Breaking News: 73rd UNGA: Nigeria to focus on security, UN reform

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Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama has said that security will top Nigeria’s agenda at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) scheduled to hold from Sept.18 to Oct. 1 in New York.

Onyeama said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a news conference on the 73rd UNGA, adding that Nigeria would also canvass for the president of the 74th UNGA in 2019.

The theme for the 73rd UNGA is ‘Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies”.

He said that the issue of corruption would also take centre stage as President Muhammadu Buhari would Nigeria’s delegation to the conference.

According to him, Buhari, who is the African Union Champion of anti-corruption for the year 2018, will organise a meeting of African Heads of State on the issue of winning the fight against corruption.

The minister said that other issues expected to be discussed included eradication of extreme poverty, maintenance of international peace and security, human rights issues, humanitarian activities, tackling climate change and promoting environmental sustainability

He said UNGA, being the biggest global meeting of heads of States, presented a real and important opportunity for Nigeria to engage with other countries of the world to further the nation’s interest.

Onyeama said that in all Nigeria’s engagements during the 73rd UNGA, the nation would push for making the UN body relevant Nigeria and for it to respond to the nation’s priorities and needs.

He said that Buhari’s address during the General Assembly would offer him the opportunity to assert Nigeria’s position on the global stage and put forward the nation’s ideas and vision.

The minister further said that Nigeria would push for the presidency of the 74th United Nations General Assembly, to enable a Nigerian to occupy the position.

He said that Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Amb. Tijjani Bande, was being proposed for the President of the UNGA next year.

“So, part of what we will be doing in New York is that we will be canvassing for his appointment next year as the President of the United Nations General Assembly,” Onyeama said.

Onyeama recalled that the last Nigerian who held the position was the late Maj.-Gen. Joseph Garba from 1989 to 1990.

He also said that Nigeria would also join other African countries to push for reforms in the global organisation, whereby Nigeria could become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.