Buhari’s Address At UN General Assembly [FULL SPEECH]

A photo taken on September 24, 2021, shows President Muhammadu Buhari addressing world leaders at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76) in New York, the United States.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday addressed world leaders at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76).

He gave the speech at the high-level General Debate of the summit ongoing at the UN Headquarters in New York, the United States.

In his address, the President highlighted the efforts of the Nigerian government in tackling the issues of insecurity, fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and improving the economy, among others.

READ ALSO: President Buhari Addresses World Leaders At UN General Assembly

Read his full speech at the session below:

 

ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 76TH SESSION OF UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY Friday, 24TH SEPTEMBER, 2021 NEW YORK, USA

Protocols:

Mr. President,

Let me, on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria, congratulate you on your well-deserved election as President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I would like to assure you of the full support and cooperation of the Nigerian delegation throughout your tenure.

2  I would like to commend your predecessor, His Excellency, Mr. Volkan Boskir, for the many remarkable achievements recorded during his tenure, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

3  Permit me to congratulate the Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on his re-election and commend his strong commitment to making the UN more alive to its responsibilities.

4  I also want to express my gratitude to him for re-appointing Ms. Amina Mohammed, as the Deputy Secretary General to assist him in discharging his heavy responsibilities.

Mr. President,

5  The theme of this year’s General Assembly – “Building resilience through hope – to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of the people, and revitalise the United Nations, sums up our common desire to rescue our planet, recover our economies, and restore hope to all the peoples of the world.

6  In this regard, my delegation will continue to support the United Nations, as the indispensable forum for international cooperation and the cornerstone of the multilateral system, rooted in respect for international law, including international human rights law and predicated on a rules-based order.

Mr. President,

7  I want to thank the international community for the concerted response to COVID-19. The solidarity and drive to contain the first truly global health emergency of our time is a pointer to the many things we can achieve if we work together.

8  On our part, Nigeria has made strenuous efforts to contain the virus and halt its deadly onslaught on our people. Our efforts have been rewarded with moderate success.

9  At the outset, we recognised detection and contact tracing to be important tools in combating the virus. In this connection, from a mere four laboratories with testing and detection capacities, we ramped up the facilities to over 140 centres today.

10  Similarly, we built isolation centres and emergency hospitals wards in record time all over the country. We carry out genomic sequencing in designated laboratories across the country with a view to detecting variants in circulation.

11  In addition, over 40,000 health care workers have recently been trained on Infection, Prevention and Control measures with the support of various partners. Through the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, we have established 16 infectious disease treatment centres located within our Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centres.

12  Nigeria remains grateful for the assistance received from our partners and friends all over the world. Vaccination is the key to our safe emergence from the pandemic. We fully support the COVAX initiative from which we have benefitted. We also thank the United States of America, Turkey, India, China, European Union, and others for the vaccines provided.

13  Despite the acknowledgement however, I would like to reiterate my call for a fairer and more equitable distribution of vaccines to all countries so that, together, we can fight and contain the pandemic. The rising wave of newer and more contagious strains, makes this even more urgent. No country can afford the socio-economic implications of prolonged shutdown. It is imperative to underscore that no one is safe until everyone is safe.

Mr President,

14  Nigeria remains deeply concerned over the illicit trade, transfer, and circulation of small arms and light weapons. Their excessive accumulation and uncontrolled spread in many regions of the world are having devastating humanitarian and socio-economic consequences, especially on the continent of Africa.

15  It is on this note that my delegation calls for the world wide application of the Arms Trade Treaty to codify accountability in conventional arms trade, which is critical to the security of nations. This is in recognition of the need for a broad-based global partnership in the on-going battle against trans-border crimes, including terrorism and piracy.

Mr. President,

16  We must deal not only with the symptoms of conflict but also the immediate causes that fuel conflicts in the first place. These include poor and undemocratic governance, human rights abuses, poverty, ignorance, injustice and inequalities.

17  There are no easy solutions to these conditions. They require long term investments and more effective international cooperation. In this connection, my delegation underscores the importance of promoting peaceful, unfettered, and inclusive participation of states in global actions towards conflict prevention. This will facilitate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union Agenda 2063.

18   In West Africa especially, our democratic gains of the past decades are now being eroded. The recent trend of unconstitutional takeover of power, sometimes in reaction to unilateral changes of constitutions by some leaders, must not be tolerated by the international community. Nigeria fully supports the efforts by ECOWAS to address this growing challenge and appreciates the support of both the African Union and the United Nations. In this regard, I would like to reiterate that as leaders of our individual Member-States we need to adhere to the constitutional provisions of our countries, particularly on term limits. This is one area that generates crisis and political tension in our sub-region.

Mr President,

19  Nigeria is fully committed to nuclear non-proliferation and has always supported the view that it should involve all States.

20  Disarmament Conventions deserve the support of all states, small, large, nuclear or non-nuclear. Nuclear weapons remain the ultimate agents of mass destruction, and their total elimination should be the final objective of all disarmament processes within the broad spectrum of goals being pursued by the United Nations.

21  In this regard, Nigeria would participate actively in the forthcoming Review Conference of the Nuclear Prohibition Treaty and also the First Meeting of States Parties to the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, scheduled to take place within the first quarter of 2022.

22  Nigeria regards these upcoming events as important steps towards the realisation of a world free of nuclear weapons. We are, therefore, supportive of any diplomatic efforts in this direction. We hope that the upcoming NPT review conference would lead to a successful outcome that would facilitate the denuclearisation of the world. We would do our part to ensure such an outcome.

Mr. President,

23  Terrorism continues to dominate security discourse worldwide. In Nigeria, Boko Haram terrorists group, though fragmented by internal strife and weakened by our defence forces, is still active and preying on soft targets. Nigeria will continue to work closely with UN Counter-Terrorism bodies and entities with a view to bringing this scourge to an end.

24  Nigeria has spared no effort in addressing the challenges of terrorism posed by the activities of Boko Haram in North-East Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, as well as banditry in the North-West and North-Central Nigeria. The Nigerian Security Forces have recorded considerable success in the fight against terrorism. As a result of the renewed vigour of our military, many terrorist fighters are voluntarily surrendering to our security forces.

25  I and three other Nigerian Heads of State served actively as peace keepers and Nigeria continues to support peacekeeping efforts. We know the sacrifice involved, we also know how important peace keeping is for those in vulnerable situations. Nigeria will continue to play its part fully in supporting United Nations peacekeeping operations within Africa and beyond.

Mr. President,

26  The impact of climate change is already with us in Nigeria, manifesting in various ways: conflicts trigger; food insecurity, drying up of lakes; loss of livelihood, and youth migration, among others. The trend is the same in many other countries that are threatened by forest fires, rising sea levels, drought and desertification.

27  In the circumstances, we intend to build a climate-resilient economy that effectively aligns with the SDGs and that has great potentials to unlocking the full opportunities in different sectors of the economy, while protecting the resources for present and future generations. I know, in several ways, this is also a familiar story in many countries.

28  As leaders, we must create inclusive and gender-sensitive policies that address all issues connected to climate action, from mitigation to resilience.

29  Nigeria believes that protecting our planet and its biodiversity and climate are important to our collective survival. That is why, we are working on a transition to low carbon economy, consistent with achieving the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr. President,

30  Combating illicit financial flows and ensuring the recovery and return of illicitly acquired assets have the potential to provide resources in the immediate term for financing development in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

31  Similarly, corruption across national borders has huge negative impact on the stability, peace, and economic prospects of millions, particularly in developing countries.

32   It deprives national Governments of resources needed to provide adequate and meaningful sources of livelihood for their citizens. The latter gives rise to more irregular migration patterns, with unwholesome consequences for inter-state and human relations.

33  I, therefore, call on all leaders to demonstrate the much-needed political will by supporting the recommendations for systemic reforms made by the FACTI Panel.

34  We support establishing modalities for a global coordination mechanism at the United Nations Economic and Social Council to systematically monitor illicit financial flows and strengthen financial integrity for sustainable development, with the participation of all relevant stakeholders.

Mr. President,

35  On the issue of debt, we have seen that developing countries have been faced with unsustainable debt burdens even before the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risk of new wave of deepening debt, where vital public financial resources are allocated to external debt servicing and repayments at the expense of domestic health and financing for critical developmental needs.

36  I must commend the current initiatives by the international financial institutions and the G20 aimed at significantly mitigating the economic situation of the indebted countries and urge for more efforts in this regard.

37  Therefore, there is an urgent need to consider expansion and extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative to include all Developing, Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States facing fiscal and liquidity challenges. In addition, a review of the eligibility criteria for debt suspension, including outright cancellation, is needed for countries facing the most severe challenges.

Mr. President,

38  Nigeria reaffirms that international trade is an engine for development and sustained economic growth, as well as the global eradication of poverty.

39  My delegation would like to reaffirm the critical role that a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system can play in stimulating economic growth and development.

40  Fair and equitable trade would eventually eliminate the need for aid. My country and indeed all African countries do not intend to stay indefinitely looking for aid. All we need is a fair and equitable system of international trade.

41  We, therefore, call for a reform agenda that will engender better recovery from this crisis, build resilience to future shocks and pursue transformative development strategies that can deliver the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr. President,

42  The global food system has, in recent times, been impacted by several factors such as population growth, availability and accessibility of arable land and water resources, climate change, and loss of biodiversity.

43   Increased competition for resources such as land, water, and energy, has affected food access and supply, particularly in developing countries. Climate change and unpredictable shocks, such as the current global pandemic, further exacerbate vulnerabilities in the global food system, requiring the UN’s urgent attention.

44  The Government of Nigeria remains determined to improve the productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers by promoting equal access to land, technology and markets, sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practices.

45  At the heart of Nigeria’s post-COVID-19 response is the Economic Sustainability Plan, which has a major component, called the Agriculture for Food and Jobs Programme where we seek to leverage suitable technologies to build a resilient food system for the country.

46  An integral part of our food systems’ transformation strategy is to create an enabling and supportive environment to implement these policies in a participatory manner.

47  Global efforts to mitigate and sustain food systems must involve key stakeholders, including Governments, farmers, investors, multilateral organizations, regional bodies, international financial institutions, private partners and civil society organizations.

Mr. President,

48  Nigeria has been steadfast in safeguarding human rights, including the advancement of women, the protection of children, the protection of the rights of people living with disabilities, the treatment of migrants, refugees, returnees and displaced persons as well as, the promotion of fundamental freedoms through all legitimate means. In this regard, my delegation commends the positive example of leaders like Prime Minister Jacinda Arden of New Zealand.

49  In this context Nigeria calls for collective global action through a Treaty to end all forms of violence against women and girls of all ages.

50  Nigeria remains unwavering in its commitment to ensuring the advancement of human rights within its shores and beyond. This is so even in the context of a vicious decade-long onslaught by terrorists against Nigerians, quite contrary to unwholesome reports by some who hardly verify what they state against us.

51  The recent rise in hate related crimes globally underscores the urgent need to continue our engagement about racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other related intolerance. It is sad to note that the issue of racism remains alive globally.

52  We are beginning to forget our affirmation of the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of every individual as enshrined in the UN Charter. No society can claim to be free or just if it deprives anyone of these rights.

53  Nigeria has long been a principled fighter against racism and all forms of discrimination inspired by its African experience. In the past, racism oiled the machine of slavery and colonialism. Today, racism drives hate crimes and institutional discrimination. In all this, Africans and people of African descent are among the major victims.

54  Cognizant of these, I commend Member States for adopting by consensus the resolution on the Establishment of the Permanent Forum of People of African Descent on 2nd August 2021. I am confident that this forum will make significant impact in the quest to end race-related vices and injustices.

Mr. President,

55  No reform of the United Nations system is more urgent than that of the Security Council. Stakeholders around the world are asking how such power could be concentrated, with scant representation. The intergovernmental negotiations have taken too long, some 15 years. We must avoid going in cycles. Consensus has been achieved in some of the elements of this reform, especially that of the representation of Africa on the basis of the Elzuwini consensus and the Sirte Declaration. It is unreasonable to expect unanimity in this matter. The issue, indeed, is about justice, not unanimity. Without justice, the legitimacy (even efficacy) of our Organization is called to question. We can and must make substantial, irreversible progress on Security Council reform in the current session.

Mr. President,

56  Connected to this, is the question of justice, fairness, and equity in respect of the Palestinian people. The situation in the Middle East is long-standing and gives cause for concern. Nigeria encourages Israel and Palestine to re-engage in dialogue based on relevant UN resolutions and Initiatives. The two-state solution has the support of the international community and is widely acknowledged as the path to lasting peace.

Mr President,

57  Our organization is at the peak of the multilateral system. It is also the pre-eminent body for solving our current and emerging challenges, and for developing norms that are protective of us all. We need to re-commit to it, rejuvenate it to better serve us. Nigeria re-affirms its faith in the United Nations and is further resolved to continue to work with all Member-States for peace and security, development and the protection of human rights. In the current moment, hope for these, is dependent on how we assist each other to get COVID-19 out of all countries, regardless of their classification. We can and must do so.

58    In this regard, let me close my statement by paying special tribute to a great and humane internationalist, and an exemplary practitioner of multilateral cooperation. I am speaking of Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Federal Republic of Germany. As she exits the stage, we wish her well.

I thank you.

Recognise The Taliban? World Powers Face Afghan Dilemma

An image grab taken from Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television on August 16, 2021, shows Members of Taliban taking control of the presidential palace in Kabul after Afghanistan’s president flew out of the country.  AL JAZEERA / AFP

 

The international community faces a growing dilemma over whether to recognise the Taliban as the rulers of Afghanistan, weighing distaste on the vision of the Islamist group with the need for stability.

Since the August 15 takeover of Kabul by the Taliban, which dislodged the pro-Western government, world powers have opened up channels of communication with the group but made clear this does not mean recognition.

The Taliban themselves have begun to indicate impatience on the issue of recognition, which would allow its officials to represent the country in international organisations, funds to be unblocked for the cash-starved economy.

The debate burst into the open at the UN General Assembly where the Taliban have asked to speak on behalf of Afghanistan, but the ambassador of the former ousted government claims to represent his country.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas rejected the demand of Afghanistan’s new rulers, saying a Taliban “show” would serve no purpose and “concrete deeds” were needed.

“At some point, the Taliban will have to make a choice between money and normalisation, or absolute isolation,” added a European diplomat, who asked not to be named.

“We will see if it works. As of now, it is not working.”

Even countries far less troubled than the West by the ousting of the former government, or even supportive of the Taliban, have been in no rush to recognise Kabul’s new rulers.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the Taliban needed to be more sensitive and take account of international opinion, an attitude shared by Qatar, which has long served as a mediator.

Even China, which has expressed a willingness to work with the Taliban and could scent an advantage by being among the first to recognise them, has yet to do so.

Western countries are alarmed that the first weeks of Taliban rule have not augured well for life under a group notorious for its brutal, oppressive rule from 1996 to 2001.

There is particular concern for the rights of women and girls who have not yet been allowed back to school although the Taliban have vowed this will be “as soon as possible”.

READ ALSO: Taliban Say Girls To Return To School ‘Soon As Possible’

‘Camouflage Powerlessness’ 

Taliban fighters stand guard at an entrance of the green zone area in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan’s 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city’s airport trying to flee the group’s feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. Wakil Kohsar / AFP

 

But after its “painful defeat” in Afghanistan, the West is in no position to dictate conditions, said Markus Kaim, Senior fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

“Western statements about how many levers they have on the Taliban and how effective they are only camouflage their own powerlessness and perpetuate the imperial hubris that has been part of the problem in Afghanistan,” he said.

The West, however, is not without tools to put pressure on Kabul.

Many Afghan bank accounts held abroad have been frozen. And from August 18, the International Monetary Fund suspended disbursements to Afghanistan due to the “lack of clarity within the international community regarding recognition of a government”.

The issue is all the more acute as the country risks humanitarian disaster this winter — the Taliban themselves were surprised at their swift victory and key central functions of the Afghan state have still not been restored.

Amina Khan, director for the centre for Afghanistan, Middle East and Africa at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, told AFP that the immediate priority for the Taliban was recognition by powers in its part of the world.

“The Taliban are putting their bets more on regional countries, for development, aid and political recognition. They want to work with China, Russia, Iran,” she said.

She added that in contrast to the Taliban’s previous spell in charge in the 1990s, there was now more strategic convergence among neighbours and nearby countries on the issue of recognition.

“The region has an appetite to play a larger role in Afghanistan and engage with the Taliban,” she said.

But she added that the group will have to “deliver on their promises”, notably pledges that Afghanistan will not become a base for forces hostile to neighbouring countries.

AFP

Nigeria To Establish 10 National Parks To Tackle Biodiversity Loss, Says Buhari

President Buhari participates at the Opening Session of the 76th UN General Assembly in New York on 21st Sep 2021. Photo: Facebook/Femi Adesina.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that 10 new national parks will be established as part of moves to tackle biodiversity loss. 

The Nigerian leader said this on Wednesday in a video message to the hybrid High-Level event tagged “Transformative Actions for Nature and People” on the margins of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 76) in New York. 

In a statement by the presidential aide, Femi Adesina, Buhari explained that apart from regional and inter-regional cooperation to tackle the menace, other measures include: “Expansion of protected areas including the establishment of ten (10) new National Parks across the country as well as the creation of Marine Protected Areas pursuant to the 30X30 Agenda of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD); and domestication of relevant International Agreements, Conventions as well as Laws and Policies for the protection and conservation of biodiversity.”

READ ALSO: Buhari Appoints NNPC Board Members, Approves Incorporation Of Agency

Buhari also said collaboration with development partners and organizations will be vital to reversing biodiversity loss and promote more investments in climate-positive economy.

He also thanked the Costa Rican President, Carlos Alvarado Quesada “whose country chairs the High Ambition Coalition for Nature & People (HAC) of which Nigeria is also a member and co-chair for the opportunity to be part of “this great event.’”

Buhari Arrives In New York For UN General Assembly

President Muhammadu Buhari arrives at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on September 19, 2021. Credit: State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in the United States of America, Channels Television has learnt.

The President touched down at the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York, at exactly 5:10 pm local time ahead of the high-level General debate of the United Nations Assembly on September 21, 2021.

He was received by Nigeria’s Permanent representative to the United States, Professor Tijani Bande and the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama.

READ ALSO: No More Selling Dollars To People Who Buy Arms To Hurt Us – Weekly Quotes

President Buhari will address the assembly during the general debates on Friday, September 24.

The President is expected to speak on this year’s theme which 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 revitalize the United Nations” and other global issues.

Buhari and members of his 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’.

Buhari Departs Abuja To Attend 76th UN General Assembly

President Muhammadu Buhari waves as he boards the presidential jet for the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 19, 2021. Credit: State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Abuja for New York, the United States to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina disclosed this on Sunday, adding that his principal will join other world leaders for the 76th session of the UNGA which opened on September 14.

According to the presidential spokesman, President Buhari will address the assembly during the general debates on Friday, September 24.

The President is expected to speak on this year’s theme which 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 revitalize the United Nations” and other global issues.

Buhari 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’.

Buhari is expected back in the country on September 26. Photo: State House

 

“The delegation will also participate in the 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,” Adesina said.

President Buhari will hold bilateral meetings with a number of other leaders of delegations and heads of international development organisations while in the U.S.

He is expected back in the country on Sunday, September 26.

He was 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.

The Nigerian leader will hold bilateral talks with other world leaders during the 76th UN General Assembly. Photo: State House

 

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.

CAMA Act Will Fight Corruption, Buhari Tells UNGA High-Level Summit

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 recently signed into law would enhance transparency and corporate accountability and help the fight against corruption.

In a statement issued on Thursday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina disclosed that President Buhari was addressing a high-level summit of the United Nations General Assembly.

Adesina said his principal spoke in a video message presented at the Open Government Partnership 2020 Virtual Leaders’ Summit on the sidelines of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States.

“Since the inception of our administration in 2015, the government has been committed to changing international and domestic perceptions regarding Nigeria’s commitment to fight corruption and foster good governance,”  President Buhari said.

“We focused on the task of dealing head-on with this destructive monster, which led to us joining the Open Government Partnership and making reform commitments such as to establish a public central register of beneficial owners of corporate entities.

“Since then, we have made significant progress in implementing tougher anti-corruption measures, including my recent assent to the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020.

“The Act provides a legal framework for the implementation of Beneficial Ownership Information Disclosure in Nigeria.

”Being an OGP member-country has helped Nigeria learn from other countries tackling similar challenges, and to build a coalition to support these reforms across the private sector and civil society. It has also aided our journey towards building citizens’ trust in government.”

Speaking on the COVID-19 pandemic, the President said that governments cannot solve all the challenges of the pandemic alone.

He explained that it is only through open governance and working with citizens that nations can succeed.

“We face a significant contraction in the global economy in 2020; the world is facing the unprecedented twin challenges of managing the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. ”

“In these times, citizens worldwide are seeking more information, engagement, and support from their governments,” President Buhari added.

‘Unacceptable, Ungodly’

Buhari’s remarks come seven weeks after he signed the CAMA Act, a development which has sparked debates among religious leaders.

CAN, the umbrella body of Christians had “outrightly” rejected the Act, describing it as “unacceptable, ungodly, reprehensible, and an ill-wind that blows no one any good.  It is a time bomb waiting to explode.”

A statement by CAN said while the body is not against the government’s resolve to fight corruption, “the Church cannot be controlled by the government because of its spiritual responsibilities and obligations.”

While speaking during the recently-concluded conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Vice President Osinbajo gave an insight into why CAMA has raised eyebrows among Christians.

“As a general position, I do not think it will be right to say that pastors don’t want to be accountable,” he said.

“I believe that several Christian organizations and pastors are willing to be accountable. The problem that they may have is ensuring that processes are not abused in such a way as to compromise the entire organization.

“And I think that if all that is required is some process of accountability, I think it will be easier for organizations to accept that.”

UNGA Debate: President Buhari Advocates Supply Of Safe Coronavirus Vaccines

President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday at the UN General Assembly Debate advocated for a safe and effective supply of Coronavirus vaccines to all parts of the world.

He also assured that Nigeria will continue to partner with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and some countries to ensure accelerated development.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: We Have Commenced Distribution Of Palliatives Worth N10.9 Billion – Buhari

Adesina in the statement added that President Buhari also spoke concerning terrorism and counter-terrorism and urged world leaders to redouble efforts to ensure collective security.

See the full statement below:

 

AT UNGA GENERAL DEBATE, PRESIDENT BUHARI ADVOCATES UNINHIBITED SUPPLY OF SAFE CORONAVIRUS VACCINES TO ALL

Nigeria will continue to partner with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and some countries to ensure accelerated development and manufacturing, as well as the uninhibited supply of safe and effective Coronavirus vaccines to all, President Muhammadu Buhari declared Tuesday.

Delivering Nigeria’s National Statement, via video-message, on the first day of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly Debate, President Buhari pledged Nigeria’s commitment to working with member states in the spirit of global cooperation and solidarity to promote human health and general well-being.

The theme of this year’s General Assembly is ”The Future We Want, The United Nations We Need: Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism- Confronting Coronavirus Through Effective Multilateral Action.”

The President described the theme of the General Assembly as most appropriate and timely, noting that it captures the common desire for a renewed and revitalised organisation in need of multilateral approaches to the many challenges facing the world.

”As we reflect on the future we want and the United Nations we need, we must realise that the people of the world not only look up to us: they count on us.

”If the United Nations system cannot mobilise the world to marshal out a truly effective and inclusive response to the coronavirus pandemic, then the United Nations would have failed in the core mission of giving expression, direction and solution to the yearnings of the international community.

”The future we want must guarantee human rights, human dignity, human prospects and prosperity. The principles of ‘Leaving No One Behind and Doing No Harm’ must be expressed through accountability, strategic growth initiatives and elimination of threats of all kinds,” he said.

President Buhari noted that in the quest to provide a future of hope and prosperity for all Nigerians, his administration had embarked on measures to ensure national resilience.

”We intend to achieve this through the implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan and the Medium Term National Development for the period 2020-2025 and 2026-2030.

”We expect that these ambitious initiatives will deliver sustainable economic growth and development to Nigeria,” he said.

On confronting the Coronavirus pandemic, the Nigerian leader, who stressed the need for effective multilateral actions, expressed concern that the pandemic has devastated the world economy, straining the capabilities of the health systems of many countries, including Nigeria.

”In the aftermath of the Coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria, we prioritised vulnerable groups, including women, children, older persons and the unemployed, in our efforts to provide medical and social assistance to cushion the socio-economic effects of the disease.

”Accordingly, we have expanded our National Social Register, to include an additional 1 million Nigerians. Our National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) has been the vehicle for reaching out to the poor and vulnerable members of the Nigerian population, as well as providing cover for over 12 million households,” he said.

Commending the efforts of the UN and the WHO in combating the pandemic, President Buhari noted with appreciation the 2 billion dollars Global Response Plan launched by the UN Secretary-General to fund the coronavirus response in the poorest countries.

The President also commended the Secretary-General’s call for a cease-fire in conflict areas to enable humanitarian assistance reach groups vulnerable to Coronavirus.

On poverty eradication in Nigeria, the President said in order to mitigate its impact, his administration had commenced the disbursement of N10.9 billion to households on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises as palliatives.

In addition, he said a N500 billion fiscal stimulus package and sustained delivery of humanitarian and social interventions to poor and vulnerable households have been established, while the Central Bank of Nigeria launched a N3.5 trillion-stimulus package to boost manufacturing and facilitate import substitution.

The Nigerian leader urged the international community to cooperate in addressing the scourge of poverty, particularly in developing countries.

In this regard, he commended the President of the 74th General Assembly, Prof Tijjani Muhammad-Bande of Nigeria, for launching an Alliance for Poverty Eradication in June.

He enjoined global leaders, particularly from the global North, to support the Alliance at a time when the COVID-19 is reversing gains made in the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and pushing an additional half a billion people into extreme poverty.

On disarmament, international peace and security, President Buhari said Nigeria remains deeply concerned over the illicit trade, transfer and circulation of small arms and light weapons, particularly on the continent of Africa.

He called on the international community to renew efforts to stem this traffic and promote the Arms Trade Treaty in order to codify accountability in the battle against trans-border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy.

On terrorism and counter-terrorism, the President urged world leaders to redouble efforts to ensure collective security, noting that the litany of sophisticated terrorist attacks across the globe is a harsh reality of the challenges the world is facing today.

”In Nigeria, we are still facing violent extremism from the insurgency of Boko Haram and bandits.

”We continue to count on our strong cooperation with UN Counter-Terrorism bodies and neighbouring countries to overcome the terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and the wider Sahel region.

”We will vigorously sustain the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of victims of terrorism and insurgency in the North East. The North-East Development Commission has been established for that purpose,” he said.

On illicit financial flows, President Buhari declared that the global aspiration to recover from the impact of COVID-19 will not be fully met without addressing structures that make it more difficult for countries to generate and retain their financial resources.

In this regard, the President again thanked Prof. Muhammad-Bande as well as the immediate past President of the Economic and Social Council, Ambassador Mona Jul, for jointly launching the High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI) for Achieving the 2030 Agenda.

President Buhari’s video speech at the opening session of the General Assembly Debate also touched other issues of interest to Nigeria ranging from SDGs, nuclear disarmament, climate change and migration to human rights, women empowerment and gender parity, quality education and the United Nations reform.

On climate change, the President reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the revitalisation of Lake Chad, saying:

”We are convinced that recharging the Lake will improve the living conditions of our people in the area, promote inter-state cooperation, strengthen community resilience and assist in addressing environmental and security challenges threatening the region and its resources.”

The Nigerian leader, therefore, renewed his call for international support for the regional efforts to raise 50 billion dollars required to actualise this initiative.

On quality education, President Buhari announced that Nigeria will be hosting the 4th International Conference on Safe Schools in 2021.

”Quality education for all is the cornerstone of sustainable development.

”I invite you all to Nigeria to participate in the Conference which aims to advocate for the protection of education from attack as we work together towards the future we want,” he said.

President Buhari ended his speech at the virtual event by reaffirming Nigeria’s commitment to promoting international peace and security and sustainable development, as well as strengthening partnerships and cooperation with international organisations.

 

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

September 22, 2020

Buhari Returns To Abuja After Attending UNGA In New York

President Muhammadu Buhari returns to Abuja

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Abuja, the nation’s capital after participating at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

The presidential aircraft carrying the president, his aides and some members of his entourage landed at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, on Saturday morning.

President Buhari departed via the JFK Airport en-route to Nigeria at about 11 am local time.

READ ALSO: UNGA: Buhari Departs New York For Abuja

The president, who left Abuja on Sept. 22 for New York, participated actively in the main and high side events of the UNGA74.

At the Summit, President Buhari used the opportunity to articulate the priorities of the Nigerian government to the world.

He also participated in high-level side events on Water and Sanitation as well as ‘SDG Integration – Bridging the Policy Planning – Budgeting Gap for the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.’

Before his departure to New York, the President met with a delegation of Nigerian Youth Climate Activists in New York, led by the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor.

UNGA: Buhari Departs New York For Abuja

 

 

After participatinG in the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), President Muhammadu Buhari has left New York for Abuja.

President Buhari departed via the JFK Airport en-route to Nigeria

The president departed at about  11am local time.

Earlier before departing New York for Nigeria, President Buhari met with a delegation of Nigerian Youth Climate Activists in New York, led by the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor.

President Buhari arrived in New York for the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the 23rd of September.

The president who departed Abuja on Sunday arrived in Manhattan at about 8:30 pm.

He was 5th on the list of presidents to address the Assembly.

At the Summit, President Buhari used the opportunity to articulate the priorities of the Nigerian government to the world.

We Will Increase Access To Water For Nigerians, Buhari Tells UNGA

File Photo: President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters on September 24, 2019, in New York City.  Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his government will increase access to water for Nigerians.

The President stated this at a side meeting with former Australian Prime Minister, Hon. Kevin Rudd, at the ongoing 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria had demonstrated political will on water and sanitation, and would soon step up advocacy on the issue.

Hon. Rudd is Global Chairman of Water and Sanitation for All.

READ ALSO: Buhari Applauds Bill Gates, Dangote For Humanitarian Activities In Nigeria

The President said that at Nigeria’s stage of development, clean water and sanitation were very important for a big country with a vast population, “as lots of diseases are water-borne. That is why we spend so much on healthcare and infrastructure.”

President Buhari recalled that a state of emergency was declared on water and sanitation in November last year, adding: “We have demonstrated the political will. We will step up with advocacy. Increased access to water for everyone is a target.”

Nigeria, the President disclosed, will have another launch in November this year, to scale up efforts on water, sanitation, and discouragement of open defecation.

Hon. Rudd said his organization supports countries to deal with challenges of clean water and sanitation.

“We value the political commitment you have to Sustainable Development Goal 6, and will do all we can to support you,” he added.

He recommended a slogan by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to Indian women: ‘Never marry a man unless he can provide you with clean toilet.’

He said through personal leadership, the Indian Prime Minister had made great progress in reducing the problem of open defecation by two-thirds in five years.

“The year 2025 is your target to end the same in Nigeria. You can do it. We will support in whatever is useful and practical for you,” the former Prime Minister said.

Buhari Departs Abuja To Attend 74th UNGA In New York

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Abuja for New York where he will be attending the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The president who departed on Sunday morning, will be the 5th on the list of presidents to address the assembly.

According to the Minister for Foreign Affairs Geoffery Onyeama, President Buhari will use the opportunity to articulate the priorities of the Nigerian government to the world.

Read Also: Garcés Hands Over To Nigeria’s Mohammed Bande As UNGA President

He also noted that Nigeria is hoping to partake in engagements that will help the country have seats in several organisations such as the International Maritime Organisation, the World Heritage Committee, and the International Civil Aviation Council.

Nigeria will also be pushing for the UN’s support in the war on terror, the humane treatment of migrants, as well as Nigeria’s quest to recharge lake Chad.

Buhari To Attend UN General Assembly In New York

President Muhammadu Buhari will travel to New York, United States to participate in the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA74).

President Buhari will depart Abuja for New York on Sunday to attend the conference which will be declared open on Tuesday, September 17.

This was disclosed on Wednesday in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President, Femi Adesina.

The President’s participation at this year’s gathering of world leaders coincides with Nigeria’s Presidency of UNGA.

Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Professor Tijjani Muhammad-Bande was on June 4, 2019, elected as the President of UNGA74.

This marks the second time Nigeria would be occupying the position following late Major-General Joseph Nanven Garba’s election during UNGA44 in 1989.

The theme for UNGA74 is, “Galvanizing Multilateral Efforts for Poverty Eradication, Quality Education, Climate Action and Inclusion.”

Adesina in the statement added that President Buhari is scheduled as Number Five Speaker on the first day of the debates.

“The President is expected to underscore his administration’s commitment to building on the achievements of its three-point agenda following the renewal of his electoral mandate by the majority of Nigerians. He will also reaffirm Nigeria’s position on salient global issues.”

President Buhari and members of his delegation are expected to participate in the Climate Action Summit with the theme, “A Race We Can Win. A Race We Must Win,” convened by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres; the High-Level meeting organized by the President of UNGA74 on Universal Health Coverage with the theme, “Moving Together to Build a Healthier World”; UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development; High-Level Dialogue on Financial Development as well as High-Level Meeting to Commemorate and Promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

In addition to the above meetings, the Nigerian delegation is expected to participate at the Side-Events organized by the country’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

“These include: SDGs Integration – Bridging the Policy Planning – Budget Gap for the Achievement of SDGs, organized by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals; Promotion of International Cooperation to Combat Illicit Financial Flows and Strengthen Good Practices on Assets Recovery and Return to Foster Sustainable Development, organized by the Office of the National Coordinator/CEO, African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development/African Peer Review Mechanism (AUDA-NEPAD/APRM) in collaboration with the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption bodies.”

Adesina added that the meeting will further boost the profile of President Buhari as the African Union anti-corruption champion.

“The Federal Ministry of Water Resources is also organizing a side-event on Sanitation and Hygiene Campaign for a Clean Nigeria: Sharing Lessons and Key Insights.

“This is crucial for Nigeria as donor nations and organisations are willing to support the country’s target to end open defecation by 2025,” he said.

The Nigerian leader is also billed to hold bilateral meetings with some leaders of other delegations; chief executive officers of big companies keen to invest in the country; Aliko Dangote and Bill Gates on sustaining the polio-free campaign as well as issues on human capital projects and development.

Before returning to Abuja at the conclusion of his engagements, President Buhari will meet with a select group of top America-based Nigerian businessmen and potential investors.

The President will be accompanied to New York by Governors Abdullahi Sule, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and Adegboyega Oyetola of Nasarawa, Kebbi and Osun States respectively; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Environment, Dr Muhammad Mahmoud; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; and Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire.

Also on the President’s delegation are: Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development, Sa’adiya Farouk; Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu; Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu; National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; National Coordinator/CEO, NEPAD, Princess Gloria Akobundu; and Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire.