By Dayo Benson New York
It was a day of diplomatic honor and national glory as Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and current President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Prof Tijani Muhammad Bande, yesterday in New York presided at the opening ceremony of Assembly’s 74th Session.
Prof Bande who spoke at the United Nations Headquarters expressed his gratitude to member nations for the confidence reposed in him to preside as thePresident of 74th General Assembly’s and promised to uphold the ethics of the office and the principles enshrined in UN Charter.
Speaking on his vision. and the task ahead, he said priority would be given to inherited mandates.
“Our Vision Statement focused on the implementation of the SDGs, particularly poverty eradication, zero hunger, quality education, climate action and inclusion. Accordingly, I will with your kind support and guidance pay close attention to the effective implementation of inherited mandates and the following priorities which I enunciated in my vision statement and at the Dialogue with Member States prior to my election:
“Promotion of peace and security, particularly, conflict prevention. I will collaborate and coordinate with the Security Council, and the Secretariat to ensure that greater attention is paid to prevention rather than reaction to full blown conflict(s). I will also advocate for effective early detection and warning systems, as well as mediation, negotiation and peaceful settlement of ongoing conflicts”, he said.
“I will work to engender cooperation that will address drivers of conflicts such as poverty, exclusion and illiteracy.
ii.Increased partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly, poverty eradication, zero hunger and quality education”, he added.
Bande urged member states to “share their experiences on poverty eradication, especially, on how improved social protection systems can benefit vulnerable people, who are most affected by poverty.
“ I request you all to focus on how best to strengthen the UN system to ensure that the most vulnerable escape the debilitating web of poverty and hunger, through sharing of knowledge on sustainable food production systems, resilient agricultural practices, availability of productive and affordable agricultural machinery and expansion of entrepreneurial capacity.
Addressing the issue of education he stated that “Quality education is important and the fact that no nation can develop past its educational capacity, particularly that of its teachers, means we must work to ensure that Member States can partner on teacher training, access to free and quality primary and secondary education, among others. In some communities the need is construction of schools, while in many others, it is safety of students. We must device means to attend to the educational needs of all”, he added.
Speaking on climate change , he said “Climate Change remains a key issue in development and we must tackle its causes and the repercussions. The recent emergencies in the Bahamas, Mozambique, and the Sahel region, among others, reminds us of the urgency of strengthening global we must find a way to strengthening global action to tackle climate change”, He emphasized.