Int’l Human Rights Commission’s Chief  Tips Enugu as 4th UN Headquarters

Gideon Arinze

The Global Director General of the International Human Rights Commission, (IHRC) Dr. Tivlumun Ahure, has tipped Enugu to emerge as the fourth headquarters of the United Nations (UN).

Ahure also recommended Enugu State’s education development model to other Nigerian subnational governments and the global community as a veritable framework to eradicate poverty, contain insecurity, and improve living standard.

He spoke in Enugu yesterday during the opening of the maiden NGEducators International Model United Nations (NGIMUN) conference, an initiative of IHRC, citing the innovative approaches and huge investments by the current government to leapfrog education in the state.

Speaking at the event themed: “The Development of Education in Developing Countries”, which drew participants from 14 nations as well as several UN bodies, Ahure, who is also the Coordinator of NGMUN, said Enugu was consciously chosen to host the maiden conference as well as the simulation.

“I am overwhelmed with what Enugu State is doing. Everything we have seen about Enugu State has been so wonderful.

“The United Nations has three headquarters: one in New York, another in Vienna, and Geneva. We intend to have the fourth headquarters in Enugu State. If you really like that, let me reemphasise it because it is not a joke. In our lifetime, there is going to be a United Nation’s headquarters cited in Enugu State, Nigeria.

“The delegates you are seeing cut across four very important committees in the United Nations. Our central theme has to do with the development of education in developing countries, and that is why we are in Enugu,” he said.

He commended the strides made by Governor Peter Mbah administration in the area of education, saying he was setting an uncommon example that other subnational governments and nations should emulate.

He said: “Enugu State has done unbelievable things with education. The evaluation and assessment exercise was carried out in every region of the world regarded as the developing world, across Central America, Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, especially Oceania, Asia and so on, is about the poor countries and the developing countries.

“What decided the choice of Enugu State to host the conference is that it is confirmed and authenticated that Enugu State is pioneering and leading in educational development.

“We have toured Enugu for the period of six whole months, beginning from September, 2023, and that same tour held in several regions of the world in order to determine the exact destination to hold the Model United Nations conference on “Developing Education in the Developing Countries”.

He added: “The decision is to celebrate that particular area that is doing well in the developing countries on the issue of developing education and then we narrowed down to Cameroon first, and for very clear indices, we came down to Nigeria. The report was delivered in Nairobi, Kenya that we should come down to Nigeria, Enugu State in particular and host this event.”

In his remarks, Mbah said he was awed by the international recognitions accorded his administration and the state, adding that he took a radical approach to education development, including dedicating 33 per cent of the state’s 2024 budget to education, as it remained the strongest weapon with which to fight poverty.

“My first reaction is that I have goose bumps all over me. We didn’t even know that our modest efforts in our education sector was already gaining such an international attention and acclaim.

“We feel honoured by the generous statements being made by the diplomats and the UN-affiliated bodies and those who are focusing on education in developing countries.

“As we always said, we are obsessed with education. We know that education is the surest weapon and the strongest way to fight poverty. If we are going to give a deadly blow to poverty, we must get our young people equipped with the right skill set to deal with tomorrow’s workplace. And that’s what the Green Smart School initiative is all about.

“But we are not just advocating for zero tolerance for out of school children, but we are also saying that these children deserve to have access to quality education.

“We are making sure they are exposed to future skills, to artificial intelligence, to robotics, to augmented realities, to mechatronics to be able to compete favourably with their peers across the globe,”  Mbah said.

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