Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari will lead the Nigerian delegation to the 72nd UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York and would call for “comprehensive reform of the UN”.
Onyeama disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday when he briefed newsmen on the conference scheduled to hold from September 12 to September 25.
“We are absolutely delighted that, as he did last year, Mr. President will be leading the Nigerian delegation to the UNGA in New York”, Onyeama said.
“That should be an excellent message to the world that Nigeria is engaged at the very highest level with the international community and it is present in the big and global issues of the day.
“Of course, when we attend UNGA we always have clear objectives of what we want to get out of it for the country.
“We are always keen that Nigeria’s priorities and interests are really pushed and our objectives are achieved”, the minister added.
Onyeama said that Nigeria was keen on backing efforts to reform the UN, particularly the Security Council, to reflect fair representation.
“The UN must scale up its process of change and reform to strengthen its delivery capacity to meet new demands and deliver its vital services in most effective and efficient manner.
“The contemporary call for the reform of the UN Security Council is for a transparent, accountable Council. To this effect, Nigeria will call for the comprehensive reform of the UN.
“Africa must be adequately represented on the Security Council in the Permanent membership category.
“In this regard, Nigeria stands ready to serve Africa and the world in advancing international peace and security”, he said.
Onyeama observed that the 2017 UNGA provided a great opportunity to advance Nigeria’s actions toward the promotion of peace as well as implementation of the SDGs.
He stated that Nigeria would pursue its agenda in line with the theme for the session “Focusing on people: Striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet”.
The minister further disclosed that Nigeria would seek the support of the international community in eradicating terrorism from the northeast of the country, while also renewing its rallying call for greater international support towards the release of the remaining Chibok girls.
“Government’s efforts have resulted in the release of over 80 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Chibok in 2014.
“We will call for continued international support to ensure the safe release and return of the remaining Chibok girls”, Onyeama stated.
He added that Nigeria would also reiterate the call for the repatriation of the proceeds of illicit financial assets to countries of origin, recalling that Nigeria at the 2016 UNGA co-sponsored the resolution on repatriation of illicit financial assets to countries of origin.
“At the 72nd Session, the country will follow-up on this resolution and call for international cooperation to combat illicit flows and enhance asset recovery to foster sustainable development.
“Nigeria will also advocate for the eradication of poverty through partnerships which focus attention on people and planet in line with SDG Goal 1.
“In this connection Nigeria will call for the continued support and cooperation of the international community to achieve this goal”, Onyeama said.
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