whole communities against each other, leading to loss of many lives.
This could tear some countries apart.
Organised criminal networks, often acting with impunity across international borders present new challenges where only collective action can deliver genuine results.
This is true in the battle against violent extremism, against trafficking in people and drugs and against corruption and money laundering.
The present Nigerian government is facing the challenges of corruption head-on. We are giving notice to international criminal groups by the vigorous prosecution of the P&ID scam attempting to cheat Nigeria of billions of dollars.
Mr President, Your Excellencies,
As a young man, as a soldier, I witnessed at first hand the terrible legacy of destruction and broken lives that conflict leaves in its wake.
As the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War approaches, I wish to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by so many millions across the globe in defence of freedom, tolerance and the rule of law.
In Nigeria, we have made significant strides to put our own house in order. We will work tirelessly to uphold due process. The rule of law remains the permanent, unchanging foundation of the world order.
Freedom, tolerance and the rule of law are universal values and underline the best that this General Assembly represents. And that binds us all.
I will conclude my remarks by reaffirming Nigeria’s commitment to promoting international peace and security and sustainable development.
We are also committed to strengthening partnerships and cooperation with international and regional organisations for the benefit of humanity.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday said the new President of the 74th session of the General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande is bringing with him valuable insights coupled with his years of “United Nations experience.”
This as Mohammad-Bande received the leadership baton and banged the gavel to open his year in office.
According to UN News, Guterres also commended Bande on prioritising peace and security, poverty eradication, zero hunger, quality education, climate action and inclusion, all of which the UN chief called “central to the sustainable development agenda”.
“He also brings valuable insights into some of the pressing peace and security, human rights and sustainable development challenges facing this body, from the spread of violent extremism to the threat of the global climate crisis”, Guterres said.
Congratulations @BandeTijjani of Nigeria for assuming the Presidency of the 74th #UNGA session.
“I also applaud your emphasis on human rights and gender parity,” he said.
Pointing to the “five critical summits” on climate action, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), financing for development, universal health care and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Guterres underscored that “multi-stakeholder engagement will be essential.”
Guterres noted that in today’s rapidly changing world, “challenges are global and increasingly interlinked.”
He added that because people have “profound” expectations of the UN there is need to express concern over the “trust deficit between nations,” maintaining that there is a pressing need to convince people that it is “relevant to all and that multilateralism offers real solutions to global challenges”.
“Transparency, dialogue, and greater understanding are essential to alleviating mistrust”, he spelled out, calling the Assembly “a unique and indispensable forum” for the world to come together and discuss “sensitive and important issues”.
He also stressed the importance of “strong and effective multilateral institutions and architecture”, and international relations that are based on international law.
The President of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces also congratulated Muhammad-Bande.
Garces said, “Tijjani brings with him an outstanding career both as scholar and diplomat.”
My sincere congratulations to HE Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande #Nigeria, for his election as 74th #UNGA President. Amb. Tijjani brings with him an outstanding career both as scholar & diplomat. My team & I will be at your disposal to ensure the smoothest transition possible #UN4ALLpic.twitter.com/DO9JewU4kV
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday addressed the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, drawing the attention of world leaders to major issues threatening global peace.
Specifically, the President drew attention to the conflicts in the Middle East, the plight of the Rohingya, and the effect of climate change on security in West Africa, among other issues.
He challenged his counterparts to embrace dialogue and collaborate to address the challenges.
Read his full speech below.
STATEMENT DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 73RD SESSION OF UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN NEW YORK,
25TH SEPTEMBER, 2018.
Madam President, Fellow Heads of State and Government, Mr. Secretary-General, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria, I congratulate you, Madam President, on your well-deserved election as President of the 73rd General Assembly. As you embark on your assignment, I would like to assure you of Nigeria’s support in no less measure than that which we extended to your illustrious predecessor, His Excellency Mr. Miroslav Lajčák.
2. We appreciate the effective leadership he gave the 72nd Assembly with such dedication, commitment, and fairness to all member states. I also salute our distinguished Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres, who steered the affairs of the Secretariat with focused commitment to the collective United Nations pursuit of global peace and security, equity and justice, inclusiveness, women’s empowerment and human rights.
3. It is appropriate at this point to remember with deep sadness our late 7th Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan who passed away on the eve of his 82nd birthday. Kofi’s significant contributions to the work of our Organisation have been acknowledged in the well-deserved tributes that poured in from around the world following his death.
4. We in Africa, while mourning the loss of this great son of ours and citizen of the world, take pride in the way he served humanity in a truly exemplary manner. He demonstrated, in his calm but determined manner, the virtues of compassion, dedication to the cause of justice, fairness and human rights. He was a visionary leader who inspired hope even in the face of the most daunting challenges. He devoted his entire life’s career to the UN and the pursuit of its ideals and goals. The world is indeed a better place thanks to his exemplary service.
5. During the past year, the world saw some positive results and encouraging signs from the bilateral and multilateral efforts of the international community to address conflicts, crises and threats to world peace. We particularly commend the efforts of the leaders of the United States, North Korea, and South Korea, to realise our shared goal of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
6. In this connection, we acknowledge the commitment to peace shown by President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-Un by initiating a historic Summit. We urge that they continue this positive engagement.
7. Regrettably, many of the crises and threats to peace and security around the world which we debated last year as we did over several previous years remain unresolved. In some cases, matters got worse. The continuing plight of the Rohingyas in Myanmar, the protracted Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the wars in Yemen, and Syria, and the fight against international and local terrorism such as Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab come to mind.
8. The terrorist insurgencies we face, particularly in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, are partly fuelled by local factors and dynamics, but now increasingly by the international Jihadi Movement, runaway fighters from Iraq and Syria and arms from the disintegration of Libya.
9. In Myanmar, the carnage appears to have thankfully abated somewhat. We commend the United Nations for staying focused on the situation of the Rohingya people, to bring their suffering to an end, and hold to account the perpetrators of the atrocious crimes committed against innocent and vulnerable members of this community, including women, children and the old.
10. The international community should strengthen its resolve to combat ethnic and religious cleansing everywhere. We support the UN’s efforts in ensuring that the Rohingya refugees are allowed to return to their homes in Myanmar with security, protection, and guarantee of citizenship. We note the indication by the Government of Myanmar of its willingness to address these issues and we encourage them to do so expeditiously.
11. In this context, Nigeria commends the Government and people of Bangladesh in particular and all other countries and organizations that have contributed to shouldering the burden of providing shelter and other vital assistance to the Rohingya Refugees.
12. The carnage and the worsening humanitarian situations in Syria and Yemen continue unabated. But the international community cannot afford to give up on the Syrian and Yemeni people. We must pursue all efforts to find peaceful negotiated political solutions to these wars which cannot be won by force of arms alone. Regarding Syria, we hope that the UN-sponsored Geneva process and the Sochi initiative, led by Russia, Iran, and Turkey advance this objective.
13. The International community must keep up the pressure to encourage the parties to pursue the path of dialogue, negotiations and inclusiveness in resolving their sectarian divides and bringing to an end the immense human suffering in Syria as well as Yemen. We commend Turkey, Jordan, Greece, Germany, Italy and France for hosting the millions of the refugees fleeing these brutal conflicts.
14. The situation in the Middle East, grave as it has always been, is now worsened by developments since our last meeting. Nigeria continues to call on the Israelis and the Palestinians to make the necessary compromises in the interest of justice, peace and security, in line with our numerous UN resolutions and applicable international laws.
15. Unilateral, arbitrary and insensitive actions only prolong the conflict and undermine world peace and security. The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza is an appalling result of unrestrained use of power. We urge both parties to re-engage in dialogue on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Quartet Roadmap and the Arab Peace Initiative, among others.
16. Nigeria reaffirms its unwavering support for a just two-state solution, negotiated without intimidation and with Israel and Palestine existing side-by-side in peace and security.
17. The crises in the Middle East have deep roots and have remained unresolved for too long. Yet, we should not fall into self-defeating despair and conclude that they are not amenable to solution.
18. We should draw inspiration from the remarkable leadership that got Ethiopia and Eritrea to restore long-lost hope for peace between them, a remarkable show of statesmanship which has now galvanised neighbouring countries, including Djibouti and Somalia to push for peace in the sub-region. I believe that with hard work, commitment, and a disposition to compromise and necessary sacrifices, peace is achievable in the Middle East as well.
19. Most crises usually have a variety of festering causes and effects. It is the failure to address them early and effectively that lead to out- of- control conflicts. Addressing them includes national and international collective actions which positively impact on peoples and communities. Hence, ‘Making the United Nations relevant to all people: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and sustainable Societies’ which is the theme for this year’s General Assembly, is very apt indeed.
20. A typical consequence of the current conflicts around the world is the irregular migration of affected people from the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Africa to Europe. Irregular migration entails huge avoidable loss of human lives, puts strains on services in host countries and communities, and fuels anti-immigrant and racist sentiments in Europe. That is why we welcome the successful conclusion of the negotiations on the first-ever Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and we look forward to its adoption in Marrakech later this year. The aim is to protect the rights of migrants worldwide while addressing the concerns of countries of ‘origin’, ‘transit’, or ‘destination’ alike.
21. Migration is a constant in human affairs. We in Africa are grateful to countries who treat migrants with compassion and humanity-notably Germany, Italy and France.
22. Irregular migration is not a consequence of conflicts alone, but of the effects of climate change and lack of opportunities at home. Climate Change remains one of the greatest challenges of our time. Very close to us at home, it is our lot in Nigeria, together with our neighbours around the Chad Basin, to live with the Climate change consequences of a drastically shrunk Lake Chad and the parching up of otherwise fertile arable lands.
23. The Lake was a major source of livelihood to more than 45 million inhabitants of the region. Its shrinking meant loss of livelihoods and they are now rendered poor and vulnerable to the activities of extremists and terrorist groups. The instability thus caused in the sub-region intensified internal displacements leading, among other consequences, to intense economic competition especially between farmers and herdsmen.
24. This is why we continue to call for a rededicated international engagement to accelerate the recovery efforts in the Lake Chad Basin to address the root causes of the conflicts in the region. What is required is continuous and robust UN cooperation with national Governments and sub-regional and regional organisations such as the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union, to enhance capacity in conflict prevention, conflict management and peace building.
25. With regard to the Lake Chad Basin plight, I extend our heartfelt appreciation to the United Nations, the Governments of Germany, Norway, the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom, France and a host of other development partners for their laudable support in assisting us to address both the humanitarian challenges and the on-going stabilisation drive in the region.
26. Corruption within countries and illicit flow of funds across national boundaries have huge negative impact on the stability, peace, and economic prospects of millions in developing countries. Corruption significantly deprives national Governments of resources to provide meaningful livelihoods to their populations who are predominantly youths, thus giving rise to more irregular migration.
27. The fight against corruption, therefore, involves us all. It is in our collective interest to cooperate in tracking illicit financial flows, investigate and prosecute corrupt individuals and entities and repatriate such funds to their countries of origin.
28. Fighting corruption or resolving international conflicts, crises and wars; defeating terrorism and piracy; curbing arms trafficking and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons which fuel these conflicts, particularly in Africa; stemming irregular migration by addressing its root causes; and the many other global challenges we are faced with today can only be effectively addressed through multilateral cooperation and concerted action.
29. The only global institutional framework we have to address these challenges is the United Nations System. That is why we continue to call for the strengthening of the Organisation and making it more effective by speeding up the pace of progress towards its reform, including that of its principal organ, the Security Council. The reconstitution of the Council to make it more equitable and more representative of our global community is both a political and moral imperative.
30. We believe that a reformed Security Council with expanded membership in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, is in accord with prevailing international consensus and it is in our collective interest to do so. It is high time we stopped skirting round the issue and establish achievable benchmarks and timeframes for these reforms.
31. I assure you all that in this advocacy, I am only reflecting Nigeria’s deep and abiding commitment to our Organisation and its founding principles and goals. From the date we joined in 1960, we have contributed our quota to the fulfilment of the mandate of the UN. We have been active participants in many Security Council and African Union authorised Peace Keeping operations around the world, beginning with the Democratic Republic of Congo operations in 1960.
32. Furthermore, Nigeria has always mobilised the required human and material resources to achieve set United Nations goals, including the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We are resolute in complementing the efforts and examples of the United Nations to promote gender equality and youth empowerment as necessary pillars for sustainable development.
33. Without these, there can be neither enduring peace nor security. As we set and implement our national policies to achieve these goals, we, in the spirit of international solidarity, will readily cooperate with other nations seeking to achieve similar goals for their own populations to help ensure that no one is left behind.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday drew the attention of world leaders to conflicts around the world and their devastating effects.
The President called on leaders to take urgent action to bring the conflicts to an end, warning that the situation has become worse than it was last year.
He made the call while addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Beyond the conflicts, especially in the Middle East, and the Rohingya crisis, President Buhari drew the attention of the world leaders to the effects of climate change and the need for concerted efforts to check corruption and stop illicit financial flows.
The President said Nigeria supports efforts by the United Nations and other partners to protect the dignity of the Rohingya and to help restore peace around the world.
He commended the government and people of Bangladesh and other countries that have come to the aid of the Rohingya.
As for the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and other countries in the Middle East, President Buhari urged the UN to push for dialogue and peaceful solutions.
He praised Turkey, Jordan, Greece, Germany, Italy, and France for hosting the millions of refugees fleeing these brutal conflicts.
Beyond calling for action to end conflicts and bring peace to the world, President Buhari rebuked the abuse of power, which has caused or worsened conflicts.
“The deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Gaza is an appalling result of the unrestrained use of power,” he said. “We urge both parties (Israel and Palestine) to engage in the use of dialogue.”
He drew attention to the strides made by the leaders of Eritrea and Ethiopia to end years of political conflict and implored other leaders to draw inspiration from them and what they achieved through dialogue.
Touching briefly on corruption, President Buhari said it was important that the international community help countries in repatriating funds back to the countries of origin.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said that trade agreements will be contingent on membership in the Paris climate pact, in a clear bid to pressure the United States.
“We will no longer sign commercial agreements with powers that do not respect the Paris accord,” Macron told the UN General Assembly without explicitly mentioning his US counterpart Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the global framework.
The world’s largest diplomatic gathering began with a stark warning of growing chaos and confusion on Tuesday ahead of a showdown between US President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart on the floor of the United Nations.
On the opening day of the General Assembly debate, Trump and Hassan Rouhani are to take their turns at the podium four months after the US president ditched the Iran nuclear deal.
The five remaining parties to the agreement — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — announced Monday plans to keep business ties alive with Iran, staring down Washington’s move to impose sanctions.
Eyeing his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump will also likely tout his diplomacy with Pyongyang as a win, even if the North has taken little concrete action to dismantle its missile and nuclear programs.
Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in May, to the dismay of European allies, Russia and China which had invested years in negotiations to achieve a milestone agreement on keeping Iran’s nuclear ambitions in check.
In his address, the Iranian president will stress that Iran continues to stick to the 2015 deal and portray the United States as a pariah for breaking its international commitments.
Since Trump came to power, promising that the world’s most powerful country would follow an unashamedly “America First” foreign policy, there have been growing fears about the US commitment to multilateral institutions such as the United Nations.
In a speech at the opening of the assembly, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said trust in the rules-based global order and among states was “at a breaking point” and international cooperation becoming more difficult, without specifically mentioning Trump.
“Today, world order is increasingly chaotic. Power relations are less clear,” he told the 193-nation assembly.
“Universal values are being eroded. Democratic principles are under siege,” he added just minutes before Trump was to take the podium.
Even though they will be speaking from the same stage, both Trump and Rouhani have ruled out a meeting on the sidelines of the assembly.
In a tweet on Tuesday morning, Trump said he had no plans to meet Rouhani “despite requests” to do so.
“Maybe someday in the future. I am sure he is an absolutely lovely man!” he said.
Trump used his UN address last year to bash the nuclear deal as “an embarrassment,” signaling that the United States was ready to walk away.
After its exit, the United States maintains that it is seeking to ramp up pressure on Iran which it accuses of sowing chaos in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.
“As I have said repeatedly, regime change in Iran is not the administration’s policy,” Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton told reporters.
“We’ve imposed very stringent sanctions on Iran, more are coming, and what we expect from Iran is massive changes in their behavior,” he said.
Defying US on Iran
After a late meeting on Monday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced that a new legal entity would be set up to preserve oil and other business links with Iran.
“This will mean that EU member-states will set up a legal entity to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran and this will allow European companies to continue to trade with Iran,” Mogherini told reporters, flanked by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Rouhani has also made clear he has no intention of seeing Trump while in New York during the marathon of meetings.
As a precondition for any dialogue, Rouhani said Trump would need to repair the damage done by exiting the nuclear deal. “That bridge must be rebuilt,” he told NBC news.
On Wednesday, Trump will for the first time chair a meeting of the Security Council on non-proliferation that will give him a fresh opportunity to make the case for a tougher international stance on Iran.
“The Trump administration’s approach toward Iran seems to boil down to: squeeze and let’s see what will come,” said Robert Malley, president of International Crisis Group.
U-turn on North Korea
With only six weeks to go before key midterm US elections, Trump will be seeking to appeal to his hard-right voter base from the dais of the General Assembly.
Trump used his debut address 12 months ago to threaten to “totally destroy” North Korea and belittled its leader as “rocket man,” prompting Kim to respond by calling the US president “mentally deranged.”
But returning to New York, Trump hailed “tremendous progress” to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
“Chairman Kim has been really very open and terrific, frankly, and I think he wants to see something happen,” Trump said after meeting South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Also making his second address at the General Assembly, French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to take issue with Trump’s America-First policy and make the case for strengthening the rules-based multilateral order.
Macron is championing the Paris climate agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that Trump ditched in June, arguing it would harm the US economy.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday opened the world’s largest diplomatic gathering with a stark warning of growing chaos and confusion as the rules-based global order comes under threat of breaking down.
Addressing the opening session of the UN General Assembly, Guterres said trust in the rules-based global order and among states was “at a breaking point” and international cooperation becoming more difficult.
“Today, world order is increasingly chaotic. Power relations are less clear,” Guterres told the 193-nation assembly just minutes before President Donald Trump was to take the podium. “Universal values are being eroded. Democratic principles are under siege.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Nigeria for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
The President left the country with his wife, Aisha.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, had announced that the President will be departing from the country for the event today.
The 73rd Session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA73) officially opened on September 18, 2018, with the theme, ‘Making the United Nations relevant to all People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies.’
According to Adesina, the high point of President Buhari’s participation will be his address to the General Assembly on Tuesday.
The President is expected to reaffirm Nigeria’s commitment to international peace and security; sustainable socio-economic development; disarmament and denuclearisation; youth and women empowerment; climate change; rule of law and human rights; among others.
He is also expected to canvass international support for the fight against corruption; the return of illicit assets; counter-terrorism and insurgency; curbing irregular migration; re-settling Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs); among other things.
Also, President Buhari and his delegation will participate in a meeting on the fight against Tuberculosis organised by the World Health Organisation as Nigeria currently ranks seventh among the high TB-burden countries globally, and second in Africa.
The Nigerian delegation is expected to attend the Mandela Peace Summit, which is a high-level Meeting on Global Peace in honour of the centenary birth of the late South African President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela.
Other side-events lined up for the Nigerian delegation include a high-level meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit; the Second Annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum; High-Level Meeting on Action for Peace-Keeping; Commemoration and Promotion of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
President Muhammadu Buhari will on Sunday depart for New York to attend the 73rd Session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA73) which officially opened September 18, 2018.
The theme for this year’s Session is: “Making the United Nations relevant to all People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies.”
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says, the high point of President Buhari’s participation will be his address on Tuesday to the General Assembly on the opening day of the General Debate.
The President’s presentation of Nigeria’s National Statement is expected to reaffirm the nation’s commitment to international peace and security; sustainable socio-economic development; disarmament and denuclearisation; youth and women empowerment; climate change; rule of law and human rights; among others.
He is also expected to canvass for the international support for the fight against corruption; the return of illicit assets; counter-terrorism and insurgency; curbing irregular migration; re-settling Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs); recharging the receding Lake Chad; and calls for the reform of the United Nations, especially the expansion of the permanent membership of the Security Council to make that vital principal organ of the global organisation reflect regional and equitable geographical representation.
The President and his wife, Aisha, will also attend a welcome reception hosted by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres and his spouse for Heads of State and Government and their spouses.
President Buhari and his delegation will participate in a High-Level meeting on the Fight against Tuberculosis organised by the World Health Organisation as Nigeria currently ranks seventh amongst the high TB-burden countries globally, and second in Africa.
The Nigerian delegation is expected to attend the Mandela Peace Summit, which is a High-Level Meeting on Global Peace in honour of the centenary birth of the late South African President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela.
Other side-events lined up for the Nigerian delegation include: High-Level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit; the Second Annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum; High-Level Meeting on Action for Peace-Keeping; Commemoration and Promotion of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons; High-Level Meeting on the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa; and Pathway to Localising a Global Agenda.
During the course of his stay in New York, in addition to the audience with the UN Secretary-General, the Nigerian President is also expected to have bilateral meetings with African and world leaders including Bill Gates with a view to promoting national and African interests.
He will also grant audience to a select group of Nigerian professionals based in the United States.
Apart from his wife, President Buhari will be accompanied by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma; and the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin.
Others on the presidential entourage include the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar; Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammad Babandede; and the Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.