Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari will Sunday leave Abuja for New York to participate in the 73rd session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA73), which took off on September 18. Buhari will address the General Assembly on Tuesday.
The theme of the general debate for UNGA73 is, “Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies.”
A statement by the president’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari’s address would be “Nigeria’s national statement,” which is expected to reaffirm the country’s commitment to international peace and security; sustainable socio-economic development; disarmament and denuclearisation; youth and women empowerment; climate change; rule of law and human rights; among others.
According to Adesina, the president is also expected to canvass international support for the fight against corruption, the return of illicit assets, counter-terrorism and insurgency, curbing irregular migration, re-settling internally displaced persons (IDPs), recharging the receding Lake Chad, and calls for the reform of the United Nations, especially the expansion of the permanent membership of the Security Council to reflect regional and equitable geographical representation.
He also said Buhari and his wife, Aisha, would attend a welcome reception for Heads of State and Government and their spouses to be hosted by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and his spouse.
The statement added that the president and his delegation would participate in a high-level meeting on the fight against tuberculosis organised by the World Health Organisation. It noted Nigeria currently ranked seventh among the high TB-burden countries globally, and second in Africa.
It also said the Nigerian delegation would attend the Mandela Peace Summit, which he described as a high-level meeting on global peace in honour of the centenary birth of the late South African President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela.
The statement added, “Other side-events lined up for the Nigerian delegation include: High-Level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit; the Second Annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum; High-Level Meeting on Action for Peace-Keeping; Commemoration and Promotion of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons; High-Level Meeting on the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa; and Pathway to Localising a Global Agenda.
“During the course of his stay in New York, in addition to the audience with the UN Secretary-General, the Nigerian President is also expected to have bilateral meetings with African and world leaders, including Bill Gates, with a view to promoting national and African interests.
“He will also grant audience to a select group of Nigerian professionals based in the United States.”
Adesina said besides his wife, the president would be accompanied by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma; and the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin.
Others on the presidential entourage, according to the statement, include the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar; Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammad Babandede; and the Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.