UNGA presidency: Nigeria remains unopposed



Nigeria remains unopposed in its bid for the presidency of the 74th United Nations  General Assembly (UNGA).

Ms Monica Gravley, spokesperson to the President of the outgoing 73rd UNGA, Ms Maria Espinosa, disclosed this to UN correspondents in New York on Thursday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the country is represented in the race by its Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijani Mohammed-Bande.

Mohammed-Bande, a Professor of Political Science and former Director-General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), formally announced his bid in New York on Saturday.

Election for the 74th UNGA president, which is zoned to Africa, will take place at the UN headquarters in New York on June 4.

An informal interactive session with candidates for the position is scheduled for Monday also in New York, and would be webcast through UN WebTV

According to Gravley, the session will be led by Espinosa, an Ecuadorian, whose one-year tenure as President of the 73th UNGA ends in September.

Earlier in a letter to member states of the Assembly, Espinosa explained that the informal dialogues were aimed at “contributing to the transparency and inclusivity of the process’’.

UNGA is one of the six principal organs of the UN, the only one in which member nations have equal representation.

All 193 members of the United Nations are members of the General Assembly, with the addition of Holy See and Palestine as observer states

It is the main deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the UN.

Its powers include overseeing the UN budget, appointment of the non-permanent members to the Security Council, and appointment of the UN Secretary-General.


Trump will not visit UN General Assembly during upcoming session – White House



United States President Donald Trump has abandoned his plans to deliver a speech at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in person, the White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, said.

Meadows added that Trump would address participants of the 75th Session of the UNGA in a televised format.

The current session of the UNGA started on Tuesday and will last until Sept. 30.

The week of the high-level General Debate will be held from Sept. 22 to Sept. 29.

As many as 119 heads of state and 54 heads of government will address the session.

In mid-August, Trump told reporters that he was thinking “about going directly to the UN to do the speech.”

The UNGA is one of the six principal organs of the UN, serving as the main deliberative, policy-making, and representative organ of the UN.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN
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Nigeria must assert itself as regional, global leader – UNGA President



The President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Tijjani Muhammad-Bande has challenged Nigeria to continue to ensure that it asserts itself as  a leader both at the regional level and the global stage.

Muhammad-Bande who is from Nigeria, gave the charge during a virtual interaction with Nigerian journalists.

He noted that Nigeria had been providing leadership in Africa, but urged the country to ensure that it continues to play positive roles.

“Nigeria has been a very important member of the global community.

“It has provided leadership and it should continue to improve its own processes and continue to give leadership to Africa and also continue to play very positive roles in the global body.

“We have the technical and other resources to play increasingly important roles, and we are being looked up to by many, and I think we should continue to play our roles as leaders in the region and sub region.

“Nigeria has a lot of things that people look up to it for, and we pray that we do the hard work required to continue to be leaders in the world community.’’

On efforts to defeat insurgency, the UNGA president charged the nation not to relent, noting that Boko Haram had greatly affected Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

He however noted that the situation had improved, adding that the UN will not relent in supporting nations to ensure that terrorism is rooted out.

“It is clear, Boko Haram has done a lot of damage to Nigeria, Cameron, Niger Republic and Chad.

“The situation has improved, the UN has been very supportive of the efforts to deal with terrorism around the World, including in parts of West and Central Africa.

Edited By: Obike Ukoh
Source: NAN
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UN Security Council reforms won’t be easy – UNGA President



The President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Tijjanu Muhammad-Bande says reforming the UN Security Council to give powers to others is not going to be an easy tasks.

He disclosed this on Monday when he held a virtual interactive session with Nigerian-based foreign and diplomatic correspondents.

He said that although all organs of the UN were undergoing reforms, that of Security Council was particularly not going to be easy.

“All organs of the United Nations are undergoing reforms including the secretariat in terms of how it serves countries around the world, in terms of representation.

“There has been ad hoc discussion on the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly, we have been able to align processes around the work of the UN, there is a lot of effort at reforms.

“Security Council reform is also ongoing at an inter-governmental negotiation framework

“In the next few weeks and few months impactful meetings can happen and we expect more progress to be made to reform the Security Council.

“But make no mistake about it, it is not going to be an easy ride for anyone, it is a very complex issue trying to get power to others from those who currently hold it,” he said.

The UNGA President however noted that most of the reform process have been slow due to difficulty to hold impactful meetings involving all countries at the same time.

He disclosed that some progress has been made in terms of the common African position.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the current negotiation process for reforms is based on ”Decision 62/557” which was adopted in 2008.

It defines five key issues for reform: categories of membership, the question of the veto, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Security Council and its working

NAN reports that ”decision 62/557” also stipulates that any solution must garner “the widest possible political acceptance”, although in 1998 the UN General Assembly already agreed that the support of two-thirds of UN member states is sufficient.

Any reform of the Security Council would require the agreement of at least two-thirds of UN member states in a vote in the General Assembly and must be ratified by two-thirds of Member States.

All of the permanent members of the UNSC (which have veto rights) must also agree.

The permanent members are China, France, Russian Federation, the UK and the United States

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN
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UNGA defies COVID-19 under Nigeria’s leadership, passes 70 resolutions




United Nations, Sept. 1, 2020 The United Nations General Assembly has passed no fewer than 70 decisions and resolutions since it went virtual in March over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amb. Tijani Muhammad-Bande, President of the 74th session of the Assembly and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, stated this on Monday.

Muhammad-Bande spoke at an informal consultative meeting on modalities for a forthcoming special session of the Assembly on the COVID-19 pandemic.

He explained that the decisions were delivered through the “silence procedure” authorised by the General Assembly in Resolution 74/544 on March 27.

“Through these initiatives, we have been able to cover a lot of grounds amidst all the uncertainties.

“I believe that with more focus and commitment at the highest levels of governance, we would make significant progress in the race to defeat the pandemic,” he said.

Silence procedure is an online decision-making method adopted by member states following the suspension of in-personal plenary meetings at the UN headquarters to avoid the spread of the disease.

Normally, the 193-member Assembly adopts resolutions by majority votes or by consensus at its plenary, but under the silence procedure, draft resolutions are circulated to member states online.

Ambassadors are then given a 72-hour deadline to consider the proposals and communicate their decisions back to the PGA’s office.

If a country objects before the deadline, the resolution is defeated, but in the absence of objections, the UNGA President then circulates a letter confirming adoption.

“You recall that before the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, we at the General Assembly had already started consultations on how to respond to the evolving situation in a sustainable manner.

“We recognised very early that the dire nature of the pandemic demanded the prompt reaction of the General Assembly,” Muhammad-Bande said.

Turning to the special COVID-19 session, whose date has not been determined, he said it would serve as a veritable platform to mobilise global commitment against the pandemic.

He thanked Azerbaijan for proposing the session and the General Assembly for accepting to hold it.

“The co-facilitators, with your cooperation and support, have produced a solid draft as a good basis for negotiation.

“And I trust that the special session will ensure greater involvement of world leaders toward a result-oriented response to the pandemic.

“This will further strengthen the General Assembly as a critical global partner in the fight against the pandemic and its impact on lives and livelihood,” he said.

At Monday’s meeting, Canada and Azerbaijan were nominated to work out the modalities for the special session, according to Amb. Samson Itegboje, its Interim President.

Itegboje, who is Nigeria’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the date for the session would be determined and announced soon.

A special session of the Assembly is a mini-UNGA called to deal with special matters and in this case, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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