Posted by News Express | 29 September 2015 | 2,946 times
President Muhammadu Buhari last night in the USA identified Boko Haram insurgency as the most pressing problem facing his young administration and Nigeria. He told world leaders gathered at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York: “We intend to tackle inequalities arising from massive unemployment and previous government policies favouring a few people to the detriment of the many. We intend to emphasise quality technological education for development and lay foundation for comprehensive care of the aged, the disadvantaged and the infirm. But for now terrorism is the immediate problem.”
Buhari, who took office on May 29 and was delivering his first address in the UN General Assembly, explained what his administration is doing to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency, appealing for the cooperation of the international community in this regard, as well as in his government’s fight against crime and corruption. The Nigerian leader also touched on several other relevant isues, including the need for independence for Palestine and Western Sahara. Below is an excerpt of his speech:
“Accordingly, Mr. President, Members of the General Assembly, the new Nigerian Government which I have the honour to head, moved with dispatch to put in a bold and robust strategy to defeat Boko Haram. Nigeria and her neighbours Cameroon, Chad and Niger plus Benin are working together to face this common threat within the regional framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission. We have established a multinational joint task force to confront, degrade and defeat Boko Haram.
“We have driven them away from many of their strongholds, killed or captured many of their operatives or commanders and freed several hundreds of hostages.
“Mr. President, one of our major aims is to rescue the Chibok girls alive and unharmed. We are working round the clock to ensure their safety and eventual reunion with their families. Chibok girls are constantly on our minds and in our plans.
“Mr. President, terrorism is by no means the major or the only evil threatening and undermining the wellbeing of societies around the world.
• Cross border financial crimes
• Cyber crimes
• Human trafficking
• Spread of communicable diseases
• Climate change
• Proliferation of weapons
are all major challenges of the 21st century which the international community must tackle collectively. Let me reaffirm Nigerian government’s unwavering commitment to fight corruption and illicit financial flows. By any consideration, corruption and cross border financial crimes are impediments to development, economic growth, and the realisation of the well being of citizens across the globe.
“Nigeria is ready and willing to partner with international agencies and individual countries on a bilateral basis to confront crimes and corruption. In particular, I call upon the global community to urgently redouble efforts towards strengthening the mechanisms for dismantling safe havens for proceeds of corruption and ensuring the return of stolen funds and assets to their countries of origin.
“Mr. President, the world is now facing a big new challenge: human trafficking. This is an old evil taking an altogether new and dangerous dimension threatening to upset international relationships. We in Africa are grieved to see on international networks how hundreds of thousands of our able bodied men and women fleeing to Europe and in the process thousands dying in the desert or drowning in the Mediterranean.
“We condemn in the strongest terms these people traffickers and will support any measures to apprehend and bring them to justice. At the same time, we are very appreciative of European governments notably Italy and Germany, for their understanding and humane treatment of these refugees.
“Last year, our continent faced the dreadful occurrence of Ebola. We sincerely thank the international community for the collective efforts to contain this deadly disease. We are not out of the woods yet but we would like to record our appreciation to the United States, United Kingdom, France and China for their outstanding assistance in arresting the spread of Ebola and care of those infected in collaboration with host countries.
“Nigeria fully subscribes to and fully endorses Goals 13, 14 and 15 of the SDGs regarding Climate Change. In Nigeria, desertification and land erosion and degradation leading to biodiversity loss are real threats to our environment and we shall propose under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission a regional approach to combat these environmental challenges.
“We look forward to the UN Summit on climate change in Paris in December 2015. This summit should provide optimism to humanity on addressing the looming threat faced by many communities around the world.
“We are witnessing a dreadful increase in conflicts fuelled by availability of small arms and light weapons. I call upon all member countries to demonstrate the political will needed to uphold the UN charter. For a start, a robust implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty will guarantee that small arms and light weapons are only legally transferred. Arms traffickers and human traffickers are two evil species which the world community should eradicate.
“As we engage in these annual debates, we need remind ourselves of the principles that led to the founding of the United Nations. Among those are peaceful coexistence and self-determination of peoples. In this context, Mr. President, the unresolved question of self-determination for the Palestinian people and those of Western Sahara, both nations having been adjudged by the United Nations as qualifying for this inalienable right must now be assured and fulfilled without any further delay or obstacle.
“The international community has come to pin its hopes on resolving the Palestinian issue through the two – states solution which recognises the legitimate right of each state to exist in peace and security. The world has no more excuses or reasons to delay the implementation of the long list of Security Council resolutions on this question. Neither do we have the moral right to deny any people their freedom or condemn them indefinitely to occupation and blockade
“UN is 70 years old. It can count many more than 70 major achievements as the world’s forum and family reunion. It is my hope that in the next 70 years, it will achieve control of climate, help to eliminate communicable diseases, eliminate major and local conflicts and therefore eliminate the problem of refugees, take major steps towards reducing harmful inequalities between nations and within nations and above all, eliminate nuclear weapons.”
•Photo shows President Buhari addressing the 70th UN General Assembly . . . last night in New York, USA.
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