Senior diplomats of South Korea and the UK, on Wednesday held talks in Seoul on ways to boost bilateral ties and cooperation on climate change, the foreign ministry said.
According to the ministry, Kim Gunn, Deputy Foreign Minister for political affairs, met with Richard Moore, Director-General for political affairs at U.K.’s Foreign/Commonwealth Office.
Gunn briefed Moore on the upcoming summit of the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals (P4G), a global conference to advance solutions for delivering on the U.N. SDGs/Paris climate agreement, scheduled for South Korea in June.
He, however, urged London to send a high-level delegation to the forum.
Moore said that his country would consider Seoul’s request, adding that Seoul’s leadership would also be of importance for the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26), to be held in Scotland in November.
The two sides agreed to promote active high-level exchanges in 2020, noting that the two countries have been key partners in various fields, including politics, economy and security.
The ministry added that the two countries also shared assessments and agreed to continue cooperation on regional security issues, including denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula as well as the situation in the Middle East.
Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Emmanuel Yashimhttps://nnn.ng/south-korean-uk-diplomats-discuss-bilateral-ties-climate-change/
Visa Ban: FG says sanctioning electoral offenders disrespectful to Nigeria’s sovereignty
The Nigerian government has said it considers it disrespectful to the Sovereignty of the country for any outside country to apply punitive measures such as visas restriction on its citizens.
The Nigerian government made this known in a statement issued by Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that this comes as a response to the recent announcement of the United States and the United Kingdom to impose visa restrictions on those who undermine electoral processes.
The Nigerian Government said it was committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral process.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that the Nigerian government has taken note of the concerns of some of our partners, especially the United States and UK governments regarding the elections in Edo and Ondo States.
“They have also expressed their intentions to take punitive measures against those who decide to, in what they termed as, undermine democracy.
“It is important to highlight that the responsibility for the conduct of elections in Nigeria solely resides with the Independent National Electoral Commission and State Independent Electoral Commissions.
“The Federal Government, and especially the President, is committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral process.
“The President has continually urged all parties and contestants to peacefully conduct themselves before, during and after the elections, and supported patriotic non-governmental initiatives such as the Abdusalami Abubakar-led Peace Committee.
“Furthermore, it should be noted that there are ample provisions in our laws to sanction violators and perpetrators of electoral violence and fraud.
“It would be considered disrespectful of the sovereignty of Nigeria for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of our citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally.
“While we appreciate the support and encouragement of our international partners such as the EU, we urge our equally valued partners such as the UK and United States to cooperate with our relevant agencies,” the government said.
The government called on the partners to support security agencies by providing them whatever concrete evidence of observed misconduct to allow our laws and regulations to take their course.
The Nigerian government also expressed solidarity with the government and people of the United States as regards their forthcoming election, which it hoped would be free from interference and violence.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu
SDGs: Nigeria to mobilise NYSC members, ICONIC Leaders to champion implementation at grassroots — Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will engage the services of youth corps members and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Ambassadors across the country to champion the implementation of SDGs 2030 at the grassroots.
The President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja, said Buhari stated this on Friday at the virtual inaugural SDGs Moment, convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during the high-level week of the 75th UN General Assembly.
In his video message to the meeting, the Nigerian leader provided an update on SDGs progress in the country.
He outlined Nigeria’s vision for the next decade in fighting poverty, combating illicit financial flows and ensuring economic recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
”Our National Assembly has established Committees on Sustainable Development Goals.
”The National Youth Service Corps Scheme is also ensuring that Nigerian graduates actively participate in SDGs implementation processes by serving as SDGs champions at the grassroots.
”Going forward, we will invigorate the Goal achievement process at the grassroots by engaging the services of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals Ambassadors we appointed to support our efforts at the national level.
”We will also encourage more sub-national authorities to appoint and train SDGs Champions,” he said.
The president also re-affirmed Nigeria’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other Internationally Agreed Development Goals.
Buhari told the meeting that anti-corruption institutions have been strengthened to enable the administration effectively combat illicit financial flows and recover proceeds.
He also acknowledged that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic had threatened to derail the progress in achieving SDGs.
According to the president, Nigeria is addressing the threat by re-dedicating efforts towards economic diversification, focusing on agriculture and the mining sectors.
”Nigeria has made good strides in SDGs domestication processes, as we have commenced the re-alignment of the National Statistical System with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs.
”We have developed a novel home-grown ‘Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Model, as an analytical framework for assessing how policy making can better address the indivisible nature of the Sustainable Development Goals.
”Nigeria has also set up a Model Private Sector Advisory Group and an SDGs Donors’ Forum with a view to engaging critical stakeholders towards the attainment of the SDGs,” he added.
The president recalled that Nigeria presented its second Voluntary National Review on SDGs to the UN High-Level Political Forum in July 2020.
According to the president, the second Voluntary National Review highlighted the nation efforts to meet SDGs targets on the critical issues of poverty and an inclusive economy; health and well-being; education and gender equality; enabling environment of peace and security; and partnerships.
He noted that these targets were based on current development priorities, as captured in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020), as well as the Medium Term National Development Plan (2020-2025).
Buhari also pledged Nigeria’s commitment to mainstreaming the SDGs into subsequent development plans.
While setting out Nigeria’s vision for the Decade of Action, the president pledged that the country will implement unique initiatives such as the re-aligned National Statistical System to effectively track and monitor the implementation of the SDGs on annual basis.
He said other initiatives include the Nigeria Integrated SDG simulation Model to support the domestication of the Planning Model across the 36 states and the Integrated National Financing Frameworks for SDGs.
The president added that government would ensure smooth implementation of the scaled-up National Social Investment Programme to reach more poor and vulnerable Nigerians in line with government’s commitment to lift 100 million people out of Poverty within a 10-year period.
”We will be engaging all segments of the society for the achievement of the SDGs,” the Nigerian leader said.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
WTO leadership race: Okonjo-Iweala, 4 others advance to second round of election
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s candidate aspiring to the position of Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has won the first run of elections and has àlong with four others advanced to the second phase..
The other contestants, who are from Kenya, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and the UK, on Friday advanced to the next round of voting after six days of confidential consultation with members.
Amb. David Walker, Chair of the WTO General Council in a briefing on the outcome of the election told the Head of Delegation meeting that the entire organisation’s membership was committed and fully engaged in the consultation process.
“Throughout the six days of consultations it was clear to us that the entire membership is both committed to and fully engaged in this process.
“Members consider all the candidates highly qualified and respected individuals.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the dignified manner in which they, their delegations, and their governments have conducted themselves in this process.
“Their willingness to engage, especially at these challenging times, has been greatly appreciated, and the organisation is in their debt,” Walker said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that during the consultations, Walker alongside his co-facilitators in the election process, posed to each delegation one question: “What are your preferences?”
Members then submitted four preferences to the “troika” of ambassadors.
The facilitators are Amb. Dacio Castillo, Chair of the Dispute Settlement Body, and Amb. Harald Aspelund, chair of the Trade Policy Review Body.
The consultation process taken by facilitators has been set by guidelines established by the General Council in a 2002 decision.
Based on the guidelines, the key consideration in determining which candidate is best poised to achieve consensus is the “breadth of support” each candidate receives from the members.
Walker said that the second phase of the consultations would begin on Sept. 24 and end on Oct. 6.
“During this time, members will be asked in the confidential consultations to express two preferences.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Sweden’s statements on Navalny potentially breaching chemical weapons convention – Lavrov
Sweden’s vouching for that Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny had been poisoned with Novichok following its earlier claim of never having dealt with this toxin before is potentially violating the Chemical Weapons Convention, an official said.
The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said this on Friday.
Sweden denied having any experience with Novichok after Russia retrieved open sources showing that this military-grade nerve agent was being developed in several Western countries in Europe and beyond.
This took place in 2018 after the EU and several of its individual member states accused Moscow of being behind the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK town of Salisbury.
“There are dozens of patents for the military use of substances of this group. We listed Sweden among the countries where such works were being carried out.
“As you now know, they told us two years ago ‘Don’t you dare mention us on this list as we have never carried out any Novichok-related activities,’” Lavrov said.
Germany, where Navalny was transported for treatment in 2019 and where doctors suggested he could have been poisoned with Novichok, asked France and Sweden to confirm the results of his lab tests.
“And they [Sweden] came up with an official confirmation of the results of the Bundeswehr lab that it was Novichok.
“But if mere two years ago Sweden had no expertise to determine whether or not it was Novichok and now two years later it has such expertise then something must have changed.
“And if what changed has enabled Sweden to acquire competency in detecting the Novichok substances, perhaps, it should be reviewed as a potential grave violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Lavrov added.
On Aug. 20, Navalny was urgently hospitalised in the Russian Siberian city of Omsk after suffering an acute health condition during a domestic flight.
As lab tests found no traces of poisonous substances in the man’s system, Russian doctors opined the deterioration could have been caused by an abrupt drop of glucose in his blood due to metabolic disbalance.
Navalny was transported to Germany’s Berlin-based Charite clinic two days later.
It was not until Sept. 2 that German medics claimed Navalny’s samples contained traces of a Novichok group substance.
The German government claimed it got a confirmation of the diagnosis from France and Sweden and submitted the case materials to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Berlin refused to make the materials available to Moscow, citing Russia’s membership in the organisation, in spite the requests from Russian investigators, who launched a probe immediately after Navalny’s hospitalization in Omsk.
On Sept. 7, Navalny was reanimated from his medically-induced coma and separated from a ventilator.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ali Baba-Inuwa