UN General Assembly: 7 Major Things President Buhari Said
President Muhammadu Buhari was one of the over 150 world leaders gathered at the New York headquarters of the United Nations for the 72nd General Assembly earlier today, September 19th.
The event would mark his first international outing since returning from an extended sick leave in London.
Buhari addressed a range of international issues including the growing threat posed by North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons as well as the situation in Myanmar, Yemen.
He also expressed the country's unshaken faith in democracy, while reiterating Nigeria's continued support to the UN in it's attainment of the 2030 agenda for sustenance and development.
Noteworthy, however, was his silence on the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) agitations in South-East Nigeria.
Here are 7 major things Buhari said at the 72nd UN General Assembly.
1. Global Refugee Situation: President Buhari commended the UN’s role in helping to settle thousands of innocent civilians caught in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. He also specifically expressed gratitude to the Governments of the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Greece and Turkey for assisting hundreds of thousands of refugees.
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2. Terror In Africa: Buhari acknowledged the role the international community played in containing the threats posed by Al Qaida and Boko Haram, particularly in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions. He thanked 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. Bringing it home to Nigeria, he also noted the relief and humanitarian assistance being provided to millions in camps and those afflicted by terrorism, drought, floods and other natural disasters.
3. Democracy And Governance: West Africa was a beacon of light earlier in the year when the region came together to ensure that the democracy in Gambia was preserved following the touchy elections in the country. Buhari acknowledged this, and highlighted the role the regional organisation, ECOWAS played in upholding democratic principles in The Gambia – as they had done previously in Cote D’Ivoire.
4. Corruption: What's a Buhari speech without any mention of corruption? The president touched on this saying "through our individual national efforts, state institutions are being strengthened to promote accountability, and to combat corruption and asset recovery. 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."
5 Old And New Conflicts: In the face of new conflicts, President Buhari charged the assembly to also not forgo past unresolved conflicts, raising the Middle East crisis. He pointed out that several UN Security Council Resolutions from 1967 on the Middle East crisis remain unimplemented while, the suffering of the Palestinian people and the blockade of Gaza continue. He also raised the Myanmar crisis which he described as "very reminiscent of what happened in Bosnia in 1995 and in Rwanda in 1994". He then urged the council not to remain silent on these issues but condemn the horrendous acts.
6. 1st World Vs Third World: President Buhari urged the assembly to be mindful and focus on the widening inequalities within societies, and the gap between the rich and the poor nations, which he said are part of the underlining root causes of competition for resources, frustration and anger leading to the imbalance and chaos in the world. He urged the international community to cooperate and provide critical assistance and material support to those in need.
7. North Korea: The country is currently a burning subject in international discourse following President Kim Jong-un's testing of nuclear weapons. President Buhari thus broached the subject and proposed that the UN should urgently set up a strong delegation which should include members from all regions to engage the North Korean leader. He further said that "the crisis in the Korean peninsula underscores the urgency for all member states, guided by the spirit of enthroning a safer and more peaceful world, to ratify without delay the Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, which will be open for signature here tomorrow."
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