President Muhammadu Buhari was cheered by his wife Dr. Aisha and his daughter Halima after delivering his address at the General Debate of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday..
Below is President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech at the 73rd Session of UNGA
On behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria, I congratulate you, Madam President, on your well-deserved election as President of the 73rd General Assembly. As you embark on your assignment, I would like to assure you of Nigeria’s support in no less measure than that which we extended to your illustrious predecessor, His Excellency Mr. Miroslav Lajčák.
We appreciate the effective leadership he gave the 72nd Assembly with such dedication, commitment, and fairness to all member states. I also salute our distinguished Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres, who steered the affairs of the Secretariat with focused commitment to the collective @UN pursuit of global peace and security, equity and justice, inclusiveness, women’s empowerment and human rights.
It is appropriate at this point to remember with deep sadness our late 7th Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Kofi’s significant contributions to the work of our Organisation have been acknowledged in the well deserved tributes that poured in from around the world following his death.
We in Africa, while mourning the loss of this great son of ours and citizen of the world, take pride in the way he served humanity in a truly exemplary manner. He demonstrated, in his calm but determined manner, the virtues of compassion, dedication to the cause of justice, fairness and human rights. He was a visionary leader who inspired hope even in the face of the most daunting challenges. He devoted his entire life’s career to the UN and the pursuit of its ideals and goals.
The world is indeed a better place thanks to his exemplary service. Madam President, During the past year, the world saw some positive results and encouraging signs from the bilateral and multilateral efforts of the international community to address conflicts, crises and threats to world peace. We particularly commend 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.
In this connection, we acknowledge the commitment to peace shown by President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-Un by initiating a historic Summit. We urge that they continue this positive engagement. Regrettably, many of the crises and threats to peace and security around the world which we debated last year as we did over several previous years remain unresolved. In some cases, matters got worse.
The continuing plight of the Rohingyas in Myanmar, the protracted Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the wars in Yemen, and Syria, and the fight against international and local terrorism such as Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab come to mind. 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. In Myanmar, the carnage appears to have thankfully abated somewhat.
We commend the United Nations for staying focussed on the situation of the Rohingya people, to bring their suffering to an end, and hold to account the perpetrators of the atrocious crimes committed against innocent and vulnerable members of this community, including women, children and the old.
The international community should strengthen its resolve to combat ethnic & religious cleansing everywhere. We support 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.
In this context, Nigeria commends the Government and people of Bangladesh in particular and all other countries and organizations that have contributed to shouldering the burden of providing shelter and other vital assistance to the Rohingya Refugees.
The carnage and the worsening humanitarian situations in Syria and Yemen continue unabated. But the international community cannot afford to give up on the Syrian and Yemeni people.