President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, addressed the United Nations Security Council and the general debate at the 69th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York, the U.S.A., on September 24, 2014, Wednesday.
The annual gathering in New York is a great opportunity for the world leaders to meet and to discuss actual global problems and to seek solutions jointly.
The speech of the president was in the centre of attention again, as it covered the issues, actual not only for Nigeria or Africa, but for the whole world: terrorism, global security, Ebola and many more.
Here are the TOP-6 key aspects of the speech:
1. Nigeria’s fight against terrorism.
Over 13,000 died in Boko Haram violence, multiple communities razed, and hundreds of persons kidnapped. The president recalled the most shocking kidnap from GGSS Chibok, Borno State, in April 2014. He also warned that Boko Haram is getting more and more active outside the territory of Nigeria.
2. Foreign help is apperciated.
All the countries and organizations that expressed solidarity with Nigeria on Chibok girls’ issue received big thanks from President Jonathan. France deserved special thanks for hosting a special summit on security in Nigeria (May 17, 2014). The event attracted more attention to Nigeria’s problems and paved the way for the following consultations in London, Washington and FCT Abuja.
“We shall not waiver until we end this mindless war on the innocent, and bring all the perpetrators to justice. We will triumph over terrorism,” the president underlined.
3. The UN Security Council needs reforms.
Nigeria, as one of the ten non-permanent members of the Council, has pro-reformist position. It was reiterated by President Jonathan who mentioned that current situation in the world requires new approach and methods. Existing system of collective security showed low effectiveness during conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine, as well as during a recent wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence.
4. Ebola Virus Disease
Nigeria responded effectively to this threat and controlled the spread of the disease. However, the president laments that the situation in Liberia and Sierra Leone is close to being critical, and global support is required to contain the EVD. Jonathan noted that “isolationist and discriminatory” practices cannot be the only response to this challenge.
The president noted that Nigeria made the direct donation of $3.5m to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, provided support to them in the form of training and building.
Nigeria sees the ozone layer depletion as a real challenge and has been cooperating with the respective committees under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 1994. “However, the extent of progress in key areas, particularly in limiting the contribution of man-made activities to Green House emission, is yet to be determined,”the Nigerian leader said.
6. 2015 Elections
Jonathan reminded that on May 29, 1999, Nigeria ended military rule after the inauguration of a democratically elected president. The 5th post-military-rule general election is conducted in February 2015. “As elected president by the people, we shall conduct elections based on global best practices to further strengthen our democratic institutions,” Jonathan assured.
It would be noted that Nigeria is currently among 10 non-permanent members of the UN Security Council. Active position of the nation may ensure the re-election to this decision-making body, as Nigeria’s term as a member ends in 2015.
Visits of President Jonathan to the USA were often in the centre of controversy. For instance, around 600 Nigerians reportedly travelled to New York together with the President for a similar event in September 2013, thereby, making Nigeria’s delegation one of the biggest among all the nations. The officials have also been criticised for choice of the hotel. The rate for presidential accommodation only was at USD3,000-4,000 per night, the expenses which are borne by the Nigerian taxpayers.