- The president of the United Nations General Assembly has arrived in Nigeria
- Maria Espinosa said the challenges in Africa were priorities for the UN
- The diplomat commended Nigeria for its leadership role on the issues of climate change, environmental protection, peace and security
Maria Espinosa, president of the United Nations General Assembly, arrived Abuja on Monday, May 6, on a working visit to Nigeria, stating that addressing the challenges in Africa was a priority of the UN.
Espinosa said that Africa was at the forefront of global development and her visit to the region for the second time as 73rd president of the UNGA indicates the interest of the UN in Africa.
She said that in the course of her visit, she would be meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Women and Social Development to discuss strengthening bilateral ties.
“It is an honor to meet ministers and the president and strengthen the relationships between Nigeria and the United Nations.
“Basically, we are going to discuss the main challenges of Nigeria and the need to address the issues of Peace and security together with the challenges of development and environmental protection.
“I think that Nigeria has shown a great example and leadership in putting together these factors; climate change, environmental protection, peace and security.
“When I was elected president of the General Assembly, I promised to pay special attention to Africa and this is my second visit to Africa and I hope more will continue before I leave.
“Africa is at the forefront of the future of development and my presence here has shown how much Africa is important to the United Nations," Espinosa said.
She said that her visit to Nigeria was timely with the next president of the UN General Assembly most likely to be Nigerian as they were already in the midst of a transition.
Espinosa’s tenure as 73rd president of the UN General Assembly would come to an end in September. Espinosa who arrived at 7.15 p.m was received at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by Edward Kallon, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator to Nigeria.
Meanwhile, 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
Muhammad-Bande made the declaration at a cocktail party attended by world diplomats and delegates in New York on Friday evening.
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