President Emmanuel Macron of France on Tuesday called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a return to “imperialism”.
He said those who remained silent or were “secretly complicit” were engaging in a “new cynicism” that was eroding the global order.
Addressing world leaders on the opening day of the UN General Assembly’s annual high-level debate, Marcon said: “Today we need to make a simple choice – war or peace.
” He recalled that at the end of February, “Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, through an act of aggression and invasion and annexation, broke our collective security … when it deliberately violated the UN Charter and the principle of sovereign equality of states.
” The French President said the International Court Of Justice (ICJ) had declared Russia’s aggression illegal and called for the withdrawal of its troops.
“Even as Russia continued its aggression, possibly paving the way “for other wars of annexation in Europe, today and perhaps tomorrow in Asia, or Africa or Latin America.
” “The longer this war goes on, the more it threatens Europe and the world.
“It could lead to greater conflict where security and sovereignty no longer depend on the strength of alliances, but on the strength of armed groups… and subjugation of others.
“What we have seen is a return to the age of imperialism.
France rejects this and will steadfastly search for peace,” he said.
Macron said the war “is undermining the principle of our organisation, is undermining the only possible world order, is undermining peace.
” With this in mind, he said that he had been and would continue to engage in dialogue with Moscow, “because it is only by working together that we can find peace”.
According to him, the humanitarian, military and political support that we are providing to the people of Ukraine, so they can enjoy their legitimate right to defence and preserve their sovereignty.
Macron said he rejected the stance of those nations that said they remained “neutral”, declaring: “They are wrong.
they are making a historic error.
“Those who are keeping silent today are, in a way, complicit with the cause of a new imperialism….
that is trampling the current order,” Macron said.
It is not a matter of choosing between East and West, or north and south.
Macron said, “over and beyond war, there’s a risk of dividing the world” and called on the members of the General Assembly and the Security Council to stand up for “our most precious common good – peace.
” He called on the members of the Security Council “to act so that Russia rejects the path of war and assesses the cost for itself and for all of us — and, really, bring an end to this act of aggression”.
Turning to other pressing issues on the international agenda, Macron stressed that with climate change, ecosystems “reaching the point of no return”, food shortages and price spikes, looming famine, and terrorism, among other ills, it was always the most vulnerable people that were the most impacted.
“These are all things that we need to address urgently.
Many of these problems are caused by divisions between us and therefore our shared responsibility must be to help the most vulnerable to cope with these challenges,” he stated.
Four candidates vying for the Kaduna State governorship seat through different political parties, on Tuesday interfaced with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), stressing the need to address insecurity and provide atmosphere conducive for education.
The candidates made the observations in Kaduna at a one-day agenda setting dialogue with the CSOs ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the engagement, organised by Partnership for Issue-Based Campaigns in Nigeria (PICaN), was supported by Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) in collaboration with Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LANW).
The Deputy Governotship candidate under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr John Ayuba, said the present administration was not doing very well, especially regarding security and education.
He said in the education sector in Kaduna state, there was inconsistency in policies which hampered the overall objectives of ensuring sound education and welfare of teachers.
“Today you sack and recruit new ones, tomorrow you also sack half of the ones you recruited, among the ones recruited, you don’t deploy them for the work,” he said.
Ayuba added that policy somersault had affected the education sector in Kaduna state.
He promised to ensure job security, especially that of teachers in the state and also roll out strategies that would ensure safety of lives and property of every citizen and resident in the state.
“Our security agenda will be community based, the distance is too much between where acts of insecurity are perpetrated and security operatives.
“We will empower communities to be the first line of resistance to criminals and terrorists before help comes,” he said.
Ayuba also said he would reinvigorate the state primary health care centres to function effectively and efficiently.
“It is worrisome that in spite of the huge amount of funds put into these sectors, they still function at a minimal level.
“We will all put them in place if we emerge victorious in the coming 2023 elections,” he said.
Also, the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Jonathan Asake, said the spate of insecurity in Kaduna State and by extension the entire country, was worrisome and counter development.
He said addressing insecurity would be the topmost agenda if they emerged winners of the governorship seat in 2023. Asake added that they were working on ways of fighting the menace of insecurity in the state, noting that without security, virtually everything would come to standstill.
“A lot of businesses and investments in Kaduna have folded up, small and medium enterprises have gone down, and most schools in the rural and suburb communities have closed down because of banditry and kidnapping.
“Virtually, life has become standstill because of insecurity, farmers can’t go to their farms, and this caused hunger, skyrocketing of price of food items,” he lamented.
Asake said that if the LP produced the governor of Kaduna State, he would address ungoverned spaces where bandits and criminals were resident.
He promised to bring back effective functionalities of traditional institutions like the village, district heads and youth leaders by reestablishing them to ensure provision of security in their domains.
He further said they would empower the local vigilantes, forest guards and hunters to maintain security at local levels.
“When terrorists were terrorising communities in Burkina Faso, the Government knew that they didn’t have enough Police manpower to cover all the communities, they empowered the locals and within the shortest period, the whole thing calmed down.
” On his part, Dr. Andrew Duya, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, said he would not work in isolation of the citizens demand when if he emerged Governor of the state.
On how to tackle insecurity, he said: “The terrorists are not ghosts and spirits, we know where they are, as a retired Police man, I will lead in the operations and confront them,” he said.
He added that he would explore the citizens power and resources by giving them the equipment to secure their communities.
“Nigeria has been paying leap service on the issue of community policing, in advanced countries, every community has its own Police.
“The community Police know every nuke and cranny in the community, and the people.
“We will employ such strategies to ensure security without which there will not be meaningful achievement and development,” Duya said.
Also, Hayatudeen Makarfi, the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) candidate, said the party had an existing template that was perfected in 1979 to 1983. He said their core areas of priority was social justice, economy and .
According to him, the reason people feel maginalised and disenfranchised results from decay and failure of the social system.
“We will ensure quick dispensation of justice, decongestion of prison, and administration of justice in the courts by automating the state judicial Institutions,” he said.
Regarding security, Makarfi said they would not approach the problem from defence perspective, but through the cause.
“The challenge is not fighting terrorists with bullets, it is how we can engage, dialogue with them and find a way of reintegrating them to the society.
General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi banged the ceremonial gavel to open the UN General Debate, calling for “solutions through solidarity, sustainability and science” – his motto for the Assembly’s 77th session.
Kőrösi made the call to world leaders gathered for the opening of the 77th Session of General Assembly’s high-level debate in New York. “Solutions, because we have drafted many treaties, set excellent goals, yet have taken too little action,” he explained.
“We need solidarity because inequalities have reached record height… sustainability because we owe it to our children to leave behind a liveable world…[and] science because it offers us neutral evidence for our actions”.
Kőrösi stated that climate change has triggered heatwaves, floods, and droughts while unsustainable consumption and production have left scars across our environment.
“We live, it seems, in a permanent state of humanitarian emergency,” he said, pointing out that over 300 million people are in urgent need of aid and protection – a 10 per cent rise since January – and that climate change, COVID-19 and conflict have pushed global hunger to “alarming levels”.
Meanwhile, inflation is at 40-year highs as violence has left one-quarter of humanity caught in instability.
“Who would have imagined that war would return to Europe?
That the nuclear threat would be back in political discourse to settle a dispute with a neighbour?
” The Assembly President noted that 203 days after adopting a resolution condemning the military aggression against Ukraine, the bloodshed continues.
He elaborated on some positive developments, including a landmark agreement on commercial grain exports, diplomacy working to release fertilizers and UN nuclear inspectors preventing a possible catastrophe at one of Europe’s key nuclear sites.
Noting the debate’s theme, “A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges,” Kőrösi declared his solidarity with Pakistan, where devastating floods washed away hundreds of villages.
He described “heart-wrenching scenes of devastation,” as a possible “window into our future”.
However, advancements in science cooperation and climate diplomacy are on-hand solutions to tackle climate change, “but we have to want to put them in practice,” the senior UN official said.
Noting that the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has proven invaluable in supporting political decisions to combat the climate crisis, he recommended replicating its success in the areas of water, energy, food and biodiversity as “a universally accepted, empirical starting point for action”.
“Once this high-level week is over, I plan to launch a series of consultations with the scientific community, asking them to help us bring…knowledge from microscopes to microphones,” he said.
The Assembly President said that the 77th session would be key in preparing the SDG Summit in 2023, and the Summit of the Future in 2024. “Next year, we will assess SDG six at the UN Water Conference – the first since 1977,” he informed the world leaders, flagging that “this call could not be more urgent”.
As water is set to be the next major global driver of conflict, he outlined a threefold problem of “too much, not enough, [and] not safe”.
In addition , he underscored the importance of universal respect for the rule of law, warning that when human rights come under threat, “it is our smoke signal, our call to action”.
He described women’s rights as the “fundamental issue found to be lacking in most societies around the world”, saying that it was “simply unacceptable that every third woman experiences violence in her lifetime” He further said that women were often excluded from decision-making and leadership.
“It is only when everyone is included, “that we will find solutions to the challenges we face,” Kőrösi said.
“Data shows that crisis response is more effective when women take the lead,” he continued, encouraging everyone to engage with equity, equality and human dignity.
The Assembly President offered his support to Member States and underscored the importance of “bringing our efforts out of this Hall and into our communities”.
To revitalise the Organization’s relevance in the eyes of the world, he announced his intention to advance negotiations for reforming the UN Security Council to more equitably represent 21st century realities.
“This is a matter of credibility for our entire Organization and our multilateral order,” he asserted.
“Our opportunity is here and now.
Let us act”.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has invited some top government functionaries to a meeting with a view to resolving the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Gbajabiamila made this known after five hours closed door meeting between the leadership of the house and ASUU on Tuesday in Abuja.
Those invited are, the Account General of the Federation, the Auditor General of the Federation, the Director General of National Information Development Agency (NITDA) and his counterpart in National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.
He said that the government officials are to appear on Thursday, September 22 to finalise negotiations for onward presentation of agreement to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval and implementation.
The speaker said that meaningful progress had been made, saying that the house was out to interface directly with ASUU as an independent arm of government to find out what solution can be offered.
“Based on our deliberations, we are very hopeful that there is light at the end of the tunnel and we thank ASUU for making this time out for the interest of our students.
“There are principally seven areas ASUU has put forward as conditions for them to go back to class and we have looked at those areas and agreed on certain things.
“In pursuance to finalise the meeting, we have asked that NITDA, Account General of the Federation, Auditor General of the Federation, Salaries and Wages Commission be invited to meet with the leadership on Thursday.
“Once that is done, the leadership of this house will await the return of President Muhammadu Buhari from the ongoing United Nations General Assembly.
“We will meet with Mr President and lay before him the agreements we have reached and we are hopeful that Mr President will buy into the agreement and with that, this matter will be speedily brought to a close,”he said.
In his remarks, the President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, appreciated the speaker for intervening in the ongoing strike.
He described the interventions as a good development, saying that the union will wait for the outcome of the meeting with the top government functionaries.
Osodeke said that following the impact of the meeting held with the speaker, he was hopeful that within the immediate future, the issues will be resolved.
The landmark agreement to export grain out of war-torn Ukraine is among the UN’s greatest accomplishments in recent decades, President Recep Erdoğan of Turkey told the General Assembly on Tuesday.
Erdoğan speech covered issues such as Türkiye’s humanitarian support to other countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and diplomatic efforts on Ukraine, as well as the need for greater collective action to address global challenges including the ripple effects of the war.
The pandemic sparked supply chain problems which had a heavy impact on the global economy.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has added to these woes, causing a spike in food and fuel prices worldwide that is putting efforts to end hunger and poverty at risk.
Erdoğan called for international cooperation and solidarity.
“Against the challenges that identify our common fate, we need to move together,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.
On the war in Ukraine, he noted that the conflict has now passed the seven-month threshold.
“We think that the war will never have a triumph, and a fair peace process will not have a loser,” he stated.
The Turkish President said the initiative to export Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea was the result of diplomatic efforts together with the UN Secretary-General.
The deal for the Black Sea Grain Initiative was signed in Istanbul in July. “This is a critical agreement that was undertaken jointly with the United Nations, and this is one of the greatest accomplishments of the United Nations in the recent decades,” Erdoğan said.
And I think the international community revived its confidence in the United Nations as a result of the Istanbul Convention, because the Istanbul Convention proves once again that negotiations can yield results, especially in issues which are vital to all the parties involved.
” He added that “a similar approach has been assumed by us when it comes to the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant that is threatening the security of the entire globe.
” As the conflict escalates, Erdoğan said Türkiye was investing tremendous efforts towards ensuring “that the war will be finalized by protecting the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Ukraine once and for all.
” He appealed to the international community to support his country’s peaceful initiatives to this end.
“We need a dignified way out of this crisis.
And that can only be possible through a diplomatic solution which is rational, which is fair, and which is applicable.
” Erdogan spoke for nearly a half-hour, addressing other aspects of Türkiye’s foreign policy which has “mediation for peace” as its theme.
He underlined the need for a peaceful and permanent settlement to the Syrian conflict, warning that the fighting threatens both the country and the region.
Speakers at the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Symposium on Tuesday called for the reform of the protection laws as it related to the survivors.
The symposium, with the theme: ”Tales of Survivors”, was organised to commemorate the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month.
Giving his Goodwill message, the Chief Justice of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba, said that there was the need to protect the of sexual and gender-based violence, so they could easily seek redress.
Alogba, who was represented by Justice Sherifat Solebo of the High Court, Lagos said that stigmatisation had discouraged a lot of victims from speaking out, making perpetrators to continue in the act.
”For those who are strong enough to come up and try to relate to us their experiences in order to encourage other survivors to come out and report offences, I don’t think we should discourage them.
”It affects their trust in the system, it enhances stigmatisation, and of course, it represses this issue of coming forward to report.
”That is why we think the issue of protection law should be enhanced and improved upon with clarity as to protection of the identity, the name, the face, the address, the parentage, anything that could lead to identifying these victims,” he said.
Alogba said there should be reform of the sentencing guidelines of Lagos State to suit peculiar circumstances.
According to him, sentencing is not just to reflect the practicality of analogical sanctions, but should be reflective of the particular circumstance of each case, as it should not be generalised.
Speaking on ”Expose on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence”, Prof. Olufunmilayo Bammeke, the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lagos said it was important to have a multi-sectoral approach to the responses to survivors.
Bammeke said that sexual and Gender-Based violence survivor were very reluctant to seek redress for fear of being blamed, of being disbelieved and of being stigmatised.
She commended the courage of survivors who were able to go forward to seek redress and that such survivors must have a lot of support.
”It is not easy for a survivor who does not have support to go out to seek redress, because rather than support an individual, if the person is discouraged, that person already has a challenge of speaking about what he or she experienced.
”Then they also have a distrust for formal institutions.
We find people being very cynical, some of the survivors say nothing will come out of the redress being sought,” the professor said.
Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), said the agency was ensuring it contributed to the responses of sexual and gender-vased violence, both preventive and remedial.
Vivour-Adeniyi said that in the past one year, DSVA had provided services to over 4,800 adults and children, who were survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
She said that survivors often faced various multi-facetted challenges, which might have long-lasting impact on their physical, mental and psychological state of mind.
”It is also our hope that this symposium will inform new polices, which are critical to adequately and proactively prevent and where neccessary, respond to sexual and gender-based violence in Lagos State,” the executive secretary and.
During the symposium, some survivors shared their stories, how they took a stand against domestic and sexual violence and how they had been able to show resilience in the face of the challenges that followed.
By telling their stories, the survivors served as motivation to others, letting them know that it is possible to overcome both the trauma of domestic and sexual violence, and to demonstrate that indeed, there is life after violence.
Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River has challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure conduct of free, fair and credible elections in Cross River.
The Governor gave the challenge on Wednesday in Calabar when he received the new Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr Alalibo Johnson.
Ayade, however, assured the INEC of peaceful atmosphere before and during the 2023 general elections in the state.
He noted that given the new REC’s track records and integrity, he had no doubt he would deliver.
According to him, “On behalf of the good people of Cross River State, l hereby give you that commitment that we will guarantee you free and safe elections.
“We also call on the INEC to please honour its pledge too so that we can have free, fair, credible, reliable and dependable elections.
“Government is not going to in any way influence your process, but we want to say that we are available and willing to support you at all times that INEC will so require our services.
” Ayade commended the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu “who has distinguished himself in this country”.
Speaking further, he said “Never before have we had an INEC Chairman who has enjoyed the mutual trust from both the ruling party and the opposition parties.
“This is one chairman who has conducted his elections and results returned based on what is on the ground.
“He is not subject to any inducement, he is subject to the God that he serves and l want to say that his name would go down in history as one of the very best INEC Chairmen that we have ever had.
God bless him and God will continue to sustain him.
” Earlier in his speech, the new REC who harped on the need for a conducive atmosphere, noted that it is what is needed for free and fair elections to thrive.
“There is no way we can conduct a free and fair election without security.
We call on you to use your good offices to ensure that we have peace in the state.
“Peace in the sense that people can move freely to vote for candidates of their choice, and also, we at the back end of INEC can do our job without intimidation,” he stated.
The REC disclosed that about 90,000 uncollected PVCs were listed across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state and appealed to the registrants to come forward and pick up their PVCs. He also said that with the creation of new polling units, Cross River now had 3,281 Polling units.
NAN) People of Mariga town of Bariga Local Government Area, Niger state are searching for more than 500 buried corpses suspected to have been washed away by Floods.
This was disclosed by the Chief Imam of Mariga Central Mosque, Alhaji Alhassan Na’ibi while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria via telephone on Tuesday.
He said “we are now searching for over 500 corpses buried in a cemetry in Mariga town who we believe were washed away by flood in Mariga.
”Nai’bi said the community was in total confusion as it had to relocate about 100 other corpses from the cemetery to another burial ground to curb the happening.
The Chief Imam who attributed the problem to activities of illegal miners near the grave yards, lamented that they never experienced such situation in over 60 years of the cemetery.
He, however, appealed to the Niger State Government to, as a matter of urgency, come to their aid to curb the situation.
Women groups in Shongom Local Government Area of Gombe State have commended Sasakawa Association Africa (SAA) for the improvement of nutritional status of women on the country.
They said the training organied on how to use the local food produced within the communities for women had yeilded good results.
They stated this on Tuesday while sharing their experiences with journalists during the media field day, organised by SAA to access the activities of the project and the impact made on their communities.
Mrs Elizabeth Danlami, leader Kwada Multipurpose society Lalaipido Shongom LGA, said the crops cultivated through the advice of SAA had improved their nutritional status in the community.
“SAA has given us training on how to process the food we cultivate in various forms in order to balance our diet and now, our children are no longer malnourished.
“ As you can see, we have displayed some of the foods we made locally with high nutritional value which we use for our consumption as well as business purpose.
“ Apart from balancing our diet, the association empowered us, especially in the area of processing and marketing our produce, to be self-reliant,” she said.
Sharing her experience, Mrs Ladi Naphtali said she would forever remain grateful to the association for the training given to them in the area of child-spacing, exclusive breast feeding and production of baby food which containing all the nutrients needed for healthy growth.
” We do not buy baby food any longer in this community, instead we use the available crops we produced to prepare it.
“As you can see our babies are looking healthy; they even double their birth weight, this was a result of the nutrient contained in the food we locally made,” she said.
Naphtali stressed that even the pastoralists in the community could testify to how their nutritional status and that of their children had improved because due to the training for them.
Mrs. Ruth Bitrus, leader Mirmu Women Multipurpose Society Diga Community of Shongom LGA said Sassakawa had empowered women, especially in the area of processing and marketing of agricultural produce.
She also said SAA taught them how to process the food they produced in so many ways, to improve their nutritional status and their children.
“ Especially our children, they are growing healthy because their nutritional status has improved, we do not have cases of kwashiorkor and malnutrition in our community,” she said.
Bitrus said even their spouses were happy with them because of the way they now prepared their food.
” Women in my community are treated with dignity because they now have income to cater for their immediate needs and children,” she said.
In his remark Mr Isaac Eni, Technical Coordinator, Market Oriented Agriculture SAA, said the women communities that displayed the crops produced used organic means of production.
He said since fertiliser became expensive and scarce, they tried to substitute it with organic fertiliser such as animal manure.
“We have seen the various recipes they have produced which have to be with our nutritional-sensitive agriculture and also to get source of income.
“Our aim was to promote a good living among the communities we are intervening ,” he said.
NAN reports that highlights of the event included display of local foods with nutritional values prepared by the women groups.
Also a lecture was delivered by Mr Yahuza Yahaya, Technical Coordinator, Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture, on the six classes of food and their work in human body.