News

ECOWAS Defense Chiefs call for collaboration and intelligence sharing…

The Committee of Chiefs of Defense Staff (CCDS) of Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have reiterated their resolve to curb the menace of terrorism by recommending a special summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government to address it and through the creation of a forum to share intelligence amongst Member States.

This was expressed by the new Chairman of the committee General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin who assumed the role during the 39th Ordinary meeting of CCDS which ended on 20th June 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria.

The General stated that in order to combat terrorism, there is need for Member States to intensify intelligence gathering and joint operations as well as collaborate with stakeholders and partners to ensure peace and security in the region.

The CCDS called for the full implementation of the ECOWAS Counter-Terrorism Strategy in order to streamline all initiatives in the fight against terror in the region. This was as a result of multiplicity of initiatives such as the G-5 Sahel, the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and the Accra Initiative.

Furthermore, the Committee reviewed the status of the current operations of the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB) and the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG), their funding and proposed exit strategies.

In addition they deliberated on stockpiles management in the region and the preparation for the ECOWAS Command Post Exercise-JIGUI IV which aims to test the capability of ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) to conduct strategic and operational level planning for multidimensional operations and to exercise command and control of deployed forces on a simulated ECOWAS/ African Union mandated Peace Support Operation.

Expressing his gratitude at the end of the meeting, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Rt. General Francis Béhanzin approved of the recommendations made by the participants and tasked the committee and officers to monitor closely the remarkable achievements in their respective regions. He implored the officers of the Defense Committee to translate all recommendations into actions with immediate effect.

On her part the Permanent Secretary of Nigeria’s Ministry of Defense, Nuratu Batagarawa, congratulated the participants on the success of the meeting and expressed her profound appreciation to the Armed Forces and ECOWAS Commission’s President.

She charged the CCDS to implement the recommendations of the meeting in a timely manner at both national and regional levels. “Security challenges are multifaceted and so all hands must be on deck towards achieving regional security”, she said.

On the margins of the 39th Ordinary session of the CCDS meeting, a Sub-Committee of Chiefs of Naval Staff (CNS) and the High Commanders of Gendarmerie (HCG) also met to review and confirm pledges of Member States on staffing of the Multinational Maritime Coordination Centres (MMCC) and the ECOWAS Regional Maritime Security Centre (CRESMAO) as part of efforts to improve maritime security in the region.

 

Source: ecowas.int

News

President Buhari: How West Africa can succeed in battle…

President Muhammadu Buhari, on 16th May,2019 , said for countries in the West African sub region to successfully tackle criminalities confronting them, security heads of member states must not only begin to share their experiences but also re-assess as well as harmonise crime control and operations in their respective countries.

This was as he said the vulnerability of the region to criminal activities and other threats to peace and security was as a result of its large borders and proximity to the Sahel.

Speaking in Abuja, through the Minister of Interior, Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazau, rtd, who represented him at the closing of the 16 Annual General Meeting of West African Police Chiefs Committee, WAPCCO, and Meeting of the Forum of Ministers in charge of Security, he insisted that the battle against crimes can only be won by the collective will of member nations.

To this end, he tasked member nations not only to coordinate their security plans and activities, but also enable law enforcement and other security agencies to contain the trends, regretting that the battle was consuming resources that would have been channeled to other developmental areas..

He said insecurity was being caused by corruption, terrorism, communal clash, kidnap for ransom, organised crimes and others threatening the region`s peace, progress, integration and development.

He spoke further: ”We are aware of other threats to security, such as climate change which brings with it environmental degradation, extreme poverty and poor governance.

“However, as police chiefs, your focus is on security of lives and property in relation to law and order.”

The president, while noting that WAPCCO was a forum that gave the police and other security heads the opportunity for cooperation and collaboration to find answers to the security challenges confronting the region, expressed happiness that the meeting came at the right time.

The meeting, he said, came when a lot of synergy was needed among ECOWAS member-states in the fight against crime and criminality in the West African Sub-region.

According to him, ”We have led vigorous military campaigns against the terrorists by re-organising the multinational joint task force which had dislodged them.”

“Working with our regional and international allies, we have denied them safe haven within and around the sub-region.

“We have also strengthened legislation against terrorism and corruption by equipping the ant-graft agencies in the country to be able to carry out their mandates,“ he added.

“The challenges of insecurity posed by corruption, terrorism, communal clashes, herders-farmers conflict, trafficking in drugs and humans, kidnapping for ransom, armed banditry, proliferation of arms and light weapons, money laundering and other transnational organised crimes, are some of the vices threatening regional peace, progress, and development.

“Of course, we are aware of other threats to security, such as climate change – which brings with it environmental degradation – extreme poverty.

“However, as police chiefs, your focus is on security of lives and properties, in relation to law and order.

“The porosity of our territorial borders, and proximity to the…, also makes us vulnerable to all sorts of illegal criminal activities, and other threats to peace and security in the Sub-region.

“The fight against crime and criminality is vast and resource-consuming, transcending national, regional and global levels.”

He regretted that the activities of Boko Haram, had created humanitarian crisis for countries within the Lake Chad axis, with the displacement of people from their locations.

“The activities of the Boko Haram Terrorists affecting Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin countries such as Chad and Cameroon in Central Africa, have created new humanitarian problems, with the displacement of people from their communities, posing serious security threats within the region”, he further said.

Speaking further, he said that in the last four years of his administration, concerted effort had been made in degrading the potency of Boko Haram.

Also within the period, the President maintained that corruption had been fought with drastic measures.

One of such measures, the President disclosed, was through the strengthening of legislation.

His words: “Nigeria, in the last four years, has taken drastic measures and spared no efforts in our resolve to fight corruption, and our quest to defeat Boko Haram.

“We have led vigorous military campaigns against the terrorists, by reorganising the Multinational Joint Task Force, which has dislodged them.

“Working with our regional and international partners, we have denied them safe haven within and around the Sub-region.

“We have also strengthened legislation against terrorism and corruption, while (empowering) the anti-graft agencies to be able to carry out their mandates.

“These measures have yielded much dividend in reducing financial Crimes and acts of terrorism in such issues involving the rate by which they occur.”

On the meeting, Buhari said: “WAPCCO is, therefore, a forum that affords our police and security chiefs the opportunity for cooperation and collaboration, with the aim of proffering solutions to the security challenges confronting the region.

“I, therefore, urge you to share your experiences, reassess and harmonise crime control strategies and operations in our various countries, such that with the established, strong and virile institutions, there will ensure that the fight against crime and criminality is more effective and efficient, and provides security of lives and properties to our people, while striking a balance with ECOWAS protocol of free movement of goods, persons and services.

“This can only be achieved through the collective will and efforts of all member-states”.

He went further to state thus: “”It’s pertinent to note that, resolutions in this meeting will become a standard measure of your performances, which in turn, will help in safeguarding our various nascent democracies.

“I also have no doubt that the knowledge you gathered here, will not only help reduce incidences of crime and criminality, but enhance your competences and capacities to successfully handle and resolve such incidences, when they occur”.

 

 

Source: NAN

News

ECOWAS members express displeasure over political situation in Benin

Members of the ECOWAS Parliament has expressed displeasure in the political situation in Benin following the presentation of the Country Report from the Beninese delegation of the parliament.

The members expressed their displeasure during the ongoing ordinary session of the parliament in Abuja.

Members said that the stable and vibrant political scene of Benin had long made it a model for democracy in the region.

However, there were reports of violence in the course of the country’s parliamentary elections held on April 28 which caught the attention of civil society and rights groups inside and outside Benin.

Amnesty International, ahead of the elections, stated that the wave of arbitrary arrests of political activists and journalists, and the crackdown on peaceful protests, had reached an alarming level.

The country had, reportedly, been undergoing political reforms designed to deepen the democratic practice in the nation.

Members said the reforms, or the revised electoral rules, led to a reduction of parties from more than 250 to just two that took part in the election, and both aligned with President Patrice Talon.

The representative of the Beninese delegation, Mr Youssoufou Nouhoume, however, explained that out of the many parties that applied for registration, only a few were successful both at the Ministry of Interior and the National Electoral Commission.

“There were two parties that took part in the elections with the new law, out of 259 parties 10 parties registered with the Ministry of Interior and out of these 10, six met the requirements and applied to contest. All our constitutional and democratic institutions are working as they ought to and all parties that could not meet the requirements approached the court so this is a phase we are not used to.We have problems but not enough to question the law. I suggest that the ECOWAS Parliament should send a delegation to Benin and find out the truth on what really transpired.”

Furthermore, the members of parliament argued on whether or not to adopt the Country Report presented by Benin.

In his reaction, Mr Edwin Snowe representing Liberia proposed that the parliament send a fact-finding mission to Benin and the findings reported to the ECOWAS Parliament.

“The situation in Benin is grave that where the Executive arm of government begin to crack down on Members of Parliament that represent the direct interest of the people you know it is even more serious.

“I suggest we do not adopt the Benin report and that we send a fact-finding mission to come back and report to this parliament so that appropriate resolution can be taken to protect democracy in Benin and our region.”

Mr Mahama Ayariga representing Ghana, nevertheless, proposed that the parliamentarians be mindful of the procedures of the parliament.

“We can raise objections about a Country Report on the grounds that we think the report is incomplete, inadequate but we also have an opportunity to fill in gaps. When the report was read, we all asked questions so that the gaps that existed in the report would be filled in by the delegation from that country, so they have answered the questions and attempted to fill in the gaps.

“Let us channel our issues through the right procedure otherwise, this house will cease its reputation as a parliament.”

Ayariga appealed with members of the parliament to adopt the report and move the motion to set up a group to investigate in that country and report back to the parliament.

He also suggested that a resolution condemning what happened in that country be passed and have it communicated to the country’s leadership.

 

 

Source: NAN

News

Massive protest rocks Abuja over harassment of ‘sex workers’

Thousands of women have protested the illegal arrest and parade of some women suspected to be sex workers by the police in Abuja.

The protesters, clad in black and red, trekked from the Eagle Square to the Federal Capital Development Authority carrying placards with inscriptions like ‘Sex for bail is rape’ ‘My body my right’; ‘Us today, you tomorrow.’ Others were ‘Don’t rape us Protect us’; ‘Respect my existence or expect my resistance’; ‘Being a woman is not a crime.’

One of the protesters, Dorothy Njamenze, called on the Federal Government to ensure that some of the women arrested at Maitama police should be respected. Njamenze who said she was a victim of rape called on relevant authorities to protect the rights of women, adding that the rights of women should be protected “We are human beings, we cannot continue to tolerate police brutality on women. Our rights should be protected. They should implement ECOWAS judgement on women rights.”

However, their agitations met a brick wall as police barricaded the entrance of the FCDA. It didn’t deter them as they spent quality time at FCDA calling on the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammad Bello, to address them.

 

Source:NAN

News

President Buhari tasks ECOWAS security chiefs on crime control…

President Muhammadu Buhari has charged ECOWAS security chiefs to share their experiences, re-assess and harmonise crime control and operations in their various countries.

Buhari gave the charge at the closing of the 16 Annual General Meeting of West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO) and Meeting of the Forum of Ministers in charge of Security on 16th May,2019 in Abuja.

He was represented by the Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau.

He said that insecurity posed by corruption, terrorism, communal clashes, kidnap for ransom, organised crimes among others, were some vices threatening the region`s peace, progress, integration and development.

“We are aware of other threats to security such as climate change which brings with it environmental degradation, extreme poverty and poor governance. However, as police chiefs, your focus is on security of lives and property in relation to law and order” he said.

He attributed the vulnerability of the region to criminal activities and other threats to peace and security to the vast borders and proximity to the Sahel.

He said that it was imperative for member-states to coordinate their security plans and activities, to enable law enforcement and other security agencies to contain and prevent these vices.

Buhari noted that the fight against crimes and criminality was vast and resource consuming transcending national, regional and global levels.

He said that WAPCCO was a forum that affords the police and security chiefs the opportunity for cooperation and collaboration proffer solutions to the security challenges confronting the region.

The president said that the fight against crime and criminality could only be achieved through the collective will and efforts of member-states.He said that resolutions in the meeting would become the standard measure of performances of the participants.

“It is pertinent to note that, resolutions in the meeting would become the standard measure of your performances which in turn would help in safeguarding our nascent democracies.

“The knowledge they garnered here will also enhance your competences and capacities to successfully handle and resolve such incidences when they occur.

He said the meeting came when a lot of synergy was needed among ECOWAS member-states in the fight against crime and criminality in the West African Sub-region.

Buhari said the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists affecting Nigeria and the Lake Chad basin countries like Chad and Cameroun in central Africa, had created new humanitarian problems serious security threat within the region.

 “Nigeria in the last four years has taken drastic measures and spared no effort in her resolve to fight corruption and her quest to defeat Boko Haram. We have led vigorous military campaigns against the terrorists by re-organising the multinational joint task force which had dislodged them. Working with our regional and international allies, we have denied them safe haven within and around the sub-region.

“We have also strengthened legislation against terrorism and corruption by equipping the ant-graft agencies in the country to be able to carry out their mandates,“he said.

He said that the measures adopted have yielded much dividends in reducing financial crimes and acts of terrorism in the country.

On his part, the President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Brou,said that the current security challenges in the sub-region required urgent attention.

He was represented by ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Gen. Francis Behanzin.

Brou said that results could be achieved in the fight against crimes and criminality if it was handled by members states with seriousness.

He noted that the security situation in the region was precarious due to terrorism, drug trafficking, arms proliferation and smuggling among others.

The president attributed insecurity in the sub-region to poverty, corruption and socio-political problems.

He called on member-states to collaborate with ECOWAS to have the WAPCCO meeting annually as against the irregular.

Also speaking, Dambazau, said that the region was faced with numerous regional and international security challenges.

Dambazau, who was represented by an official of the ministry, Mrs Georgina Ehuriah, charged the security ministers to provide lasting solutions to tackle them by providing leadership and formulating policies.

He said that all over the world, crime and criminality was assuming new and unimaginable dimensions that no country can effectively fight it without the collaboration of another.

Countries in attendance were Bukina Faso, Cape Verde, Benin Republic, Cote I`Voire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Nigeria.

The three-day meeting is aimed at addressing transnational crimes, especially terrorism, violent extremism, kidnapping, illicit circulation of small arms and light weapons, human trafficking, maritime security, herders and farmers’ conflict among others.

 

Source: NAN

News

ECOWAS parliament condoles with Burkina Faso over church attack

The ECOWAS Parliament has condoled with Burkina Faso over the attack on a Catholic church, which left six people dead.

Its Second Deputy Speaker, Aminata Toungara, expressed the condolence at the parliament’s ongoing ordinary session in Abuja.

According to reports, the victims – a priest and five churchgoers – were killed by gunmen during mass at about 9am in the town of Dablo.

The attackers, between 20 and 30 years of age, also set fire to the church, several shops, and a small café.

Security source said that the attackers also went to the local health centre and looted it.

Mrs Toungara prayed that the perpetrators of the crime would be exposed and brought to justice.

 “We express our condolences with Burkina Faso and to the President and let him know that we are with them. We deplore what has happened and the entire parliament is sorry about what happened. It is particularly sad because these were people who went to church and were not expecting to be killed and they are no more today. May their souls rest in perfect peace and we pray that God exposes the perpetrators,” she said.

The 2019 ordinary session of the parliament is considering country reports and has expressed concerns over issues of security situation in some countries in region.

The parliament has also proposed a regional defence force that would assist in the enforcement of security in member states.

 

Source: NAN

News

ECOWAS partners NASRDA on Space Technology Development

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is collaborating with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) of Nigeria in the development of space technology and research in the Region.
As part of this partnership, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission paid a visit to the NASRDA Headquarters on the 20th of May 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria.

President Brou highlighted the importance of space science and technology to the development of the ECOWAS as a region, in his speech during the visit. He said, “Indeed, ECOWAS considers Space Science to be a unique opportunity for regional cooperation, infrastructure and data sharing.” Adding that it plays important role in risk reduction and disaster management such as droughts, floods and in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

The President commended the management of NASRDA on the good work they are doing, saying that there was need to harmonise policies on space technology, as they will immensely improve the quality of lives of Community citizens.

Speaking during the visit, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology of Nigeria expressed the need for the region to use science technology and innovation to develop its enormous resources in order to improve and develop the region. Adding that science and technology would bridge the development gap, if embraced.

The Director General of NASRDA, Professor S. O. Mohammed, while making a presentation on the programmes and achievements of the Agency emphasised the need of ECOWAS and NASRDA to work together to develop space technology in the region and harmonise its policies.

ECOWAS and NASRDA signed an MoU in 2017, which resulted in the formulation of the ECOWAS Strategy on Space Sciences and Geomatics. The Third Meeting of ECOWAS Ministers in charge of Science and Technology in Cotonou adopted this Strategy in December 2018.

 

Source: ecowas.int

News

ECOWAS Security Ministers to work With Nigeria and other…

The Ministers in charge of security in Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are inclined to having greater collaboration with Nigeria in order to engender a safer and more stable region.

This emerged at the 12th annual forum of the Ministers, holding within the ambit of the General Assembly of West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO), on the 16th of May 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria.

Addressing participants at the meeting, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government Muhammadu Buhari stated that the ministers were gathered at the time a lot of synergy between and among ECOWAS member states, is needed in the fight against crime and criminality in the region.

President Buhari who was represented at the occasion by the country’s Minister of Interior Gen Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (Rtd) said the challenges of insecurity posed by corruption, terrorism, communal clashes, herders/farmers conflicts, trafficking in drugs, arms and humans, kidnapping for ransom, armed banditry, proliferation of arms and light weapons, money laundering and other transnational organized crimes are some of the vices threatening the regional peace, progress, integration and development in the region. This is in addition to the other threats such as climate change and environmental degradation, extreme poverty and poor governance which also need urgent attention.

Besides the porousness of the territorial borders and proximity to the Sahel which makes the region vulnerable to all sorts of illegal criminal activities, he noted that the activities of Boko Haram terrorists, affecting Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin countries like Chad and Cameroun in Central Africa, have created new humanitarian problems with the displacement of people from their communities posing serious security threat within the region.

Maintaining that the resolutions of the meeting will become the standard measure of performances, which would in turn help in safe-guarding the democracies in the region, president Buhari called for the right balance to be struck with the ECOWAS Protocol on free movements of goods, persons and services.

He urged the chiefs to “share your (their) experiences, re-assess and harmonize crime control strategies and operations in our various countries, such that we can establish strong and virile institutions that will ensure that the fight against crime and criminality is more effective and efficient and provide security of lives and property of our people”

Also speaking, the President of the ECOWAS Commission Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, represented by the Commission’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Gen Francis Behanzin, said the forum plays a pivotal role in determining the direction of policies on the fundamental issues of peace and security in West Africa.

Stressing that the state of security remains precarious with emerging transnational threats including terrorism, maritime piracy, drug trafficking, arms proliferation, human trafficking and smuggling, money laundering, cyber criminality, money laundering and various counterfeiting practices, he noted that his has led to a situation where peace and security issues have continued to dominate the agenda of the Commission.

President Brou made bold to say thereafter: “Our endeavours, whether collectively or individually will not yield desired outcomes if we treat questions of insecurity in an ad hoc or lackadaisical manner. You will agree with me that security is the foundation of life, the foundation of development, without which human potentials cannot be fully exploited”

He posited further that the main drivers of insecurity in West Africa are diverse and remain unchanged while the prevalence of corruption, poor governance, structural inequalities, high rate of illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, ethnic and religious tensions in some Member States among others have not helped matters. The ECOWAS Commission, he maintained, will continue to provide timely assistance to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the affected communities in Nigeria and other parts of the region.

Congratulating the government of President Muhammadu Buhari for the gallant efforts taken towards defeating Boko Haram, he urged Member States to “strengthen their collaboration with Nigeria and to show greater commitment and resolve to fight the group” by being more proactive on intelligence and information sharing. He also thanked the United Nations, the European Union, INTERPOL, the Institute for Security Studies, and others, who provided a wide range of support to ECOWAS enabling it to strengthen its reach and ability to deal with the various security challenges in the region.

Nigeria’s Minister of Interior represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Mrs Georgina Ekeoma Ehuriah held that it is within the purview of ministers to find lasting solutions to the security problems of the region by providing leadership and formulating policies, infrastructure and funding to ensure effective and efficient service delivery. The Ministers in charge of security will also consider the reports of the Assembly of the West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO) and of the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs Security Services (CCSS) which met on the 14th and 15th of May 2019.

 

 

Source: ecowas.int

News

Regional Experts Meet to validate Regulations on biotechnological risk…

Regional Experts of biosafety commenced a meeting on 14th May 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria, with the aim of validating the preliminary draft of the regulations on biotechnological risk prevention in West Africa.

The meeting comprising of experts from the Commission of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Economic Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) precedes a sectorial meeting of Ministers in charge of biosafety for technical validation.

The ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Sékou Sangaré stated that the adoption of the draft regulations on biotechnological risk will provide the region with a uniform biosafety regulation.

Commissioner Sangaré stressed that the regulations are important in order to address issues related to the use of modern biotechnologies and their potential impact on the environment, human and animal health, socio-economic aspects and food security in the region.

Furthermore, the regulations will address the weak technical, institutional and regulatory capacities of the Member States to manage these issues.

The Commissioner mentioned that, “It is for these reasons that three institutions, ECOWAS, WAEMU and CILSS, agreed to lead a joint process towards the development and validation of a single biosafety legal framework for West Africa”.

Also addressing the experts during the meeting, Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Suleman Hassan Zarma added that solving these problems require a collaborative effort in the region.

The Minister described science and technology as major drivers of change in ensuring biosafety and highlighted biotechnology as a means through which Africa’s potential can be unlocked.

“Biotechnology has the ability to enhance green economy, agricultural productivity, sustenance of biodiversity and economic growth if well regulated”, he said.

The Director General of the Institut du Sahel (INSAH), Dr. Mohamed Abdallahi Ebbe identified the implementation of the international binding Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) which seeks to ensure the safer transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology which may potentially have adverse effects on biodiversity and human health as an important step towards ensuring biosafety.

The regulation on biotechnological risk prevention in West Africa is being developed due to the multiplicity of initiatives on the subject by ECOWAS, WAEMU and CILSS.

 

Source: ecowas.int

News

Nigeria’s Muhammad-Bande declares for UNGA presidency

Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Prof. Tijani Muhammad-Bande, has formally declared his intention to vie for the presidency of the 74th UN General Assembly (UNGA).

Muhammad-Bande made the declaration at a cocktail party attended by world diplomats and delegates in New York on 4th May,2019.

This came barely eight days after the current UNGA president, Ms Maria Espinosa, announced him as the first candidate for the position.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that election of the president of the 74th UNGA will hold at the UN headquarters on June 4.

In a statement on its website, UNGA said the presidency of the 74th session was zoned to Africa in “full respect of the established principle of geographical rotation”, among other reasons.

The current president, who is the Foreign Minister of Ecuador, was elected on June 5, and assumed duty on Sept. 18, 2018.

Thus she will step aside on Sept. 17, as the UNGA presidency runs on a one-year tenure

According to the statement, an informal interactive dialogue with Muhammad-Bande is scheduled for May 13, in line with UNGA’s resolution 71/323 titled “Revitalisation of the Work of the General Assembly”.

At the session, the Nigerian permanent representative will have the opportunity to respond to questions from other stakeholders.

Addressing guests at the event, the candidate pledged to make the organisation stronger and work better for its member states and their citizens.

He said as president of the 74th Session, he would focus on the effective implementation of existing mandates, and make a contribution in all defined follow-up areas.

The candidate promised to promote international peace and security, prevent conflict, strengthen global action to tackle climate change, ensure inclusion, human rights, and the empowerment of youth and women.

He also pledged to ensure that the decisions reached and resolutions passed at the general assembly were implemented for the benefits of citizens.

Muhammad-Bande, who hails from Zagga in present day Kebbi, has had an outstanding career as a scholar and diplomat.

He holds M.A in Political Science from Boston University, USA, in 1981 and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto, Canada in 1987.

Between January 2000 and February 2004, he was the Director-General of the Centre African de Formation et de Recherche Administrative pour le Development (CAFRAD) in Tangier, Morocco.

CAFRAD is Africa’s premier institution with responsibility for training and research in public administration and management.

Besides other positions both locally and internationally, he was the Director-General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) between 2010 and 2016.

He served as the Vice-President of the General Assembly during the 71st session and remains active in several fora, including as Chair of the United Nations Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34); Member, Advisory Board of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, and Chair of the ECOWAS Group (2018-2019).

Muhammad-Bande has also been an assessor for the National Merit Award (Nigeria) and for professorial positions in universities.

He has won merit awards and honours from institutions and Governments, including the United States and China.

Most notably, he is a recipient of Nigeria’s Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, one of the country’s highest national awards.

 

 

Source: Guardian.ng