Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday night addressed the 75th session of the UN General Assembly debate, where he declared that should the global body fail to mobilise and guarantee effective response to COVID-19 pandemic, it would have failed the world.
In a statement by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said the humanitarian body would have failed those that look up to it to provide direction during crisis of pandemic magnitude.
Buhari, who delivered Nigeria’s national statement through a video-message, on the first day of the debate, also spoke on his administration’s efforts in addressing poverty and ensuring respect for human rights.
This year had as its theme:“Future we want, the United Nations we need: Reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism- confronting coronavirus through effective multilateral action.”
President Buhari used the occasion to canvass uninhibited supply of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to all.He also pledged Nigeria’s continuous partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and some countries to ensure accelerated development and manufacturing of the vaccines.
“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 UN system cannot mobilise the world to marshal out a truly effective and inclusive response to the coronavirus pandemic, then the UN 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,” Buhari said.
The president expressed concern on the level of devastation the pandemic had done to the world economy, including straining the capabilities of the health systems of many countries, such as Nigeria, and how the country is coping with the situation.