He began with an eulogy for the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, who was laid to rest days ago, leaving legacies that the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, said had made Africans proud.

Under the umbrella body, the nations are united, but from continent to continent conflict is also tearing nations among them apart.

President Buhari while giving his speech at the Debate of the United Nations General Assembly put before leaders of nations, seven key things that should be the pursuit of every nation.

Global peace and security, equity and justice, inclusiveness, women’s empowerment and human rights, are the duties of all, he told them, corroborating the demand for peace made by the the Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres, in his speech.

These seven key issues that the Nigerian leader laid before the General Assembly are;

1. Commitment To Peace

It is glaring that between the time the last UN General Assembly was held and now, the world saw some positive results and encouraging signs from the bilateral and multilateral efforts of the international community to address conflicts, crises and threats to world peace.

Top in the list put forward by President Buhari was the commitment to peace shown by President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-Un by initiating a historic Summit.

He emphasised the need to continue this positive engagement, but also said that regrettably, many of the crises and threats to peace and security around the world which were debated last year had remain unresolved.

“In some cases, matters got worse,” he said, citing the continuing plight of the Rohingyas in Myanmar, the protracted Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the wars in Yemen, and Syria, and the fight against international and local terrorism such as Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab.

2. Terrorism And Conflicts

On terrorism which Nigeria has got a share of as a jihadist group, Boko Haram, pushes for an Islamic state in the nations northeast, President Buhari told the General Assembly that the insurgencies faced in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, were partly fuelled by local factors and dynamics, but now increasingly by the international Jihadi Movement, runaway fighters from Iraq and Syria and arms from the disintegration of Libya.

3. Solution To Conflict

He quickly proposed a solution to the conflicts, saying that “Nigeria reaffirms its unwavering support for a just two-state solution, negotiated without intimidation and with Israel and Palestine existing side-by-side in peace and security".

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The Nigerian President, who had declared his readiness to negotiate with terrorists in the northeast and even expressed the desire to offer money in exchange for girls that were still in captivity, told the General Assembly that the crises in the Middle East had deep roots, remaining unresolved for too long.

Nigerian women march for peace

“Yet, we should not fall into self-defeating despair and conclude that they are not amenable to solution.

“We should draw inspiration from the remarkable leadership that got Ethiopia & Eritrea to restore long-lost hope for peace between them,  a remarkable show of statesmanship which has now galvanised neighbouring countries, incl. Djibouti & Somalia to push for peace in the subregion

“I believe that with hard work, commitment, and a disposition to compromise and necessary sacrifices, peace is achievable in the Middle East as well,” he said.

4. Migration

Crises in the middle east and other nations in Africa have given birth to huge movement of migrants to Europe and President Buhari stressed that a topical consequence of the current conflicts around the world was the irregular migration of affected people. 

Migrants in Mediterranean Sea
Several migrants have died in the sea

“Irregular migration entails huge avoidable loss of human lives, puts strains on services in host countries and communities, and fuels anti- immigrant and racist sentiments in Europe.

“That is why we welcome the successful conclusion of the negotiations on the first-ever Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and we look forward to its adoption in Marrakech later this year,” he said.

5. Lake Chad And Climate Change

Climate Change remains one of the greatest challenges of our time and the Lake in the Chad Basin has continued to shrink.

To address the issue the President again called for a rededicated international engagement to accelerate the recovery efforts in the Lake Chad Basin to address the root causes of the conflicts in the region.

Lake Chad basin shrinking

“What is required is continuous and robust UN cooperation with national Governments and sub-regional and regional organisations such as the Lake Chad Basin Commission, ECOWAS and the African Union, to enhance capacity in conflict prevention, conflict management and peace building.”

6. Corruption

His government came to power on the mantra of corruption and again, President Buhari told the General Assembly that corruption within countries and illicit flow of funds across national boundaries had huge negative impact on the stability, peace, and economic prospects of millions in developing countries.

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“Corruption significantly deprives national Governments of resources to provide meaningful livelihoods to their populations who are predominantly youths, thus giving rise to more irregular migration.

"The fight against corruption, therefore, involves us all,’ he told them, putting forward in a subtle way his nation’s demand for the return of all stolen monies from the nation’s coffers taken abroad," he told them.

7. Reform Of The Security Council

It is the desire of Nigeria to hold a vital position at the United Nations Security Council and President Buhari again stressed the need for reforms to accommodate this dream.

“The only global institutional framework we have to address these challenges is the United Nations System.

“That is why we continue to call for the strengthening of the Organisation and making it more effective by speeding up the pace of progress towards its reform, including that of its principal organ, the Security Council.

United Nations Security Council sanctions on North

“The reconstitution of the Security Council to make it more equitable and more representative of our global community is both a political and moral imperative,’ he told them.

Buhari then expressed the belief that a reformed Security Council with expanded membership in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, is in accord with prevailing international consensus and it is in our collective interest to do so.

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