72nd UN General Assembly: FG to Solicit Int’l Support for Release of Remaining Chibok Girls

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• Also repatriation of seized loot abroad

Alex Enumah in Abuja

When the 72 United Nations General Assembly convenes next week in the United States of America, some of the priority issues Nigeria will pursue at the gathering is to rally the international community in her quest for the release and safe return of the remaining Chibok school girls still in captivity of Boko Haram insurgents.

The nation is also planning a follow up on the resolution she presented at the 71st session on the need for international cooperation in combating illicit financial flows and enhance asset recovery which she believes is crucial in fostering sustainable development.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja during a briefing on Nigeria’s participation at the 72nd UN General Assembly.

Onyeama, while noting that the occasion provides a high level window of opportunity to advance Nigeria’s actions towards the promotion of peace and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said the nation would seize the opportunity to inform the international community on the successes recorded in the fight against terrorism, corruption and others.

“Government’s efforts have resulted in the release of over 80 school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents in Chibok, in 2014. We will call for continued international support to ensure the safe release and Return Of the remaining school girls,” he said.

On the issue of Nigeria’s looted funds abroad, Onyeama said it is time for the repatriation of the proceeds of Illicit financial assets to countries of origin, adding that Nigeria would follow up on the resolution she initiated last year at the assembly.

He said Nigeria would also be advocating for the eradication of poverty through partnerships which focuses attention on people and the planet, in line with the SDGs 1.

Also of importance to the country is the fight against corruption, which Onyeama said the successes recorded by the Buhari’s administration led to his adoption last July by the African Union, to champion the fight against corruption on the continent.

“Nigeria will therefore, build in this foundation and encourage an inclusive internationally coordinated approach to fight corruption,” he said.

On the international front, Onyeama disclosed that Nigeria would lend her voice to support call for the immediate reform of the United Nations for effective and balance representation. “The temporary call for the reform of the UN Security Council, is for transparent, accountable council.

“To this effect, Nigeria will call for the comprehensive reform of the United Nations, particularly the Security Council, to reflect equitable and fair representation. 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 further pledged Nigeria’s commitments in working closely with the UN Secretary-General in promoting Africa’s interest.