His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari successfully concluded his visit to New York for the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Thursday 24th to Tuesday 29th September, 2015
His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, has successfully concluded his visit to New York where he participated in the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, from Thursday 24th to Tuesday 29th September, 2015. The visit, which was the first to the United Nations Headquarters after his inauguration as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in May, 2015, was immensely successful.
While in New York, Mr. President participated in series of meetings as well as side-events. He had bilateral meetings with some World Leaders and he was represented in other meetings and events. He arrived promptly to all events in which he was scheduled to attend, including the meeting of Friday 25th where His Holiness, Pope Francis addressed World Leaders. He also participated at the “Welcoming Reception” hosted by the Secretary-General and Mrs Ban Soon-taek as well as the Secretary-General’s Official Luncheon on Monday 28th. Specifically, he addressed World Leaders at the two General Assembly meetings scheduled for the High-Level segment, which were the Summit for the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda on Friday 25th and the General Debate of the 70th Session on Monday 28th.
In Year 2000, fifteen years ago, Heads of State gathered to proclaim fifteen years of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. Fifteen years later, they reconvened to consider and adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda to Year 2030.
Speaking at this historic Summit, Mr. President stated that the Goals that have been agreed for the Post-2015 Development Agenda offered an opportunity to address the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals and usher in a new commitment to poverty eradication and inequalities in all their manifestations. He added that threats to international peace and stability were now more enabled by non-State actors, which required a more significant effort and vigour to prosecute. He called on Member States to address poverty and the evils that are associated with it. He remarked that the success of the 2030 Agenda must be guided by countries’ ownership.
The high point of the visit was his address to World Leaders at the General Debate on Monday 28th. Mr. President sent a clear and direct message in his address, which touched on a number of important issues: Concerning Nigeria’s contribution to the UN and its principles of maintaining international peace and security, the President said the country had from her inception of membership of the UN, lived by the conviction to uphold the principles of the organisation, adding that Nigeria’s record in peacekeeping in Africa was noteworthy. On the Post-2015 Development Agenda, he remarked that those Goals mirrored the hopes and aspirations of most people of the world. However, he cautioned that in order for the Goals to be truly global, they must be practical while the core objectives of the Goals must be met within the framework of a revitalized global partnership supported by policies and actions as outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
He stressed that while the Boko Haram menace against the people of Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon might not attract much worldwide attention as the wars in the Middle East, the suffering was just as great and the human cost was equally high. He promised to address this security challenge head-on. He also assured that his government would institute a bold and robust strategy to defeat Boko Haram and that Nigeria’s neighbours – Cameroon, Chad and Niger, as well as Benin – would continue to work together through a multi-national joint task force, to confront this common threat within the regional framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, to confront, degrade and defeat Boko Haram.
A. Other meetings and events where Mr. President participated included the following:
- United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)’s Side-Event titled: “Operationalization of the Post-2015 Development Agenda for African industrialisation.”
- High-Level Roundtable on South-South Cooperation, organised by China.
- Heads of State and Government’s Meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC), at the Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the United Nations.
- Global Leaders’ Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism by the US Government.
- Summit Meeting on Climate Change, organised by France and the UN Secretary-General.
- Reception by the President of the United States of America and Mrs. Obama.
- Side-Event organised by Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA).
B. President had bilateral meetings with the following World Leaders:
- E. Mr. Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China.
- His Majesty, Don Felipe VI, King of the Kingdom of Spain.
- E. The Rt. Hon. David Cameron, Prime Minister of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
- E. Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea.
- His Majesty, King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
- E. Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary-General.
C. He also had meetings with some important dignitaries, including:
- Former President Bill Clinton of USA.
- Bill Gates, the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft.
- Christopher Stone, President of Open Society Foundations
- Julia Stasch, President of MacArthur Foundation
He concluded his visit to New York on Tuesday 29th after an interactive meeting with the Media and he returned to Abuja.
The Mission is grateful to the relevant US authorities for the efficient manner they coordinated the transport, movements and other arrangements for Mr. President, from his arrival at the airport and, throughout his stay in New York. We appreciate the fact that although there were 193 Heads of State or Heads of Delegation in New York for the Post-2015 Development Summit and the 70th UNGA, including numerous civil societies, the host authorities have thus far coordinated the transportation arrangement, movements and logistics efficiently. This has contributed to the success of Mr. President’s first visit to New York to participate at the 70th Session of the General Assembly.
Meanwhile, the General Debate continues till 3rd October, 2015 and the meetings of the six main Committees of the General Assembly during the Main Part of the 70th Session will commence by early October till December, 2015.
Dr. Tope Adeleye Elias-Fatile, FNIPR
Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations, New York.
For: Ambassador/Permanent Representative
29th September, 2015