Ambassador Raff Bukun-Olu Onemola

Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations

New York, NY

8th February, 2011 

As Delivered

I would like to thank Baroness Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union (EU), for her insightful comments and analysis of some current global security challenges. Nigeria lauds the depth of the EU’s work in regional security issues around the world. We firmly believe that vigorous action is needed to curb the threats to global security. Accordingly, we look forward to the enhanced security that the External Action Service will bring to EU missions worldwide.

 Second only to natural disasters, the challenges of governance pose grave security risks to local populations. Humanitarian aid is an essential support for countries facing crises to develop robust and participatory governance institutions. In turn, political stability and properly functioning democratic institutions are prerequisites for the reconstruction and development of distressed communities. We therefore commend the EU for its work in Haiti, the Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire and elsewhere. The depth of its involvement in these countries illustrates its understanding of the relationship between security, development and humanitarian aid.

 With respect to Haiti, like the EU, we support a transparent and legitimate electoral process and the implementation of the postponed second-round presidential elections. Indeed, we salute the work done by the Organization of American States verification mission to evaluate the presidential elections in Haiti. We consider this to be an important step to maintain and strengthen the confidence of the Haitian people in the electoral process.

 Nigeria commends the international community, especially humanitarian actors, for the support given to Haiti in the wake of the devastating earthquake and cholera outbreak. Strengthening the capacity of the Government and national institutions to engage in the tasks of reconstruction is an overriding long-term challenge, to which we must remain fully committed.

 In reviewing the Southern Sudan referendum, the commendable role played by the EU cannot be overlooked. Through financial support, monitoring activities and partnership with the Secretary-General’s high-level monitoring panel, the EU contributed significantly to the outcome of the referendum. We are pleased that the EU is prepared to provide long-term support for addressing the political and economic challenges facing both Northern and Southern Sudan.

 We welcome the EU’s firm and clear support for the decisions in favour of democracy taken by the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union. Now more than ever, a concerted international response is required to overcome the crisis situation in Côte d’Ivoire. EU support therefore remains very necessary.

 We also welcome the important role the EU continues to play in efforts to find a lasting solution to the Middle East crisis. Its commitment expressed at the 5 February Quartet meeting in Munich, Germany, to set up an engagement in the peace process is commendable. It is hoped that the next meeting, scheduled to take place on the margins of the Group of Eight Foreign Ministers’ meeting will add impetus to this process.

 On partnership in general, the vitality of the partnership between the EU and the African Union is evident, not only in the work of the EU in the Sudan, but also in Operation Atalanta, a multilateral task force off the coast of Somalia. These efforts reveal that partnerships are an effective means of employing global resources to combat regional security risks. We therefore call for sustained dialogue between the EU and African regional and sub-regional organizations, and enhanced support for regional peace and security architecture, post-conflict strategies and peacebuilding efforts.

 In closing, Nigeria shares the conviction that, if it is to respond successfully to global crises, challenges and threats, the international community needs an efficient multilateral system founded on universal rights and values. Through partnerships, humanitarian aid and financial support, the EU has demonstrated the impact that multilateral partnerships can have on our collective search for lasting peace.