The focus of world leaders during this year’s UN General Debate should be on how to strengthen solidarity and partnership among nations in addressing common problems, says Amb. Tijani Muhammad-Bande.
Muhammad-Bande, the President of the outgoing 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, set this agenda during the end-of-session news conference in New York on Tuesday.
Speaking in response to a question, he emphasised that the COVID-19 pandemic had further underscored the need for inclusion in the search for solutions to global challenges.
He warned that the world might not be able to defeat the pandemic and its socio-economic fallouts without solidarity, partnership and empathy among nations.
Muhammad-Bande, who is Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, also urged Heads of States and Governments to share with the world the difficulties they encounter in their bilateral relations.
This, he noted, would better guide the UN and other international and regional organisations in their push for a better system of multilateralism.
The 75th session of the Assembly opens on Sept. 15, while the high-level General Debate is scheduled to begin on Sept. 22.
The General Debate provides an opportunity for Heads of States and Governments to highlight global issues of importance to their countries and their positions on them.
Due to the pandemic, this year’s forum will hold both virtually and in-person, with world leaders sending pre-recorded speeches or speaking remotely via video links.
On the work of the Assembly, Muhammad-Bande said Member States were able to deliver on the agenda of the 74th session in spite of the unique challenges posed by COVID-19.
Among others, the priorities of his presidency included poverty eradication, inclusive and qualitative education, climate action and universal health coverage.
Since March, diplomats from the 193-member Assembly have been working remotely after the host city of New York imposed a lockdown to control the virus.
“During the period we have been able to push the agenda concerning poverty eradication, inclusive and quality education, climate action and partnerships around the SDGs.
“These were what we set out to do at the beginning of the presidency.
“The first political declaration under this session was on universal health coverage, little did we know that this was going to be a very important subject as we have seen with the pandemic,’’ he said.
The PGA also highlighted that no fewer than 70 decisions and resolutions had been passed by the Assembly, including two seeking global collaboration and equal access to vaccine and medicines in tackling the pandemic.
Asked on the status of the ‘omnibus resolutions on COVID-19’ being negotiated by the Assembly, he said he hoped it would be adopted before the end of the session on Sept. 16.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi
Kwara records 12 new cases of COVID-19, discharges 23 patients
Kwara has recorded 12 more cases of COVID-19 while 23 persons who tested negative twice have been discharged.
Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor and Spokesman of the Technical Committee on COVID-19, made this known in a statement on Monday in Ilorin.
Ajakaye said that the new cases brings to 1025 the total number of confirmed cases so far in the state, with 822 patients discharged and 26 deaths recorded.
“As at 9:30p.m on Sunday, the number of active cases was 177 and 822 patients had so far been discharged and 26 deaths recorded,” said Ajakaye.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni
Ganduje mourns Emir of Zazzau
Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has commiserated with the people and government of Kaduna State over the death of Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, who died on Sunday at 84.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, the Kano State governor described the death as a national tragedy and monumental blow to the nation’s traditional institution system.
He said “we lost a national hero, Alhaji Shehu Idris was an embodiment of humility, discipline, respect, statesmanship and exemplary leadership.
“His death leaves an indelible mark in the history of the Nigerian nation state.
“It is with sad note and deep sense of agony that we received the demise of this rare gem and a traditional leader of high repute with respectful global touch.”
Ganduje prayed for the reposed soul of the emir on behalf of the government and people of Kano State, to the families of the late emir, the Kaduna State government and the Zazzau Emirate.
“We pray for Allah’s blessing and forgiveness for the reposed soul of the great emir. May Allah forgive his shortcomings and reward his good deeds abundantly.” (NAN )
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
E! hosts skip Emmys red carpet after testing positive for COVID-19
The E! “Live From the Red Carpet” preshow for the Emmy Awards is missing a couple of key players this year.
During Sunday’s broadcast, Giuliana Rancic and Vivica A. Fox – who were expected to host a portion of E!’s 2020 red-carpet coverage – both announced that they tested positive for COVID-19 and therefore could not emcee the show as planned.
“As I go into my 20th year on the E! red carpet, I have to say I do not take missing an award show lightly.
“But unfortunately, this year is just so different. As part of E! and NBCUniversal’s very strict testing guidelines – especially before an event like this – I did find out that I tested positive for COVID-19.
“As much as I didn’t want to hear that, I’m very thankful I heard it before I traveled and possibly could have exposed other people. As far as my health, I’m doing well,” Rancic said via video chat.
Rancic added that her husband and son also tested positive for the respiratory illness and are “taking care of each other” in quarantine.
“I’m wishing you all the best,” she continued from home, adding: “Please protect yourselves and protect those around you. Take good care, and I’ll see you on the next red carpet.”
Later, E! hosts Brad Goreski and Nina Parker shared a statement from Fox explaining her own absence.
“I’m terribly sorry I cannot be with my E! family tonight,” the message read.
“Unfortunately I have tested positive for (COVID-19), so in an abundance of caution, I’ve isolated myself at home.
“During these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever that we follow all safety and health rules and guidelines to protect ourselves and each other. … I look forward to seeing everyone again soon.”
Parker and Goreski – who were originally slated to host the E! “Countdown to the Red Carpet” from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Eastern before passing the baton to Rancic and Fox – simply extended their hosting duties to the “Live From the Red Carpet” telecast.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
NCDC records 97 new COVID-19 infections, total cases now 57, 242
The NCDC disclosed this on its official twitter handle on Sunday .
It added that three persons died of COVID-19 complications while 138 patients, who recovered at various isolation centres across the country the same day, were discharged.
Based on the figures released, Lagos state recorded the highest number of infections with 46 new cases.
The data released also indicated that Kwara recorded 12 new infections, Rivers 11, and Adamawa 4.
Others were Niger – 4, Ogun – 4, Osun – 4, Ekiti – 3, Imo – 3, Kaduna – 3, Plateau – 2, and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – 1.
“Till date, 57, 242 cases have been confirmed, 48, 569 cases have been discharged, and 1,098 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT,” the centre said.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Emmanuel Yashim