President Muhammadu Buhari will on Sunday, September 22, leave for New York, United States to participate in the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA74) which opened on Tuesday, September 17, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said in a statement on Thursday.
The president’s participation at this year’s session is particularly significant as it coincides with Nigeria’s Presidency of UNGA. The country’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, was unanimously elected as the President of UNGA74 on June 4, 2019.
The election for President of the United Nations General Assembly holds every year with each tenure starting in September. The President presides over the sessions of the General Assembly which holds in September every year. He or she also heads emergency or any other special session over the next year. The position rotates between the five geographic groups: African, Asia-Pacific, Eastern European, Latin American and Caribbean, and Western European and other States.
Since no permanent member of the United Nations Security Council ever serves as UNGA president, powerful members like the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France and Japan have never held the presidency.
The theme for UNGA74 is, “Galvanizing Multilateral Efforts for Poverty Eradication, Quality Education, Climate Action and Inclusion.”
The General Debates will kick off on Tuesday, September 24 during which leaders of delegations will present their National Statements as well as speak to the theme of the session.
According to Adesina, “President Buhari is expected to underscore his administration’s commitment to building on the achievements of its three-point agenda following the renewal of his electoral mandate by majority of Nigerians. He will also reaffirm Nigeria’s position on salient global issues.”
Below are other events Buhari and members of his delegation are expected to participate in:
- Climate Action Summit with the theme, “A Race We Can Win. A Race We Must Win,” convened by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres
- High-Level meeting organized by the President of UNGA74 on Universal Health Coverage with the theme, “Moving Together to Build a Healthier World”
- UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
- High-Level Dialogue on Financial Development
- High-Level Meeting to Commemorate and Promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
The Nigerian delegation will also take part in the Side-Events organized by the country’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
- SDGs Integration – Bridging the Policy Planning – Budget Gap for the Achievement of SDGs, organized by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals
- Sanitation and Hygiene Campaign for a Clean Nigeria: Sharing Lessons and Key Insights organised by the Ministry of Water Resources
- Promotion of International Cooperation to Combat Illicit Financial Flows and Strengthen Good Practices on Assets Recovery and Return to Foster Sustainable Development, organized by the Office of the National Coordinator/CEO, African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development/African Peer Review Mechanism (AUDA-NEPAD/APRM) in collaboration with the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption bodies.
According to Adesina, “seven European and African countries have confirmed their participation at this event designed to mobilize collective global action against illicit assets and their recovery and return for developmental projects.
“Moreover, the meeting will further boost the profile of President Buhari as the African Union anti-corruption Champion.”
- Bilateral meetings with some leaders of other delegations; chief executive officers of big companies keen to invest in the country; Aliko Dangote and Bill Gates on sustaining the polio-free campaign as well as issues on human capital projects and development.
- Meeting with a select group of top America-based Nigerian businessmen and potential investors.
Nigeria’s delegation to the UNGA74
The President will be accompanied to New York by Governors Abdullahi Sule, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and Adegboyega Oyetola of Nasarawa, Kebbi and Osun States respectively; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Environment, Dr Muhammad Mahmoud; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; and Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire.
Also on the President’s delegation are: Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development, Sa’adiya Farouk; Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu; Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu; National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; National Coordinator/CEO, NEPAD, Princess Gloria Akobundu; and Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire.