President Muhammadu Buhari says God has endowed both Nigeria and Algeria with natural resources, particularly gas and petroleum, and the two countries have no option than to cooperate with one other.
The president stated this when he received the Algerian Ambassador, Belkacem Smaili, in a farewell audience at State House, Abuja, on Thursday.
Buhari said he looked forward to the establishment of gas pipelines, trans-Atlantic road, and fibre optic between the two countries.
On the political situation in Algeria, the President prayed for successful elections billed for December.
He said the outgoing Ambassador was already “an authority on Nigeria,” having spent over six years in the country, and witnessed two administrations.
Smaili described Nigeria as “home,” and wished “prosperity and well being for Nigerians as they go into the Next Level.”
He said he also looked forward to a more robust relationship between Algeria and Nigeria.(NAN)
Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa
President Buhari’s UNGA75 National Statement
22ND SEPTEMBER 2020
Ø Mr. President,
Ø Heads of State and Government,
Ø Distinguished Delegates,
Ø Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me on behalf of the Government and good people of Nigeria, congratulate you on your well-deserved election as President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). I would like to assure you of Nigeria’s readiness to avail the United Nations all necessary cooperation needed for the fulfillment of your mandate.
2. I wish to also thank the General Assembly for the support accorded His Excellency, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande during his tenure as President of the 74th Session of the General Assembly.
3. We acknowledge the accomplishments of the Assembly under his able leadership, particularly his efforts on attacking global poverty through the Global Coalition on Poverty Eradication.
4. We also commend the tremendous efforts of His Excellency, Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in steering the affairs of the organization during this challenging period of the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as his strong commitment to making the UN more efficient and responsive in its international responsibility.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
5. It is my privilege to use this opportunity to congratulate Member States on the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. Over the past seven decades, the United Nations, as the People’s Assembly, has helped to stabilize the global community.
6. In addition to international peace and security, the UN has undertaken programmes on poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, youth development and humanitarian emergencies.
7. The theme of this year’s General Assembly – “The Future We Want, The United Nations We Need: Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment To Multilateralism – Confronting Coronavirus Through Effective Multilateral Action”, is indeed most appropriate and timely, as it captures our common desire for a renewed and revitalized organization in need of multilateral approaches to the many challenges facing the world.
8. As we reflect on the future we want and the United Nations we need, we must realize that the peoples of the world not only look up to us: they count on us. If the United Nations system cannot mobilize the world to marshal out a truly effective and inclusive response to the Coronavirus pandemic, then the United Nations would have failed in its core mission of giving expression, direction and solution to the yearnings of the international community.
9. The future we want must guarantee human rights, human dignity, human prospects and prosperity. The principles of “Leaving No One Behind and Doing No Harm” must be expressed through accountability, strategic growth initiatives and elimination of threats of all kinds.
10. In our quest to provide a future of hope and prosperity for Nigerians, our administration has embarked on measures to ensure enhanced national resilience. We intend to achieve this through the implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan and the Medium Term National Development Plans for the period 2020-2025 and 2026-2030. We expect that these ambitious initiatives will deliver sustainable economic growth and development to Nigeria.
11. Predicated on the values that inspired its creation, the United Nations we need has to remain an agent of progress, by giving expression to the tenets of multilateralism, solidarity and international cooperation. It is within the context of this rules-based multilateral order that the world can find solutions to its many problems.
12. The world is currently in the grips of the Coronavirus pandemic. Regrettably, our communities and countries are losing lives. The Coronavirus pandemic has devastated the world economy and strained the capabilities of the health system of many countries, including our own country.
13. In the aftermath of Coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria, we prioritized vulnerable groups, including women, children, older persons and the unemployed, in our efforts to provide medical and social assistance to cushion the socio-economic effects of the disease.
14. Accordingly, we have expanded our National Social Register, to include an additional 1 million Nigerians. Our National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) has been the vehicle for reaching out to the poor and vulnerable members of the Nigerian population, as well as providing cover for over 22 million households.
15. I use this opportunity to commend the efforts of the United Nations and the World Health Organization in combating the Coronavirus pandemic.
16. I note, with appreciation, the $2 Billion United States Dollars Global Humanitarian Response Plan launched by the UN Secretary-General to fund the Coronavirus response in the poorest countries of the world.
17. I also commend his call for cease-fire in conflict areas, to enable humanitarian assistance reach groups vulnerable to Coronavirus .
18. I should also state that Nigeria is committed to working with other Member States in the spirit of global cooperation and solidarity to promote human health and general well-being. Nigeria will continue to partner with the WHO and some countries to ensure accelerated development and manufacturing, as well as uninhibited supply of safe and effective Coronavirus vaccines to all.
19. In order to mitigate its impact on Nigerians, our administration has commenced the disbursement of the sum of N10.9 Billion to households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises as palliatives.
20. In addition, we have established a five hundred billion (N500 billion) fiscal stimulus package and sustained delivery of humanitarian and social interventions to poor and vulnerable households, while our Central Bank has launched a N3.5 trillion-stimulus package to boost manufacturing and facilitate import substitution.
21. The international community will need to cooperate in addressing the scourge of poverty, particularly in developing countries. It is in this regard, that we commend the President of the 74th General Assembly for launching an Alliance for Poverty Eradication in June.
22. We encourage global leaders, particularly leaders from the global North, to support the Alliance at this time when the COVID-19 pandemic is reversing gains made in the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and is pushing an additional half a billion people into extreme poverty.
23. As we mark the beginning of the UN Decade of Action for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, Nigeria has made significant strides in domesticating the SDGs.
24. There is an ongoing re-alignment of the National Statistical System (NSS) with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs. This is expected to ensure effective tracking and monitoring of the SDGs and guide SDG interventions across the country.
25. Nigeria has also developed its home-grown Integrated Sustainable Development Goals model (iSDG Model) – an analytical framework for assessing how policy-making can better address the indivisible nature of the SDGs.
26. Nigeria remains deeply concerned over the illicit trade, transfer, and circulation of small arms and light weapons, particularly on the continent of Africa.
27. We urge the international community to renew efforts to stem this traffic and promote the Arms Trade Treaty in order to codify accountability in the on-going battle against trans-border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy.
28. The litany of sophisticated terrorist attacks across the globe is a harsh reality of the challenges the world is facing today. We must therefore redouble our efforts to ensure collective security.
29. In Nigeria, we are still facing violent extremism from the insurgency of Boko Haram and bandits. We continue to count on our strong cooperation with UN Counter-Terrorism bodies and neighbouring countries to overcome the terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and the wider Sahel Region.
30. We will vigorously sustain the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of victims of terrorism and insurgency in the North-East. The North-East Development Commission has been established for that purpose.
31. Nigeria is committed to universal nuclear non-proliferation. In this connection, we recall the adoption of the landmark Treaty on The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which opened for signature on 20 September 2017. Nigeria participated actively in the processes leading to its adoption and was an early signatory and ratifier.
32. With less than ten ratifications needed for the TPNW’s entry into force, we urge other member states who have not done so to quickly ratify the Treaty for the actualization of its important objective.
33. Climate Change is an environmental crisis which requires urgent action. Our Administration is conscious of the fact that the attainment of national development targets would be greatly impeded unless the consequences of climate change are addressed holistically in line with the Paris Agreement.
34. To this end, Nigeria has intensified climate action through the upward review of reduction in greenhouse gas emission under the Nationally Determined Contributions, which are climate change targets under the Paris Agreement.
35. Nigeria remains steadfast in our commitment to the revitalization of Lake Chad. We are convinced that recharging the Lake will improve the living conditions of our people in the area, promote inter-state cooperation, strengthen community resilience, and assist in addressing environmental and security challenges threatening the region and its resources.
36. Let me, therefore, reiterate the call for international support for the sub-regional efforts to raise the $50 billion USD required to actualize this initiative.
37. Nigeria experiences high internal and external migration due to the size of its population, economic situation and climate. We are therefore fully committed to migration management and prevention of irregular migration and human trafficking.
38. I enjoin the international community to also communicate the positive contributions of migrants, particularly in countries of destination, in order to combat racial discrimination and xenophobic attacks, and facilitate the social integration and protection of migrants.
39. The global aspiration to recover from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic will not be fully met without addressing existing structures that make it more difficult for countries to generate and retain their financial resources.
40. It is in this regard that I thank the immediate past Presidents of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and Ambassador Mona Jul, respectively, for jointly launching the High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda.
41. In the area of human rights, Nigeria has passed a number of human rights-related bills into law. The bills include: the Anti-Torture Act, the Comprehensive Treatment and Care for Victims of Gun-Shot Act, as well as the National Senior Citizens Centre Act. In addition, Nigeria has launched a National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.
42. This measure is designed to strengthen institutions, coordinate the prevention of violent extremism, enhance the rule of law, access to justice and human rights as well as engaging communities and building resilience and integrated strategic communication.
43. The United Nations has made progress in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment through initiatives such as the Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The creation of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), in July 2010, was an important milestone.
44. Nigeria acknowledges the importance of gender equality and recognizes the critical role that women play in development. We also recognize that the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and other internationally-agreed Development Agenda depend largely on the empowerment of women. Nigeria will sustain its affirmative stance through women empowerment initiatives.
45. Quality education for all is the cornerstone of sustainable development.
46. In this connection, I am happy to announce that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will be hosting the 4th International Conference on Safe Schools in 2021.
47. I invite you all to Nigeria to participate in the Conference which aims to advocate for the protection of education from attack as we work together towards the future we want.
48. As we urge and strive for inclusion within our societies, we must also ensure inclusion prevails in our collective action as members of the International Community. Nigeria supports the expansion of the UN Security Council to reflect the diversity and dynamics of the 21st Century. Africa deserves permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council.
49. I will conclude by reaffirming Nigeria’s commitment to promoting international peace and security and sustainable development, as well as strengthening partnerships and cooperation with international and regional organisations.
I thank you. https://nnn.ng/president-buharis-unga75-national-statement/
France reiterates commitment to press freedom regarding jail term of Algerian reporter
The French government has described the freedom and security of the press as fundamental rights across the world while speaking about Algerian reporter, Khaled Drareni.
Drareni was sentenced to prison for the coverage of protests.
He is an Algerian journalist, reporting for French TV channel TV5Monde and a representative of Reporters Without Borders (RFS) in Algeria.
The journalist was arrested on March 7 during a protest organised by the Hirak movement that called for changes in the country’s political system.
On Aug. 10, the authorities sentenced the reporter to three years’ imprisonment for “undermining national unity’’ by his coverage of the opposition movement’s actions.
Earlier in the week, the decision was reconsidered and Drareni was jailed for two years on appeal.
“We (France) are aware of this decision.
“France reaffirms its commitment to the freedom of the press and the security of journalists throughout the world.
“The freedom to inform is a fundamental right that must be protected,’’ the French Foreign Ministry said.
The RFS condemned the jailed’s decision to sentence Drareni, who has also been the subject of a major international solidarity campaign called #WeAreKhaled.
The Hirak opposition movement has been protesting since February 2019 against the candidature of the country’s former president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to the next head of state post.
Bouteflika resigned in April 2019 due to the protests, also referred to as the Revolution of Smiles.
Since then, the Hirak movement has been calling for democracy in Algeria.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde
African countries gear up for return to international football
African countries are gearing up for a return to international football in October but with many borders throughout the continent still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic most teams are headed to Europe to play.
Cameroon are travelling to the Netherlands, Guinea to Portugal, while the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Tunisia head to Austria where it is easier for them to assemble squads because they are mostly made up of European-based players.
The next FIFA window for international football, from Oct. 5 to Oct. 13, is the first opportunity for African national teams to play since last November.
The pandemic saw international football cancelled for all except European countries this month.
And uncertainty over travel around Africa led the Confederation of African Football to put back the resumption of official competition to November.
Next month’s window will allow African countries to play much needed friendlies to prepare for upcoming qualifiers for both the next Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup finals.
Nigeria have arranged friendlies against the Ivory Coast and Tunisia on Oct. 9 and Oct. 13 in Austria, while Cameroon have a friendly against Japan in Utrecht, after which they will stay in a training camp in the Netherlands for a few more days.
Cameroon coach Toni Conceicao this week named a preliminary squad of 33 players for the match and camp.
Guinea play the Cape Verde Islands on Oct. 10 and Gambia on Oct. 13 in Faro.
The Democratic Republic of Congo are travelling to Morocco for a training camp and a behind-closed-doors international against their hosts in Rabat on Oct. 13.
Senegal will also play Morocco in Rabat on Oct. 9.
African champions Algeria have yet to announce their plans but media reports say they will also go to Austria.
South Africa are trying to organise two matches at home next month against neighbouring countries but have yet to finalise arrangements as they await for a possible reopening of their borders in the coming weeks.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Algerian journalist sentenced 2yrs imprisonment on appeal
An Algerian appeal court sentenced journalist Khaled Drareni to two years in prison on Tuesday on charges of endangering national security.
Media campaign group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) strongly condemned the verdict.
“We are outraged by the blind stubbornness of the Algerian judges” for sentencing Drareni to 2 years in prison on appeal, Christophe Deloire, RSF’s secretary general, wrote on Twitter after the verdict.
Drareni is the editor of a news website called Casbah Tribune and a correspondent of TV5 Monde and RSF.
“Khaled’s detention proves the regime locks itself into a logic of absurd, unfair and violent repression,” Deloire added.
In August, Drareni was sentenced to three years in prison after he was charged with “endangering national unity” and “inciting an unarmed gathering” after covering anti-government protests in Algeria.
Prosecutors demanded the maximum four-year imprisonment penalty.
Tuesday’s sentence also includes a 1,600-dollar fine.
He was arrested alongside other activists in March during a protest in the capital Algiers.
Unprecedented protests erupted early in 2019 leading to the resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika after two decades as president.
Abdelmadjid Tebboune took office as president in December following new elections.
Protests continued afterwards for a few months, though coronavirus lockdowns made it harder for activists to mobilize for further demonstrations.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ali Baba-Inuwa