Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Ahead of election for the Presidency of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) scheduled to hold in New York on June 4, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday, sent a Federal government delegation to support Nigeria’s candidate, Prof Tijjani Muhammad- Bande.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the delegation which is led by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mustapha Sulaiman, also has the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau and Shehu Bande, who is the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN.
If Muhammad- Bande’s election is successful, he will become the second Nigerian to be elected President of UNGA after Maj. Gen. Joseph Nanven Garba (rtd), who held the position between 1989 and 1990.
The presidential spokesman said Buhari is confident that Nigeria’s Presidency of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly will provide a unique opportunity for Nigeria to lead the global call to tackle the political, social, economic and environmental challenges facing the world.
He said Nigeria looks forward to working with UN member states to promote international peace and security, prevent conflict, strengthen global action to tackle climate change, ensure inclusion, human rights, and empowerment of youth and women.
Shehu said Nigeria also hopes to build on the progress made under Ecuador’s Presidency of the 73rd Assembly led by María, Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, and further promote key themes that President Buhari has championed on the global stage since 2015, which include climate change, combating terrorism and violent extremism, and establishing functional anti-corruption mechanisms to assist countries like Nigeria recover and repatriate stolen funds.