5 Things You Need to About President’s UNGA Speech

President Muhammadu Buhari has just addressed the world at the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Here are five take-aways from what was a short, concise speech.

1. Boko Haram on his mind.

President Buhari drew the attention of world leaders to the continuous threat posed by Boko Haram in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions.

He also used the opportunity to thank members of the international  community who have been supportive of Nigeria’s efforts to contain the bloody insurgency.

2. Humanitarian crisis is a global phenomenon.

The Nigerian president thanked the United Nations for settling thousands of innocent civilians trapped in conflicts in Syria, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Buhari also commended the governments of Germany, Italy and Turkey among others, for their role in humanitarian assistance wherever crisis has popped up across the globe.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, in a speech at the UN General Assembly, demands Myanmar halt the "ethnic cleansing" of the Rohinya people
Buhari addresses the UNGA  (AFP)

3. Cooperation on transnational crimes.

Buhari charged the world to cooperate better on dealing with transnational crimes.

According to the president: “We shall also cooperate in addressing growing transnational crimes like forced labour, slavery, human trafficking and cybercrime. We must collectively devise strategies to stop fleeing ISIS fighters from mutating and infiltrating into Sahel and Lake Chad Basin”.

4. Buhari is saddened by the killings of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Buhari said: “The Myanmar crisis is very reminiscent of what happened in Bosnia in 1995 and in Rwanda in 1994. We fully endorse call by Sec-Gen on Myanmar to halt ongoing ethnic cleansing and ensure safe return of displaced Rohingya. In all these crises, the primary victims are the people, the most vulnerable being women and children.”

President Muhammadu Buhari speaking at the 72nd session of the United Nations' General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Buhari at the UNGA  (Twitter/@pass_blue)

5. North Korea’s bomb tests are a concern for Buhari.

Like the rest of the civilised world, Buhari thinks North Korea’s Supreme ruler, Kim Jong-Un, has to be stopped.

“Most pressing threat to international peace and security today is the accelerated nuclear weapons development programme by North Korea”, Buhari said. “Since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, we have never come so close to the threat of nuclear war as we have now.

“All necessary pressure and diplomatic efforts must be brought to bear on North Korea to accept peaceful resolution of the crisis. As Hiroshima and Nagasaki painfully remind us, if we fail, the catastrophic human loss and environmental degradation cannot be imagined.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) inspecting a launching drill of the medium-and-long range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 at an undisclosed location
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is considered a dangerous psychopath around the world  (KCNA/AFP/File)

“Nigeria proposes strong UN delegation to urgently engage North Korean Leader. Delegation should include members from all regions.

“Korean peninsula crisis underscores urgency for member states to ratify without delay Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons,”Buhari said.

The Nigerian president also told world leaders that democracy and the rule of law have firmly taken root in Africa.

He cited the role of regional body, ECOWAS,in upholding democratic tenets in The Gambia and Cote D’Ivoire, in recent times.

The 72nd session of the UNGA has as its theme: “Focusing on People – Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.”

It’s taking place in New York.

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