Un Re-Elects Nigeria As Peacekeeping Committee Chair
Tijjani Muhammad-Bande

Nigeria’s permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), Tijjani Muhammad-Bande has emerged president of the 74th UN General Assembly (UNGA).

Muhammad-Bande, sole candidate for the position, emerged through acclamation at the 87th plenary meeting of the Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

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He is the second Nigerian to hold the office after Joseph Garba, a retired military officer and diplomat, who led the organ between 1989 and 1990.

He will be inaugurated in September. President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed Muhammad- Bande as Nigeria’s representative to the UN on March 31, 2018.

Mohammed-Bande, a professor of Political Science and former Director-General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), is the only candidate for the 74th UNGA presidency, which is zoned to Africa.

Here are highlights of Mohammed-Bande’s vision:

* He described the United Nations as the most important and substantive global governance body. He said the organisation remains the most effective platform to address challenges facing humanity such as terrorism, climate change, pandemics, inequality, gender discrimination, illiteracy, poverty and hunger, among others.

* Creation of the UN in 1945 was the most important achievement in global politics in history, indicating that regardless of location and circumstances, human beings are able to solve their problems collectively, according to him.

* He reinforced Nigeria’s stand with multilateralism, that is, partnership among nations, which he said the UN stands for. Therefore, this is not the time for people to be cynical or indifferent to the organisation.

*The crises of today are well known to all. Terrorism and climate change alone have brought to the fore the urgency of the problems facing the world.

*He said if elected, he would ensure that all the mandates from previous sessions were completed. It is important to do so, according to him, since they are mandates given by all 193 members of the Assembly.

*Global peace and security, which are foundational elements of the UN Charter, will receive great attention. Terrorism, nuclear proliferation and occasional challenges concerning use of other weapons of mass destruction underscore the need for peace and security to be prioritised.

*These problems can only be effectively tackled through collaboration or partnership among nations. He said current efforts by the UN Security Council working with regional organisations in this regard should be applauded and sustained.

On climate change, he said the Paris Climate Change Agreement of 2015 was one of the most important achievements of the UN. “The impact of climate change on how we live is very clear,” he said.

Mohammed-Bande also explained his vision on how to engender inclusion, gender equality and human rights. He said inclusion is key because exclusion of people or nations in the scheme of things triggers actions that threaten all.