MUHAMMADU BUHARI, President of Nigeria, thanked the United States, Turkey, India, China and the European Union, as well as the international community for their work on the COVAX Facility, however he called for a more equitable distribution of vaccines to all countries.
Turning to other issues including the illicit trade, transfer and circulation of small arms and light weapons in Africa, he urged the world to enforce the Arms Trade Treaty. Pointing to the erosion of democratic gains, he fully supported the efforts from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and stressed that countries should adhere to their Constitutional provisions on term limits to avoid fueling tensions in the region. He went on to say that terrorism remains a major threat to the world’s security and Nigeria has spared no efforts to fight Boko Haram and that it will continue to do so with the support of United Nations counter-terrorism bodies.
Deploring illicit financial flows, he asserted that the return of illicitly acquired assets was a priority in the context of COVID-19 recovery. He invited the international community to support the recommendations for systemic reforms made by the High Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda. He indicated that Nigeria would advocate for a global coordination mechanism at the Economic and Social Council to “systematically monitor illicit financial flows and strengthen financial integrity for sustainable development”.
Noting that developing countries faced unsustainable debt burdens, he praised the ongoing initiatives from international institutions and the Group of 20 (G20) to mitigate the economic impact. He requested that the Debt Service Suspension Initiative be expanded to all developing countries facing fiscal and liquidity challenges and for a review of the eligibility criteria for debt suspension including outright cancellation for countries facing the most severe difficulties. He underscored that fair and equitable trade would be critical to eradicating the need for aid. He called for a reform agenda that will accelerate economic recovery, build resilience and pursue transformative development strategies to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.
On human rights, he called for collective global action through a treaty to end all forms of violence against women and girls. He went on to say that the recent adoption of the resolution on the establishment of the Permanent Forum of People of African Descent was a step in the right direction. He urged the international community to accelerate the reform of the Security Council referring to the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration. He concluded by encouraging “Israel and Palestine to re-engage in a dialogue based on relevant United Nations resolutions and initiatives”. The two-State solution has the support of the international community and is widely considered as a solution to lasting peace.
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