UN Supports Bill on Gender-based Inequality, Regulation of Hate Speech

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Amina Mohammed

Buhari ratifies Beijing Protocol 2010, Montreal Protocol 2014

Olawale Ajimotokan and Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The United Nations has offered support for the Gender based Inequality Bill that seeks equal participation and and representation for women and men in all decision making and currently before the Senate.

This position was made known yesterday by the UN Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed, to the State House correspondents, after her meeting with President Mohammadu Buhari.

Mohammed, who was a former Minister of Environment, said that the UN will support the bill, said she had also conveyed the thinking of the UN on the issue to the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan.

She described the bill is an important law that will receive non-partisan support across the board.

“This is about all women and Nigeria and we should bring an end to violence against women. We have a number of programmes that support countries, including what happened with the legislation, how to improve upon policies, laws, regulations that would help to protect the environment,” she said.

She noted that there is an EU-UN project, which actually addresses gender-based violence. She added that given Nigeria is a recipient of some of the funding, the project would soon be launched in the country and she would be there to give her support.

“It’s not for the national level but how we would domesticate that in all the tiers of government so that you have a truly national response to laws when it comes to implementing them,” Mohammed said.

On the proposed social media bill in the National Assembly, she said that globally hates speech had reached an all-time high and that many checks and balances that can put into the society and into any country to bring an end to it is welcome.

She, however, said the UN was not in support of death penalty portion in the bill that originally proposed but was withdrawn on Monday.

“The UN Secretary-General had also put in place a special ending on hate speech. So, there is a strategy for that now and we are looking at that globally. I think this framework is important for multilateralism and we can go much further if we do these things together many of these issues are across borders through technologies”.

Mohammed said her meeting with President Buhari touched on the many vast issues, including the humanitarian crisis in the North East and North West of Nigeria, the sixteen days of activation on gender-based violence which started on Monday, the murder of the PDP women leader in Kogi State and the resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Meanwhile President Buhari has ratified the Protocol to Amend the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft (Hague Convention of 1971) (Beijing Protocol 2010).

A statement issued yesterday by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu on said the President also ratified the Protocol to Amend the Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Civil Aviation (The Montreal Convention of 1971) (Beijing Protocol 2010).

The statement said the instruments were ratified by President Buhari on November 22, 2019.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Beijing Protocol supplements the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, done at The Hague on 16 December 1970 (The Hague Convention, 1970).

To this end, the Protocol expands the scope of The Hague Convention to cover different forms of aircraft hijackings, including through modern technological means.

Buhari also ratified the Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft (Montreal Protocol 2014) as well as the protocol to Amend Article (50a) and Article 56 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention of December 1944) (Montreal Protocol 2016).

He also ratified the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between the federal government and the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

With the execution of these Instruments, it is expected that Nigeria’s aviation links with the UAE will improve significantly.

The Federal Executive Council had at its meetings of October 16, 2019, approved the ratification and the preparation of the requisite Instruments of the Ratification of the aforementioned treaties and conventions