President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in New York called for global action on corruption, security and UN reforms.
The Nigerian leader said this in his address to world leaders at the ongoing 73rd session of the UN general assembly.
Buhari, who was the 14th speaker on the first day of the general debate, also unfolded Nigeria’s positions on international matters before the global audience.
Buhari in his Nigeria’s national statement, painted a distressing picture of the Lake Chad, saying the shrinking water body meant loss of livelihoods to the 45 million people in the area.
On corruption, the Nigerian leader called for measures by the international community to stem illicit flow of funds within countries and across national boundaries.
According to him, corruption has a huge negative impact on the stability, peace, and economic prospects of millions in developing countries.
“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,” Buhari said.
He noted that the fight against corruption was a collective assignment involving all stakeholders adding, “it is in our collective interest to cooperate in tracking illicit financial flows, investigate and prosecute corrupt individuals and entities and repatriate such funds to their countries of origin”.
“Fighting corruption or resolving international conflicts, crises and wars; defeating terrorism and piracy; curbing arms trafficking and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons which fuel these conflicts, particularly in Africa; stemming irregular migration by addressing its root causes; and the many other global challenges we are faced with today can only be effectively addressed through multilateral cooperation and concerted action.
“The only global institutional framework we have to address these challenges is the United Nations System.”
He called for the strengthening of the UN and making it more effective by speeding up the pace of progress towards its reform, including that of its principal organ, the Security Council.
According to him, it is high time we stopped skirting round the issue and establish achievable benchmarks and time frames for these reforms.
“I assure you all that in this advocacy, I am only reflecting Nigeria’s deep and abiding commitment to our Organisation and its founding principles and goals,” he said.
“From the date we joined in 1960, we have contributed our quota to the fulfilment of the mandate of the UN. We have been active participants in many Security Council and African Union authorised Peace Keeping operations around the world, beginning with the Democratic Republic of Congo operations in 1960.
“Furthermore, Nigeria has always mobilised the required human and material resources to achieve set United Nations goals, including the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“We are resolute in complementing the efforts and examples of the United Nations to promote gender equality and youth empowerment as necessary pillars for sustainable development.”
The Nigerian leader expressed regrets about some lingering threats to peace and security around the world, noting that in some cases, matters got worse.
“The terrorist insurgencies we face, particularly in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, are 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,” he said.
He called on the international community to strengthen its resolve to combat ethnic and religious cleansing everywhere, expressing Nigeria’s support for the UN’s efforts in ensuring that the Rohingya refugees are allowed to return to their homes in Myanmar with security, protection, and guarantee of citizenship.
The Nigerian leader commended the efforts of the leaders of the United States, North Korea and South Korea, “to realise our shared goal of a nuclear free Korean Peninsula.”
He also acknowledged the commitment to peace shown by U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un by initiating a historic Summit, urging both leaders to continue with the positive engagement.
Buhari called on the Israelis and the Palestinians to make the necessary compromises in the interest of justice, peace and security, in line with numerous UN resolutions and applicable international laws.
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