Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday said the country will spare no effort in tackling terrorism, which he described as a global menace.
Mr. Jonathan, who was addressing the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, also sought Nigeria’s election for the 2013-2014 Non-Permanent Seat at the UN Security Council.
While noting that terrorism constituted a major threat to global peace and security and undermines the capacity for sustained development, he admitted that terrorism threat in Nigeria’s North-Eastern zone has challenged the stability of the nation.
“In Nigeria, the threat of terrorism in a few states in the North-Eastern part of our country has proven to be a challenge to national stability,” Mr. Jonathan said.
“We will spare no effort in addressing the menace. We are therefore confronting it with every resource at our disposal with due regard for the fundamental human rights and the rule of law.”
Mr. Jonathan expressed appreciation to the international community for its support in Nigeria’s effort at fighting terrorism, saying that the reign of terror anywhere is an assault on the world’s collective humanity.
He drew attention to a recent terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya and called on member states to stand together in order to win the war.
Mr. Jonathan also spoke against the growing cases of piracy which he said has attained worrisome proportions especially in Africa’s coastal waters.
He said, “At the bilateral and multilateral levels, Nigeria has promoted cooperation to mitigate its impacts and consequences on the security and economies of the affected coastal states.”
Already, he said the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, the Economic Community of Central African States, ECCAS and the Gulf of Guinea Commission met in Yaounde, Cameroon where practical steps were collectively taken to confront the menace in the Gulf of Guinea.
He, therefore, appealed for reinforcement and collaborative action from international partners to tackle the problem.
As part of measures to check illicit trade in small and light weapons, Mr. Jonathan said Nigeria has already ratified the Arms Trade Treaty, ATT, which was adopted by the General Assembly in July.
He said Nigeria recognizes the need for a broad-based global partnership in the on-going battle against trans-border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy.
Mr. Jonathan, however, lamented that these crimes were sustained by unfettered access by non-state actors to illicit small arms and light weapons.
He congratulated member states for adopting the new treaty, noting that it would herald an era of accountable trade in conventional arms, critical to the security of nations. “We will continue to engage other Member-States for its successful implementation,” he said.
While canvassing for Nigeria’s election into the 2014-2015 Non-Permanent Seat in the Security Council, Mr. Jonathan called for urgent democratization of the United Nations systems.
He said, “I believe that I express the concern of many about the slow pace of effort and apparent lack of progress in the reform of the United Nations, especially the Security Council.
“We believe strongly, that the call for democratization worldwide should not be for states only, but also, for International organizations such as the UN. That is why we call for the democratization of the Security Council.”
The Nigeria’s President said the democratization of the Security Council would enthrone justice, equity and promote a sense of inclusiveness and balance in the world.
He argued that Nigeria’s support for the UN Security Council, based on its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, has been total and unwavering.
Mr. Jonathan said, “We have, in previous membership of the Council, demonstrated both the political will and capacity to engage in key Council responsibilities. Nigeria has therefore decided to seek election for the 2014-2015 Non-Permanent Seat of the UNSC.
“I am pleased to state that Nigeria has received the endorsement of the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union. We urge this august Assembly to endorse Nigeria’s candidature.”
Mr. Jonathan said Nigeria is committed to the implementation of the UN’s Post 2015 Development Agenda, saying the programme was key in Africa which faces the challenges of poverty, illiteracy, food insecurity and climate change.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We have since realised that a wrong speech was used in writing this report. The speech used was actually delivered by the President in 2013. We regret this mix-up at our end.