President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday at the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, urged the world to strive for peace and decent living for all people.
Buhari, who delivered Nigeria’s National Statement, lauded the international community’s support against Boko Haram and for providing support to address the huge humanitarian challenges in Nigeria’s North-East.
“In an exemplary show of solidarity, the international community came together within my own region to assist the countries and communities in the Sahel.
“The international community also assisted the Lake Chad regions to contain the threats posed by Al Qaida and Boko Haram.
“We thank the Security Council for visiting the countries of the Lake Chad Basin to assess the security situation and humanitarian needs and for pledging assistance to rebuild lives and livelihoods.
“Indeed, in Nigeria we are providing relief and humanitarian assistance to millions in internally displaced camps and those afflicted by terrorism, drought, floods and other natural disasters,” he said.
The president also assured the UN of Nigeria’s support, especially at this troubled time in the life of the organisation.
“I assure you of my country’s solidarity and cooperation. You will indeed, need the cooperation of all member-states as we are meeting during extra-ordinarily troubled and dangerous times.”
According to him, the previous year has witnessed many far-reaching developments, including the Iran Nuclear Deal, the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the North Korean nuclear crisis.
Buhari commended UN for helping to settle thousands of civilians in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
He also lauded the Governments of Germany, Italy, Greece and Turkey for assisting hundreds of thousands of refugees.
“In the last year, the international community came together to focus on the need for gender equality, youth empowerment, social inclusion, and the promotion of education, creativity and innovation.
“The frontiers of good governance, democracy, including holding free and fair elections, and enthronement of the rule of law are expanding everywhere, especially in Africa.
“Our faith in democracy remains firm and unshaken. Our regional organisation, ECOWAS, came together to uphold democratic principles in The Gambia as we had done previously in Cote D’Ivoire,” he said.
According to the president, through individual national efforts, state institutions are being strengthened to promote accountability, and to combat corruption and asset recovery in Africa.
“These can only be achieved through the international community cooperating and providing critical assistance and material support.
“We shall also cooperate in addressing the growing transnational crimes such as forced labour, modern day slavery, human trafficking and cybercrime. These cooperative efforts should be sustained.
“We must collectively devise strategies and mobilise the required responses to stop fleeing ISIS fighters from mutating and infiltrating into the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin.
“The Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin are where there are insufficient resources, and response capacity is weak.
“This will require strong UN cooperation with regional organisations, such as the African Union, in conflict prevention and management,” he said.
The Nigerian leader condemned the Myanmar crisis, saying the Rohingya crisis was state-backed.
“The international community cannot remain silent and not condemn the horrendous suffering caused by what, from all indications, is a state-backed programme of brutal de-population of the Rohingya inhabited areas in Myanmar on the bases of ethnicity and religion.
“We fully endorse the call by the Secretary-General on the Government of Myanmar to order a halt to the ongoing ethnic cleansing and ensure the safe return of the displaced Rohingya to their homes in safety and dignity.
“In all these crises, the primary victims are the people, the most vulnerable being women and children.
“That is why the theme of this session, Focusing on People: Striving or Peace and Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet, is most apposite,” he said.
According to him, the most pressing threat to international peace and security today is the accelerated nuclear weapons development programme by North Korea.
Buhari, therefore, urged that necessary pressure and diplomatic efforts must be brought to bear on North Korea to accept peaceful resolution of the crisis.
“Nigeria proposes a strong UN delegation to urgently engage the North Korean Leader. The delegation, led by the Security Council, should include members from all the regions.”
Buhari reiterated Nigeria’s abiding commitment to the foundational principles and goals of the UN.
“Since our admission as a member state in 1960, we have always participated in all efforts to bring about global peace, security and development.
“Nigeria will continue to support the UN in all its efforts, including the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” he said. (NAN)