President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived New York ahead of the 73rd Session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA73) which officially opened on Sept. 18.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the president accompanied by his wife, Aisha, departed the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on Sunday morning and had arrived New York on Monday (Nigerian time) morning.
The theme for this year’s Session is: “Making the United Nations relevant to all People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies.”
A statement earlier issued in Abuja on Saturday by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the highpoint of Buhari’s participation would be his address on Tuesday to the General Assembly on the opening day of the General Debate.
According to him, the President’s presentation of Nigeria’s National Statement is expected to reaffirm the nation’s commitment to international peace and security and sustainable socio-economic development.
He said the presentation would also cover the areas of disarmament and denuclearisation, youth and women empowerment, climate change, rule of law and human rights, among others.
The presidential aide said Buhari would particularly canvass international support for the fight against corruption, the return of illicit assets, counter-terrorism, insurgency and curbing irregular migration.
He said the president would seek the support of the international community in efforts to re-settle Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and recharging the receding Lake Chad.
Adesina, who is the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, said the president would also advocate for the reform of the United Nations, especially the expansion of the permanent membership of the Security Council to make the vital organ of the global organisation reflect regional and equitable geographical representation.
He disclosed that the president and his wife, Aisha, would also attend a welcome reception hosted by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres and his spouse for Heads of State and Government and their spouses.
“The Nigerian leader and his delegation will participate in a High-Level meeting on the Fight against Tuberculosis, organised by the World Health Organisation as Nigeria currently ranks seventh amongst the high TB-burden countries globally, and second in Africa.
“The Nigerian delegation is expected to attend the Mandela Peace Summit, which is a High-Level Meeting on Global Peace in honour of the centenary birth of the late South African President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela,’’ he revealed.
According to Adesina, other side events lined up for the Nigerian delegation include a High-Level Meeting on financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit.
Others are the Second Annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum, High-Level Meeting on Action for Peace-Keeping, Commemoration and Promotion of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
He said: “During the course of his stay in New York, in addition to the audience with the UN Secretary-General, the Nigerian President is also expected to have bilateral meetings with African and world leaders, including Bill Gates, to promote national and African interests.’’
Adesina disclosed that the president would also grant audience to a select group of Nigerian professionals based in the United States.