Activities marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations in Nigeria climaxed in Lagos recently when the Federal Government and the United Nations system in the country organised an anniversary lecture and an exhibition to underscore the strategic importance of the country as a member state of the UN.
Anchored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the event was graced by the crème de la crème of Nigeria’s Foreign Service and the diplomatic community.
Speaking at the event, resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN system in Nigeria, Ms Jean Gough, expressed gratitude of the UN to the Government of Nigeria for excellent cooperation and hospitality extended to the 22 UN agencies in the country.
‘The UN commends Government for the efforts to bring to an end to the insurgency in the North East of the country”, she said adding that, “since the bombing of the UN House in 2011, the Federal Government has made efforts to complete the repairs to enable our staff go back to the premises. I remain hopeful that the UN House will be completed as soon as possible to enable our staff operate from the premises next year.”
Ms Gough also stressed commitment of the United Nations to continued partnership with the government and people of Nigeria to deal with the insurgency and eventually restore peace and calm to the society.
Delivering the anniversary lecture titled, ‘Nigeria, Africa and the United Nations: 70 years of collaboration’ former Minister of Foreign Affairs Nigeria Professor Ibrahim Gambari called for the reform and expansion of the UN Security Council to give greater participation and voice to Africa in the UN organ that has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Prof. Gambari, who is also a former UN Under-Secretary General, added that the UN was far too important to be left to government alone; the opportunities for and contributions of parliamentary associations, NGOs and other Civil Society Group to peace-making and peace building must be considerably enhanced in the next decades of the United Nations existence.