President Muhammadu Buhari will today depart for New York, U.S.A., to participate in the 73rd Session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA73) which officially opened September 18, 2018. The theme for this year’s session is: “Making the United Nations relevant to all People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies.”
The president’s wife, Aisha, will also depart for New York to participate in the Organisation of African First Ladies (OAFLA) against HIV/AIDS meeting.
According to a statement by his special adviser on media, Femi Adesina, the highpoint of President Buhari’s participation would be his address to the General Assembly on the opening day of the General Debate on Tuesday.
The president’s presentation of Nigeria’s National Statement is expected to reaffirm the nation’s commitment to international peace and security, sustainable socio-economic development, disarmament and denuclearisation, youth and women empowerment, climate change, rule of law and human rights, among others.
It explained that the president is also expected to particularly canvass international support for the fight against corruption, the return of illicit assets, counter-terrorism and insurgency, curbing irregular migration, resettling internally displaced persons (IDPs), recharging the receding Lake Chad, and the reform of the United Nations, especially the expansion of the permanent membership of the Security Council to make that vital principal organ of the global organisation reflect regional and equitable geographical representation.
According to the statement, the president and his wife, Aisha, will also attend a welcome reception hosted by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and his spouse for heads of state and government and their spouses.
It added that the Nigerian leader and his delegation would participate in a high-level meeting on the fight against Tuberculosis organised by the World Health Organisation as Nigeria currently ranks seventh amongst the high TB-burden countries globally, and second in Africa. He said, “The Nigerian delegation is expected to attend the Mandela Peace Summit, which is a high-level meeting on Global Peace in honour of the centenary birth of the late South African president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr. Nelson Mandela. “Other side-events lined up for the Nigerian delegation include: high-level meeting on financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit; the Second Annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum; High-Level Meeting on Action for Peace-Keeping; Commemoration and Promotion of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons; high-level meeting on the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa, and Pathway to Localising a Global Agenda.
“During the course of his stay in New York, in addition to the audience with the UN Secretary-General, the Nigerian president is also expected to have bilateral meetings with African and world leaders, including Bill Gates, with a view to promoting national and African interests. “He will also grant audience to a select group of Nigerian professionals based in the United States,” Adesina’s statement noted. Apart from his wife, Edo State President Buhari will be accompanied by Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, and some cabinet ministers: Geoffrey Onyeama, foreign affairs; Abubakar Malami, justice; Isaac Adewole, health; Okechukwu Enelamah, industry, trade and investment; Udo Udoma, budget and national planning, and Ibrahim Jibrin, environment (State).
Others on the presidential entourage include the national security adviser, Maj Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd); director-general, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar; comptroller-general, Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammad Babandede, and the acting chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.
According to the itinerary of the Mrs Aisha Buhari’s visit made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by her director, Information, Mr Suleiman Haruna, yesterday in Abuja, the OAFLA event will be conducted at the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York. Mrs Buhari, who is one of the global ambassadors and advocates against the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, is expected to make her commitment to end the menace. She will also deliver the keynote address at a reception to honour individuals and NGOs that champion the cause of reducing the spread of Tuberculosis around the globe, tagged Stop TB Partnership.
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