Ambassador U. Joy Ogwu

Nigeria Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Nigeria Mission to the UN

New York, NY

May 31, 2010

As delivered

I thank you, Sir, for having convened today’s meeting. We wish to welcome the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey. We acknowledge the presence of the Deputy Secretary-General, and we thank Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco for his very lucid briefing.

The Nigerian delegation is dismayed by this morning’s assault on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, which resulted in several deaths and injuries. We extend our sympathies to the families of the dead and wounded. This incident is not only unfortunate but regrettable, as it has come at a critical time when two rounds of proximity talks have already taken place between Israel and Palestine. All well-meaning people were hopeful that the two parties would work assiduously for the resumption of direct negotiations.

The maximum use of force to intercept an international humanitarian convoy is not only unnecessary but, more significantly, has created a new situation that could unleash fresh unrest with grave consequences for peace in the Middle East. We therefore call for maximum restraint and urge all parties to recommit to their roadmap obligations. Even in the face of such provocation, we must not relent in our efforts to tread the path of dialogue and long-term political reconciliation. We call for an urgent and full inquiry into this unjustified violence. Those responsible must be compelled to account for their actions.

We remain concerned about the deplorable humanitarian conditions in Gaza. The restrictions and blockade on Gaza must be lifted to alleviate the suffering of innocent people.

It is important that security be guaranteed to all nations and all peoples in the Middle East. The Council should be united in the message it sends out whenever there is a clear threat to peace and security. In this regard, we support the draft presidential statement.