…Terrorism to top Nigeria’s engagement
…Human rights, flow of illicit assets too
From: AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said President Muhammadu Buhari, would lead the Nigerian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States.
The president, Onyeama said, would be attending the high level segment of the UNGA with a strong delegation of some governors and lots of ministers.
Recall that the annual UNGA, commences in the month of September and last for a period of three months, giving world leaders the opportunity to deliberate on issues concerning their countries and around the world.
Onyeama added that the president would be meeting major world leaders, particularly, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, saying that the meeting would give the president an opportunity to thank the Secretary-General for appointing one of his ministers to the very important and lofty position of Deputy-Secretary General of the UN.
Onyeama who made this known in Abuja at a press conference on Nigeria’s participation at the 72nd UNGA, also said during the President’s meeting with world leaders, the President would give them the benefit of his perspective on global issues.
Onyeama said the issue of terrorism would top Nigeria’s engagement during the General Assembly, just as the efforts being made by the present administration as regards the culture of human rights protection and the illicit flow of financial assets would also be part of the engagement.
The nation’s economy and job creation would also top the nation’s agenda, with the country getting strongly involved in the Nigeria-US Business Investment Forum during the UNGA.
Onyeama added that the reformation of the United Nations Security Council to allow the inclusion of African countries a permanent seat just like other regions of the world, would also take the front stage.
Nigeria, Onyeama said, had been spearheading the agenda, even as he said the issue of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers in their areas of operations would also be tabled during the UNGA.
“We are absolutely delighted that as he did last year, Mr President would be leading a significant Nigerian delegation to UNGA, in New York. And I think that should be an excellent message to the world that Nigeria is engaged at the very highest level with the international community and that Nigeria is present in the big issues, global issues of the day.
“And under the leadership of our president, President Muhammadu Buhari, this UNGA would be no exception as we would engage robustly with the international community.
“One of the messages, one of the areas of focus for us, a major global challenge of course, is the issue of terrorism. And for us, of course, that is also a big priority and it is one of the priorities Mr. President has identified and that the country is fully engaged in addressing.
“So, we will again be engaging with the international community in trying to find a definitive and lasting solution to the global challenge of terrorism.
We would share with the international community, the challenges that we have been facing and the successes and the further support that we need in our engagement with the scourge of terrorism and also, support in freeing all the hostages held by the terrorist group here in Nigeria: the Chibok girls and all the others. And that is still a priority for this government and there will be no let up,” Onyeama declared.
Onyeama further said the delegation would also share with the international community, the efforts that the current administration is making to enthrone President Buhari’s vision and respect for the culture of human rights protection.
“We would also want to share with the international community, the efforts that we are making to enthrone the Mr President Buhari’s vision and respect for the culture of human rights protection and share with the international community, of course, the challenges we face in a number of the conflict areas in the country, but also, the very real and substantial measures we have taken to enthrone the culture of human rights protection and respect for human rights in the country,” Onyeama stated.
Onyeama also said the issue of illicit flow of financial assets around the world would also top the nation’s agenda, saying that it keyed into President Buhari’s anti corruption crusade.
“As you know, we are facing challenges in repatriating stolen funds around the world. We have pushed in the United Nations, a Resolution on the Illicit Financial Flow of Funds. The international community has bought into that.
“And we would now be pushing to actualise that resolution so that all the countries of the world would be fully engaged in facilitating the repatriation of stolen funds lodged in their countries and also, taking measures to prevent the flow of illicit funds around the world.
“So, this is something that we would continue to engage very robustly with other countries of the world. And of course, the UN is also a forum for getting global buy-in to this prevention of illicit flow of funds and restitution of stolen funds or facilitating the restitution of stolen funds to countries of origin.
“For us, this is also a developmental issue. It impacts directly on the development trajectory of Nigeria and a lot of other developing countries that the resources that we need to promote development in the country, are being siphoned out of the system and of course,
it has a negative impact on the development challenges that
we face as a country,” Onyeama said.