From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The United Nations (UN), yesterday, called for a sustained and more coordinated efforts towards the recovery from COVID-19 pandemic.
UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, made the call in Abuja when she was received in audience by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.
Mohammed noted that the recovery from COVID-19 will assist in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She added that the UN will continue to support Nigeria and other developing countries to come out of the pandemic.
The former Minister of Environment further said in spite of the challenges of the pandemic, the world will benefit from the opportunities therein.
“What happened last year was a huge challenge for the world when we were visited by COVID-19. It is not over yet, we are still trying to respond, to recover. But also to touch on the issues with a view on how to achieve the SDGs in the decade that is Ieft, and the urgency and the scale with which we have to do that in every country in spite of the challenges of COVID-19,” Mohammed said
Speaking further, Mohammed said: “As we look back, last year was a struggle, a tiny virus put a halt to most activities around the world and while it is health crisis, it ended up being a socio-economic crisis as well. Government and economies felt the impacts of COVID-19 as countries locked down.
“We survived and I think we did well as a globe, as a community. In many ways, I have to say that Africa’s response to COVID-19, Nigeria’s response to COVID-19, has been one that has been commended around the world and the UN has been happy to support the efforts particularly here in Nigeria.”
Mohammed also said 2021 was not likely to be different from the previous year, but expressed hope that the recovery would be stronger and will be different because many of the things that the world experienced last year due to COVID-19, have actually brought opportunities.
On the need to put an end to the insurgency bedeviling the country and other parts of West Africa, the Mohammed said the root causes of insurgency must be tacked, adding that the UN has been working with Nigeria, the ECOWAS and with the whole region to address the scourge.
Mohammed also called for more investment in the education of youths in the sub-region.
“We have to invest in their education, their services and strengthen local governments. We will be partnering with government to make sure that happens. We will partner with the security agencies not just in Nigeria, but across the region,” Mohanned further said.
On his part, Onyeama said the involvement of Mohamamed in the UN system was an opportunity for Nigeria to recalibrate its engagement with the UN and know how and what should be done to push its priorities forward.