Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama has said that the Nigerian Government would use the forum of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to seek global support fighting terrorism and increasing Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).
Onyeama made this known yesterday in Abuja during a Pre-UNGA briefing with journalists, stating the expectations of the Nigerian government during the high level summit from September 17 to September 30.
According to Onyeama, Nigeria would take advantage of its position as President of the 74th UN General Assembly to project the country and articulate priorities of the country, what it seeks to achieve and areas for global support.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari will be lead the Nigerian delegation which would include members of his cabinet and some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure Nigeria have the best technical resources.
Onyeama listed other priority issues of the country to be discussed at the summit to include: issues of Peace and Security, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG ) which covers socio-economic, education, humanitarian issues regarding child’s right.
Other issues are: poverty eradication, illicit financial flows, recovery of stolen assets,
“More strategically as a country, it is an opportunity to project our country as an important member of the international community.
“And having the Presidency of the General Assembly is something that also gives us that higher visibility and great influence.
“We would also want to use that to push agenda of importance to us as a country, our fight against corruption, repatriation of foreign loots, engaging with other countries.
“It is our quest to successfully deliver on SDG objectives that cover our social economic challenges, terrorism, and countering violent extremism.
“Is also something we would want to maintain at the highest levels of global priorities because it is our major challenges.
“Mr President has just come back from a summit of ECOWAS Heads of States on Peace and Security in the West Africa Sub-region so this is still a challenge that we are facing.
“And it is important to use that opportunity to keep the global community engaged and supportive of what we are doing, our fight.
“And also taking the opportunity to a greater United Nations for support in that fight against terrorism but also in the global conflicts taking place in Africa,” Onyeama said.
Onyeama said tha Nigeria has been very present in Peace Keeping interventions across the continent under the framework of the African Union.He added that with such large troops from Nigeria it was important to have financial and other support from the UN peace keeping division.
The Minister said that President Buhari would also be having bilateral meetings with some Heads of States and engaging with different personalities like Bill Gates to discuss attracting FDI.
Onyeama explained that the Foreign revenue streams of the Country expected hence, the need to diversify to attract more Foreign Direct Investment into our country.
He said that Nigeria would also be soliciting support of the UN to recharge the Lake Chad which has shrunk by 90 per cent and has affected the source of livelihood of people living across the region.
Onyeama added that Nigeria will use the opportunity to canvass support for a number of Nigerians and the country itself vying for certain international position, engage with countries to try to get their support so that the nation can deliver on the positions.
“For instance, Nigeria is keen to be elected into a category of the International Maritime Organisation.
“We didn’t make it the last time round, so we are persisting this time and with the challenges that we have, maritime challenges, we feel that it is important that we be on the governing bodies for regulating maritime issues.
“We are also vying for a position on the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, we are vying for a seat under part two on the International Civil Aviation Organisation Council.
“We have a candidate that we are pushing to be on the Committee Against Torture, we also have a candidate that we are pushing for election to the United Nations Committee on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
“So, we will be taking advantage of our presence there during the General Assembly to also lobby for these positions,” Onyeama said.