NIGERIAN TO HEAD THE 74TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
By Paul Ndiho
A Nigerian diplomat was a elected as the new president of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The new chief is pledging to focus on “peace and prosperity” for the most vulnerable.
The United Nations General Assembly is now headed by Tijjani Muhammad-Bande. The world body elected Nigeria’s Ambassador to the U.N. to the post last month, by acclamation, to preside over its upcoming session.
“Taking into account the provisions of Paragraph 60 of General Assembly decision 34/401, I, therefore, declare His Excellency Tijjani Mohammad Bande of Nigeria elected by acclamation as President of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.”
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, focuses on peace and security, poverty eradication, climate action, and inclusion are among the major priorities of his presidency.
Addressing the General Assembly, the newly elected Mohammad-Bande said that the international community must continue to invest in sustaining peace and conflict prevention.
“As the United Nations has not met the expectations of its founding fathers, in terms of preventing many violent conflicts and mass atrocities, we have to assume a collective responsibility to make the world a better, safer and more peaceful one. The promotion of human rights and the empowerment of women and youth deserve special attention, and I will be devoted to the promotion of gender parity throughout the whole UN system, starting from my own Office.”
Mohammad-Bande observed that the UN will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations, and that presents a unique opportunity to reduce the trust deficit between nations. He says the world shares the same aspirations and must but work together
“The General Assembly must play its role in bridging the gaps and promoting collective action to address all international issues that deserve attention, with close coordination and collaboration with the Secretary-General, Security Council and ECOSOC.”
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres says the Nigerian Ambassador can bring many relevant and admirable qualifications to the job from his years as the UN representative from Nigeria, and from expertise in political science and public administration.
“As a Nigerian and as an African, you have invaluable insights into the continent’s challenges such as the Sahel and Lake Chad basin and more broadly into the challenges our world faces across the three pillars of our work, peace, sustainable development, and human rights.”
Mohammad-Bande’s election to lead the UN General Assembly could help spotlight insecurity in Northern Nigeria where Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist group, carries out attacks targeting civilians and the military.
In its annual world report, Human Rights Watch says that despite notable military advances, and premature proclamations of Boko Haram’s defeat by government forces, the extremist group remains a threat to security in the northeast region. Abductions, suicide bombings, and attacks on civilian targets by Boko Haram still plagues the Nigerian government.
Their attacks have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions of people.