Libya’s UN-backed government forces said Tuesday that they have killed 48 soldiers of the rival eastern-based army in the south of Tripoli.
“The heavy artillery of the 307 Artillery Battalion destroyed a mortar company of Haftar’s terrorist militias (commander of eastern-based army) in Wadi al-Rabee axis (southern Tripoli),” Mohamed Gonono, spokesman of the UN-backed government’s forces, said in a statement later Tuesday.
“Our brave forces counted 48 bodies of the fleeing terrorists left behind before they escaped from the battlefields,” the statement added.
The spokesman also said that the UN-backed government’s forces has seized eight armed vehicles of the eastern-based army, captured four soldiers, and destroyed 10 military vehicles.
Despite repeated international calls for cease-fire, the eastern-based army and the UN-backed government have been fighting for more than a year over the control of Tripoli, which killed and injured hundreds of civilians and displaced more than 150,000 others.
At 75, UN remains true to aspirations of founders -Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has hailed the United Nations for remaining true to the aspirations of its founders, saying the international organisation has continued to play the crucial role of fostering global peace and security.
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman disclosed that Buhari stated this when he joined world leaders at a virtual event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, on Monday.
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the UN for the first time convened world leaders in a virtual format for the High-level meetings and the annual General Debate.
In his video message to the UN at 75 event, Buhari amplified Nigeria’s achievements at the UN since 1960 when the country officially joined the organisation.
He highlighted the country’s active contribution in human, financial and material resources to several United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, among other priorities.
The Nigerian leader said: ”On behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I wish to express sincere felicitation to Member States for the giant strides taken towards achieving the objectives of the Organization thus far.
”Today’s celebration is a remarkable milestone in the history of the United Nations. It affords us the opportunity to review our progress and challenges as well as chart the course for our future.
”For over seven decades, the United ‘Nations has remained true to the aspirations of its founders. It continues to play a crucial role in fostering global peace and security.
”The Organisation has grown in membership and scope to reflect contemporary global trends.
”Collectively, we have improved and saved lives, as well as defended the rights of the vulnerable in adherence to the principles of the United Nations.
”More so, we have worked together to shelter refugees; foster development; invest in conflict resolution and peacekeeping; and promoted women’s and children’s rights.
”Moreover, we have jointly intensified the fight against deadly diseases such as Malaria, Ebola, Tuberculosis, and the Coronavirus pandemic.”
On decolonisation, the president called on Member States to abide by UN Resolution 1514 on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples.
He warned that ‘‘the quest to realise total decolonisation remains incomplete as long as Non-Self-Governing territories continue to exist.’’
The Nigerian leader noted that beyond the spheres of peace and security, the United Nations had also played active roles in the decolonization of many territories.
”This was achieved through the adoption of many Resolutions that supported the independence and subsequent admission of over Eighty (80) territories into the Organization.
”However, the quest to realise total decolonisation remains incomplete as long as Non-Self-Governing territories continue to exist.
”In this regard, I call on Member States to abide by UN Resolution 1514 on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples,’’ he said.
On Nigeria’s participation at the UN, Buhari said the country has remained a reliable partner of the United Nations in its aspiration to achieve its mandate of a more peaceful, secure, and developed world.
”This year’s celebration is significant to Nigeria as it coincides with our Sixtieth (60) Anniversary of joining this esteemed Organization.
”As an active member of the Organisation, Nigeria has contributed human, financial and material resources to several United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.
”We have also provided humanitarian aid to refugees and displaced persons; helped countries in tackling diseases such as Ebola and extended both human and financial resources as technical aid to other countries.
”In addition, we have served on five occasions as Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council and contributed significantly to the promotion of international peace and security,” he said.
According to him, in spite of progress made in safeguarding world peace and promoting global cooperation, the world is still faced with complex challenges.
”Efforts to address impediments for the attainment of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were undermined by the advent of Coronavirus pandemic which brought about unprecedented challenges that cannot be tackled by any single country or region.
”The inward-looking tendencies exhibited by Member States in the wake of the pandemic have particularly revealed an urgent need for us to strengthen international cooperation, unity and solidarity to address all negative developments including climate change, violent extremism, natural disasters, and cyber-security.
”However, as we continue to battle the pandemic and search for possible solutions, including an effective vaccine, we implore nations to adopt a global approach in addressing the global health emergency in a bid to build the future we want,” he said.
The president also used the occasion to emphasize the imperative of a fair and equitable representation in the Security Council, ”if we must achieve the United Nations we need.”
He said: ”The demand for the reform of the United Nations Security Council is just and a place for Africa in the very strategic Organ of the Organisation is long-overdue.
”In our collective effort to rebuild the United Nations of our dream, Nigeria reaffirms her commitment to upholding the principles of the United Nations including: Human Rights, Peace and Security, as well as Democratic governance.
”I, therefore, reiterate Nigeria’s rededication to multilateralism and the rules-based international system.
”It is my hope that this anniversary will encourage us to respond to the numerous challenges we face and support efforts aimed at building the United Nations System we desire.”
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
UN at 75: Guterres urges sustenance of world peace
The United Nations officially marked its 75th anniversary on Monday with Secretary-General António Guterres appealing for preservation of the longest period in modern history without a military confrontation.
Addressing the mainly virtual event, Guterres urged the world’s most powerful nations to resist the temptation for unilateral actions and embrace dialogue in dispute resolution.
“The ideals of the United Nations: peace, justice, equality and dignity, are beacons to a better world.
“But the orgainsation we celebrate today emerged only after immense suffering.
“It took two world wars, millions of deaths and the horrors of the Holocaust for world leaders to commit to international cooperation and the rule of law.
“That commitment produced results. A Third World War, which so many had feared — has been avoided.
“Never in modern history have we gone so many years without a military confrontation between the major powers.
“This is a great achievement of which Member States can be proud, and which we must all strive to preserve,” he said.
Looking back over the last 75 years, the Secretary-General outlined other achievements of the UN to include peace treaties and peacekeeping, decolonisation, and setting human rights standards and the mechanisms to uphold them.
Others, according to him, are “triumph over apartheid” in South Africa, life-saving humanitarian aid for millions of victims of conflict and disaster, eradication of diseases and development of international law.
However, UN Chief reminded the world of existing global challenges, noting that there is still so much to be done.
“Climate calamity looms, biodiversity is collapsing, poverty is again rising and hatred is spreading, geopolitical tensions are escalating, nuclear weapons remain on hair-trigger alert.
“Transformative technologies have opened up new opportunities but also exposed new threats.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the world’s fragilities,” he added.
Emphasising that the problems could only be well tackled through multilateralism and cooperation, Guterres said there was “surplus of multilateral challenges and a deficit of multilateral solutions”.
“No one wants a world government, but we must work together to improve world governance,” he added.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
S/Africa seeks continent’s permanent representation at UN Security Council – Ramaphosa
South Africa advocates for the continent to have permanent representation on the UN Security Council, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.
Ramaphosa said this ahead of his address for the high-level week of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.
The 75th session of the General Assembly opened on Sept. 15. The high-level week will run from Monday until Sept. 29.
“We … need to strengthen bodies like the UN, ensure they are properly resourced and that they are representative.
“We must use this 75th anniversary to push ahead with the reform of the UN and particularly its Security Council, which does not give equal voice to the different regions of the world.
As South Africa, we will use our virtual presence in New York to continue to advocate for Africa – a continent of more than a billion people – to have permanent representation on the UN Security Council,” the statement read.
Earlier this year, a similar idea was voiced by Cairo.
In particular, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry proposed that two permanent seats be allocated to the African continent in the UN Security Council with full powers, including veto, following its reformation.
So far, there are five permanent members at the UN Security Council that have the right to veto — China, Russia, the United States, France and the UK.
The other 10 members of the UN body are non-permanent and elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.
South Africa was elected as a non-permanent member for 2019 to 2020.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Sadiya Hamza
Norwegian survey shows 77% displaced people have lost jobs, income due to COVID-19
A survey by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) on Monday shows that 77 per cent of people displaced by conflicts have lost a job or revenue since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jan Egeland, the Secretary-General of the NRC, said this in a statement.
A record 79.5 million people worldwide, or 1 per cent of humanity, were displaced at the end of 2019 after fleeing wars or persecution, according to the UN.
The NRC, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), polled 1,431 refugees and internally displaced people across 14 countries including Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Kenya Libya, Mali, Uganda and Venezuela.
Some 70 per cent of those surveyed said they had to cut the number of meals for their households and 73 per cent said they were less likely to send their children to school due to economic problems.
“The price of food has doubled. We have to collect scraps to feed our children,” said Shayista Gul, 60, who lives in a two-room makeshift home together with 15 others outside Kabul in Afghanistan.
“If the coronavirus does not kill us, hunger definitely will,” she is quoted as saying by the NRC in its report.
The pandemic has led to an economic downturn affecting the most vulnerable populations, including refugees and internally displaced people, pushing them into a “dangerous downward spiral”, the NRC said.
“Already forced from their homes by violence, often with limited rights to work or access to government services, the economic impact of the pandemic is pushing them to catastrophe,” Egeland said.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu