President Muhammadu Buhari delivered his speech at the General Debate of the United Nations 72nd General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.
He commended the UN for its role in delivering humanitarian assistance to civilians in the midst of violent conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Mr. Buhari particularly applauded Germany, Italy, Greece, and Turkey for hosting refugees escaping war torn countries.
Mr. Buhari similarly praised the international community for delivering security and humanitarian assistance in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions, which have been ravaged by terrorism.
“In an exemplary show of solidarity, the international community came together within my own region to assist the countries and communities in the Sahel and the Lake Chad regions to contain the threat posed by al-Qaeda and Boko Haram,” he said.
“We thank the Security Council for visiting the countries of the Lake Chad basin to assess the security situation and humanitarian needs and for pledging assistance for lives and livelihoods.”
He also highlighted Nigeria’s efforts to provide relief to citizens displaced by Boko Haram violence and environmental challenges such as droughts.
The president said that good governance, democracy, and rule of law were expanding in Africa, emphasizing the proactive role played by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in upholding democracy in the Gambia.
Mr. Buhari emphasized the importance of international cooperation in confronting corruption and international crimes such as human trafficking. He urged the international community to similarly embrace cooperation in combating international terrorism and preventing the Islamic State from spreading to the Lake Chad and Sahel regions.
To do this, he said the UN should cooperate with regional organizations and intergovernmental bodies such as the African Union.
The president also called attention to crises in Yemen and Myanmar, likening the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in the latter country to the crises in Bosnia and Rwanda in the 1990s. He said Nigeria supports the Secretary-General’s call on Myanmar to stop its ethnic cleansing of Rohingya.
Mr. Buhari also expressed concern over North Korea’s nuclear weapons. He therefore urged all member states to ratify a treaty prohibiting nuclear proliferation.
The president concluded his statement by reaffirming Nigeria’ commitment to the goals and principles of the UN in order to build a more peaceful and developed world.