Buhari To Defend Human Rights Record At UN Meeting


President Muhammadu Buhari will lead Nigeria’s delegates to the 71st UN General Assembly, UNGA, where he is expected to defend his administration’s human rights record and also sign the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The general assembly is scheduled to begin at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, September 13.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, made this known in Abuja on Friday at a news conference, adding that the president would be discussing series of issues which had direct impact on Nigeria.

The Paris Climate Conference held in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal.

The agreement, which will become effective by 2020, sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to 2°C.

Onyeama said China and the US had already signed the agreement and Nigeria signing it would send a signal to the world that the country was serious about dealing with climate change.

He said the UNGA conference will afford President Buhari another opportunity to meet with world leaders and continue to build on the country’s reputation.

Onyeama said: “It is one unique conference where world leaders assemble and address issues pre-occupying their minds, it is a wonderful opportunity for the president to build on his reputation.

“President Buhari is well regarded by the world leaders and it will give him opportunity to reconnect and engage them on various issues.

“He needs world leaders’ support in the areas of economy, security, anti-corruption and governance. He will use the opportunity to push for Nigeria’s interest at the UN,” the minister said.

The minister said that President Buhari would also use the opportunity to look for foreign markets for Nigeria’s products, garner support for the economy, as well as canvass for the repatriation of Nigeria’s stolen money in foreign banks.

“Mr President will use the opportunity to canvass for support for the recharge of Lake Chad,” Onyeama said.

“There will be a discussion on Lake Chad Basin and how to recharge the lake through Central Africa which will cost about 15 billion dollars.

“Mr President will engage and push for investors on the project. He will be looking at Public, Private Partnership to mobilise that kind of funding for Lake Chad.



    “Such investment will have direct impact on at least five million people,” he said.

    The foreign affairs minister said there will also be a discussion on one vision, one Africa where all African nations can have a voice on issues that have direct impact on the continent.

    According to him, the EU would be putting 31 billion euros on the table to address certain issues affecting Middle East and part of Africa.

    He said that Nigeria was the only one invited for the meeting to look into how to spend the money, adding that the forum would give Nigeria opportunity to access the fund.

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