Nigeria yesterday recorded a major diplomatic victory at the on going conference of the African Union, AU, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as her candidacy for the non-permanent seat in the United Nations, UN, Security Council, was unanimously endorsed by member countries.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, who briefed newsmen on the development in Addis Ababa said the endorsement by African ministers of Nigeria’s candidacy was a confirmation and endorsement of Nigeria’s track record of performance as far as international diplomacy was concerned.
The AU Ministers endorsement of Nigeria for the position is coming on the heels of similar support by the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS.
The development means that the country would be the sole candidate from the continent in the election scheduled to hold in October this year.
According to Ashiru, the endorsement is a vital step in the country’s quest to be on the seat as it would now take its campaign to other regional groupings including America, Europe and Asia since it would require the support of two thirds of all UN members to be elected into the council.
“It’s like you have scored almost B+. It is just to add others to it,” he noted, adding that since Nigeria maintained cordial relations with most countries of the world, there wont be much problems securing the required two-thirds of members’ votes for the position.
Speaking on the significance of the endorsement, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martins Uhonmoibhi, said it was compensation for the country’s effort to promote world peace.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday arrived Addis Ababa for the 50th anniversary of the AU and the 21st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments.
Jonathan is expected to also meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and bilateral meetings with some presidents including Tomslav Nikolic (Serbia), Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Muhammad Morsi (Egypt), Yahya Jameh (Gambia), Boni Yayi (Benin Repaublic), and Muhammad Magariaf (Libya) The President would also meet with the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, Helen Clark and the Director-General of the International Labour Organization, ILO, Guy Rider.
The 15th anniversary celebration of the AU which started as Organisation of African Unity, OAU, would be attended by the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and other past and present African leaders. [Vanguard]