The global body restated its commitment to peace and justice.
The United Nations, UN, Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has said that in spite of collective societal challenges, the organization remains committed to its fundamental principles and ideals of promoting peace, justice, human rights and development for all.
“We are living through a period of profound turmoil, transition and transformation,” the UN scribe said in his message on Tuesday to mark the 67th anniversary of the world body.
“Insecurity, inequality and intolerance are spreading. Global and national institutions are being put to the test. With so much at stake, the United Nations must keep pace across the spectrum of its activities — peace, development, human rights, the rule of law, the empowerment of the world’s women and youth.
“On this UN Day, let us reaffirm our individual commitment and our collective resolve to live up to the ideals of the United Nations Charter and build a better world for all. The United Nations is not just a meeting place for diplomats. The United Nations is a peacekeeper disarming fighters, a health worker distributing medicine, a relief team aiding refugees, a human rights expert helping deliver justice.”
The theme of this year’s celebration in Nigeria is “Peace: A Prerequisite for National Development.”
At a flag raising ceremony at the UN House in Abuja, the UN and UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, Daouda Toure, said that in spite of all the constraints in the society, the unique role of the UN has never been in doubt.
“More than ever before, the UN is needed most for maintaining peace and security, providing humanitarian assistance, including capacity for disaster preparedness and mitigation where required, deepening democracy and promoting sustainable development.
“Without peace and stability, the strenuous efforts of developing Nigeria will come to naught. Conflict in every community is inevitable, but it needs to be managed through means, including good governance principles of transparency and accountability, equity that take away desperation and give hope to all particularly the youth and women,” he said.
Noting Nigeria’s ranking among the fastest growing economies of the world in the past one decade, as evident in an average annual gross domestic product, GDP, growth rate of 7 per cent, Mr. Toure said “the challenge lies in turning the performance into positive impact on the lives of all citizens, with better social services, more equity in revenue distribution and employment particularly for the younger generation and women.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, who was represented by the Director of International Organizations, Abdullahi Omaki, assured that Nigeria would continue to work closely with the UN to promote peace and stability in the world, with particular attention to the West African sub-region, in order to tackle the rising waves of small arms and light weapons, piracy, as well as terrorist activities in the sub-region.
He commended the UN for its efforts towards achieving these objectives, adding that Nigeria remains resolute in her belief that the United Nations System should be reformed to make it a more efficient, representative of all the segments of the world and urge that the process be timely concluded.