UN Warns Against Ongoing Violence In Libya

The United Nations has warned against violence in Libya’s southern city of Sabha, appealing to all parties involved to work towards a ceasefire agreement.

The mission warned that the buildup of armed forces in the south risks further escalation and calls on all parties to work toward a ceasefire agreement, advance dialogue and reconciliation efforts, and refrain from rhetoric that may inflame the situation.

The mission commended the efforts of national and local leaders to solve the conflict peacefully.

Located some 800 km southwest of the capital Tripoli, Sabha has lately been witnessing violent clashes between rival tribes, which have forced hundreds of people to flee their homes.

According to Sabha Medical Centre, the clashes have killed and injured dozens of civilians.

UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj recently announced the formation of a military force to secure southern Libya.

On March 9, Libya’s eastern-based army ordered nationals from neighbouring African countries in southern Libya to leave or they would be removed by force.

The information officer of the army led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar said in a statement that “The General Command of the Armed Forces of Libya calls on African brothers from neighbouring countries not to be dragged behind the lawless militias and be exploited to destabilise the south”.

Haftar Said: “March 17 is “the deadline for their departure from the Libyan territory. After the date, they will be removed by force.”

The army also called on tribal elders and leaders in southern Libya to “stop social support for all those who help in any way protect or house African nationals, leading to destabilisation of southern Libya”.

It made the appeal after fighting between rival tribes in southern Libya reportedly caused casualties and displaced hundreds of people.

The Sabha medical centre said that recent tribal clashes in the city of Sabha, located some 800 km southwest of capital Tripoli, have killed 10 civilians and injured 30 others.

Immigrants from neighbouring Chad and Niger have been accused of involvement in the tribal conflicts in Sabha.
Hamed Al-Khiali, head of the municipal council of Sabha, said i February that the local airport was occupied by “an armed group that has nothing to do with Libya”.

Al-Khiali said the armed group carried the flags of African countries.

Recently in Tripoli, the UN-backed government announced measures to support its forces in Sabha to fight the so-called “mercenaries”.


Boko Haram Carried Out 60 Attacks In Cameroon In 2017

Islamic terrorist group responsible for several kidnappings and killing in the Northeast and countries across the border, Boko Haram has carried out about 60 attacks in Cameroon in 2017.

This was revealed by the UN Assistant-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Ms Ursula Mueller on her arrival in Chad for a two-day visit to see the humanitarian situation.

She added that Cameroon was the country most impacted by the regional extension of the Boko Haram conflict.

“In 2017, there were more than 60 suicide attacks in the Far North representing a 50 per cent increase compared to 2016.

“Some 3.3 million people need urgent humanitarian assistance. In the Far North, one out of every three people is facing crisis and emergency levels of food insecurity.

“But Cameroon’s Humanitarian Response Plan has only received five per cent of the U.S. 305 million dollars required to respond to the most urgent humanitarian needs,’’ she said.

Mueller is expected to meet with Chadian authorities, humanitarian and development partners as well as impacted populations.

She would visit the Lac region on Saturday to see for herself the humanitarian consequences of the Lake Chad Basin crisis in Chad.

According to her, a third of the population or 4.4 million people need humanitarian assistance in 2018.


Over 20,000 Babies Born On New Year’s Day

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports that approximately 20,210 babies were born in Nigerian on the New Year’s Day. The births, represented third largest population of newborns in the world on Jan. 1, 2018.

UNICEF also said nearly 386,000 babies would be born worldwide on New Year’s Day, representing some 90 per cent in less developed regions.
The agency reported that Kiribati’s Christmas Island in the Pacific would most likely welcome 2018’s first baby while the U.S., its last.

Globally, over half of these births are estimated to take place in nine countries, according to UNICEF. These are: India, 69,070; China, 44,760; Nigeria, 20,210; Pakistan, 14,910; Indonesia, 13,370; United States, 11,280; Democratic Republic of Congo, 9,400; Ethiopia, 9,020; and Bangladesh, 8,370.

While many babies would survive, some would not make it past their first day, UNICEF regretted.

Stefan Peterson, UNICEF’s Chief of Health, said on Monday that the UN children’s agency was challenging nations around the world to make sure more newborns survive their first days of life. “This New Year, UNICEF’s resolution is to help give every child more than an hour, more than a day, more than a month – more than survival,” Peterson said.

In 2016, an estimated 2,600 children died within the first 24 hours every day of the year, according to the UN agency. UNICEF said that for almost two million newborns, their first week was also their last. In all, 2.6 million children died before the end of their first month, the global children’s agency regretted.

Among those children, more than 80 per cent died from preventable and treatable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia, UNICEF said. Peterson stressed: “We call on governments and partners to join the fight to save millions of children’s lives by providing proven, low-cost solutions”.

Over the past two decades, the world has seen unprecedented progress in child survival, halving the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday to 5.6 million in 2016. But in spite of these advances, there has been slower progress for newborns, UNICEF noted adding, babies dying in the first month account for 46 per cent of all deaths among children under five.

US Withdraws From UN Refugees, Migrants Commitment

The United States has withdrawn from a United Nations pact to commit to protect and preserve rights of migrants and refugees.

Donald Trump’s administration said the agreement, known as the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, was “inconsistent” with its policies.

In September 2016, the 193 members of the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a set of commitments that pledged to uphold the rights of refugees, help them resettle and ensure they have access to education and jobs.

A statement from the US read: “The New York Declaration contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies and the Trump Administration’s immigration principles.

“As a result, President Trump determined that the United States would end its participation in the Compact process that aims to reach international consensus at the UN in 2018.”

The American Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said the country would continue its “generosity” in supporting migrants and refugees around the world, but that “our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone.”

“We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country. The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with US sovereignty.”

Under Trump and his “America First” policies, the US has withdrawn from several global commitments made under the administration of president Barack Obama, including the Paris climate deal.

More recently, American pulled out of the Paris-based culture and education body, UNESCO, accusing it of “anti-Israel bias.”


‘UN Should Help Fight Poverty’ – Rev Hezekiah

United Nations are to focus on issues that will help get rid of poverty across the world, a clergyman advised, Rev. Daddy Hezekiah.

The founder of Living Christ Mission Inc, Rev Daddy Hezekiah was speaking during his 50th thanksgiving anniversary in Abuja.

In his address at the International Conference Centre (ICC) venue of the event, Hezekiah advised leaders to realize that their positions are given to them by God.

He said, “I advise the United Nations not to waste time deliberating on trivial issues such as same-sex marriage but pay more attention to issues that will alleviate poverty, find the cure for diseases like AIDS, cancer, Hepatitis B, etc., especially in underdeveloped countries of the world.”

He advised the Federal Government to look into issues that militate against the economic and social development of the country such as the deplorable condition of the roads, unemployment, poor health facilities especially in government hospitals, corruption, and privatization of public parastatals, inherent poverty and the high cost of education.

He said, “I appeal to the Federal Government to reconsider its ban on imported goods and food like rice. I also advise the government to consider the use of dialogue and peaceful process in the settlement of disputes.”

37 Job Openings for Young Nigerians in UN: Amina Mohammed

There are 37 career openings for young Nigerians under the United Nations bureaucracy, according to UN deputy secretary-general, Amina Mohammed.

Amina disclosed this at a Cultural Night organised by Nigerians working at the United Nations Systems. She said the openings are available via the Junior Professional Officers’ (JPO) Programme, including internship for young graduates.

According to her, Nigeria has the opportunity to sponsor its youth for UN careers through the JPO. But Nigeria has not seized the opportunity in a long while, she noted.

JPO is a programme for the young people to come and grow their career at the UN and it has 37 positions for Nigeria – one for each of the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory.

The JPO programme provides young professionals with hands-on experience in multilateral technical co-operation, and is one of the best ways to gain entry level positions within the UN system.

JPOs are sponsored by their own government, which fund their placement in one of a range of UN organisations.

At the cultural night, Amina asked older Nigerians to pave the way for the youth by creating leadership opportunities for them .

She urged them to stop competing with the younger ones for employment opportunities.

“Whenever there are opportunities, try and pave the way for the young ones; you are getting old and we want to see the young ones in the system.

“We need to give the youth the opportunity because if we don’t give them the opportunities, they can easily fall victims of crimes,” she said.

According to her, the Nigerian employees at the UN system are getting old and there is the need for the Nigerian youth to be allowed to come into the system.

“Home really does need us; there are leaders and we are trying with the professionals that we see in the United Nations.

“The work we need to do is not just to the world but also to remember that at the root of all that, you are only as good as where you come from.

“And it’s really important that we remember, with what we do here, what we can get back home, that we can encourage those at home, and inspire them.

“It’s not just what we do for the world. Can’t we take those expertise back home, Amina said, urging them to make the best use of every opportunity they got.

She condemned what she termed alarming gender-based violence in Nigeria, saying it has increased in dimensions that one could never imagine.

“So when I look back home and I see that there are women that are coming back from Boko Haram captivity, they come back with a type of violence that many, for the rest of their lives, can’t recover from.

“But I also see that what is worse is the kind of violence that is visited upon the young girl. She is indoctrinated and convinced to tie a bomb around her and blow it off; that’s violence against girls; that’s violence against women.

“But what I wanted to say was that as we look at the gender-based violence initiative that we put a spotlight on our own nation; we all have a part to play.

“I know we would spend some money in Nigeria on this initiative but we all have a part to play individually and collectively in trying to bring it to zero,” she said.

Mohammed also lamented how girls were left behind in education, stressing that everyone needs to have an education – the boys and the girls.

“The boys we didn’t educate are the same ones that kidnap the girls that we educated.

“So education for everyone is exposure for everyone; it matters so much; it really does give us the basis, the moral compass to help us navigate through life.”

Nigeria’s Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Samson Itegboje, commended the Nigerians in the UN and particularly lauded the appointment of Mohammed as the UN Deputy Chief.

Itegboje said Nigeria was proud of Mohammed, describing her as an “ultimate authority and a reference point when it comes to Sustainable Development Goals’ issues”.

The Nigerian envoy said: “Nigeria is a great country; we are a happy people, you can’t take that away from us; we have gone through difficult times but we are happy that we have a government that is responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of dear people of Nigeria”.

Col. Jolly Abu (rtd), President, United Nations Staff Recreation Club Nigeria Association, said the cultural night was organised to showcase Nigeria’s culture.

According to him, the Nigerians in the UN are very proud of their culture adding, it is also for them to mingle, rekindle and renew their bonds.

“The UN encourages that we should meet and foster unity among ourselves and also enjoy ourselves; so that’s what we’re doing,” Abu said.

Amb. Audu Kadiri, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN Office and Other International Organisations in Geneva and Nicholas Ella, acting Consul-General in New York also attended the event.


Stephanie Linus Takes ‘Dry’ To UN General Assembly

In continuation of her advocacy on maternal health issues in West Africa, filmmaker and UNFPA Ambassador Stephanie Linus recently joined other world leaders, policy makers and key stakeholders for strategic meetings at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly held in New York, USA.

This high profile event, which was graced by world leaders, including United States of America President Donald Trump, and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations comprising of 193 Member States.

In her capacity as the UNFPA Ambassador for Maternal Health in West and Central Africa, Mrs Linus has reaffirmed her commitment to ending Fistula by mobilizing the support and commitment needed to rid the world of Fistula once and for all. The actress also recorded another milestone, as her advocacy movie on fistula awareness, DRY, was screened at one of the events in an audience comprising of several African leaders, first ladies, health experts and policy makers.

Source: The Guardian

UN Security Council Composition Outdated – Nigeria

Nigeria has again expressed its dissatisfaction with the current composition of the UN Security Council, describing it as old-fashioned and called for an urgent reform of the body.

Prof. Tijjani Bande, the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN,  told the Correspondent  in New York that the current composition of the Council was undemocratic

“The Security Council is the UN’s most powerful principal organ with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security as well as accepting new members to the UN.

“It approves any changes to its UN Charter and is vested with powers for the establishment of peacekeeping operations and the establishment of international sanctions.

“The Council has the authorization for military action through Security Council resolutions and it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.

“First of all, the fundamental question is that in the current global reality, where everybody is talking democracy, United Nations must show an example.

“Clearly, it is an anachronistic notion to have a body composed of few countries that can veto the entirety of the global community through the Council is not representative.

“It is an anomaly and I think that has been recognised but the politics of the reform not just of the UN in terms of the powers of the General Assembly and its functions.

“In terms of the powers and limits of the powers of the Security Council and in terms of representation, this is the politics that is going on,” he said.

The Nigerian envoy declared that Nigeria and some countries, currently left out, ‘rightly’ deserved a permanent seat on the Council considering the current realities.

“But this journey, at the official level, started 25 years ago. Nigeria is at the forefront of that effort and doesn’t read this as a selfish move.

“This (permanent seat) is the right of Nigeria and other serious nations to push and this is what other countries are also pushing.

“Be they small states which are pushing, be they Africa that has not any representation, this is not something that would go away.

“Nigeria and others are committed that we cannot have a democratic system which does not represent the majority of countries.

“Our continent is completely out of contention; whether we get two or three, the debate is we have to be on the Security Council,” Bande said.

The body has five permanent members – the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, France, the People’s Republic of China, and the United States – and 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms

The five permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General.

This, the Nigerian ambassador stressed, meant few countries overruling the entirety of the global community.

“The debate is still ongoing whether it is even right to have veto power,” he said.

The Nigerian envoy exuded confidence in the chance of Nigeria to get on board of the prestigious Council on its own global credentials or through the Africa’s continental slot.

“We have every reason to be hopeful in terms of the contributions of Nigeria to the global community since 1960. I think we have good credentials,” he said.

UN laud Cameroon’s Generosity To Nigerians Refugees

The UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Amina Mohammed, has commended Cameroon for its generosity towards the Nigerian refugees who fled to the country to escape the destructive activities of Boko Haram terrorists.

Mohammed gave the commendation during a meeting with Cameroon’s delegation led by Prof. Paul Ghogomu, Director of Cabinet of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Cameroon, a readout from the meeting, stated.

“The Deputy Secretary-General commended Cameroon for its generosity towards refugees from the Central African Republic and Nigeria.

“She conveyed that the United Nations looks forward to working with Cameroon, Nigeria and Chad to reintegrate those affected, especially women, youth and children.

Mohammed and Ghogomu also discussed the situation in the Bakassi Peninsula and the fight against Boko Haram as well as the 2030 Agenda and the UN development system reform.

They similarly discussed the internal situation in the Republic of Cameroon, particularly in the Anglophone regions.

The UN deputy scribe welcomed the efforts being undertaken by the Cameroonian government to de-escalate tensions and highlighted the importance of further confidence building measures.

These measures include ensuring that justice is given to all and that human rights are upheld and respected, and noting that those responsible for rule of law are to be held to a higher standard.

Mohammed also reiterated the willingness of the UN to assist, through the good offices of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Africa and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa, Mr François Fall, and the UN country team.

According to the deputy Secretary-General, the UN will support include efforts to address the outstanding root causes of the tensions in the affected regions.

UN Urges Federal Government To Increase Investment In Women And Peace

The United Nations (UN) has urged the federal government to increase its investment in the development of women on the promotion of peace in the country.

Deputy secretary general of the UN, Amina Mohammed made the call yesterday when she met with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja.

She said, the UN team led by herself was at the villa to discuss the implementation of the agenda 2030 but also 2063 and see how Nigeria could be supported especially in regards to the development of women.

The UN deputy scribe who served as minister of Environment before her current position to the world organization explained that in achieving the desire of promoting women development, the Federal Government needs to begin to put women at the center of it affairs.

She said “I am honoured to be leading a delegation with the focus on peace and development of women.

“With me we the chief executive of the UN women, we also have our special representative on women and conflict, we also have with us, our partner the AU, the special adviser also on peace, women, and development.

“All our regional heads partnering together with the ministry of women affairs and the support of the minister of for national planning,”

The UN representative also said they are pondering on ways to support Nigeria.

It’s an exciting time to be here because really we are talking about the implementation of the agenda 2030 but also 2063 and for us, it’s about how do we support Nigeria and it’s a very difficult context to do more and to do scale so every body feels it.

She included that though they face challenges, they also have success stories.

“We know that there are many lessons that have learned and there are challenges that we have but we have some successes from the North East all the way to the South.

“We want to make sure that we do more so that we can see the scale of this, particularly from the women at the centre.

UN To Honour 2 Nigerian Fallen Peacekeepers

Two fallen peacekeepers from Nigeria, Commodore Christopher Ademu Abu and Sgt. Mayehm Norbert, are among the 117 that would be honoured with the posthumous Dag Hammarskjöld medal.

NAN reports that the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal is a posthumous award given by the UN to military personnel, police, or civilians who lose their lives while serving in a UN peacekeeping operation.

The medal is named after Dag Hammarskjöld, the second Secretary-General of the UN, who died in a plane crash in what is now Zambia in September 1961.

The UN, in a statement said the Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, would award the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal posthumously to the 117 fallen heroes at the UN Headquarters on Wednesday.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UN headquarters would observe the 2017 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on May 24.

“Two fallen peacekeepers from Nigeria are among those to posthumously receive the Dag Hammarskjöld medal, Commodore Christopher Ademu Abu, who served with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

“And Police Sergeant Mayehm Norbert,  who was deployed with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL),” the statement read.

Nigeria is the 14th largest contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping.

It currently deploys nearly 1,700 uniformed personnel to the UN peace operations in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, South Sudan, Sudan and the Western Sahara.

Guterres will lay a wreath to honour all fallen peacekeepers and will preside over a ceremony at which the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal will be awarded posthumously to 117 military, police and civilian personnel who lost their lives while serving in peacekeeping operations during 2016.