Buhari To Meet Ki-Moon, Obama, Cameron, Others At UN Summit | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari To Meet Ki-Moon, Obama, Cameron, Others At UN Summit

Posted: Sep 23, 2015 at 12:46 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chesa Chesa and Innocent Oweh (Abuja)

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday leave for New York to meet and interact with notable world leaders at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The President is scheduled to hold talks with the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon; President Barack Obama of the United States; President Francois Hollande, France; Prime Minister David Cameron, Britain; Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany; President Vladmir Putin, Russia; President Xi Jinping, China; and Prime Minister Narenda Modi, India.

A Presidency statement said the agenda at the meeting include domestic development issues, bilateral relations, war against terrorism, violent extremism, the enhancement of global security,  peace-keeping operations, climate change and the adoption of a post 2015 global development agenda.

Buhari will deliver Nigeria’s Statement to the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, September 28, besides addressing the world leaders on violent extremism to which he was personally invited by Mr. Ki-Moon during his recent visit to Nigeria, the statement said.

Also on the President’s schedule are a meeting of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council, a high-level roundtable on South-South Co-operation, organised by President Xi Jinping of China and the UN, and participation in the launch of an updated global health strategy for women and children.

Buhari would also meet with former U.S. President Bill Clinton as well as Bill Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is assisting Nigeria in several areas like polio eradication; as well as former Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain, the UN Special Envoy on Global Education, who is one of the main drivers of the Safe Schools Initiative.

As part of his itinerary, President Buhari would join the World leaders on Friday, wrap up the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) initiatives and launch the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) even as most third world nations fell short of the targets outlined in the MDGs.

The new SDG would run for 15 years and be officially launched at the UN General Assembly in New York on September 25.

But the White Ribbon Alliance, a civil society organisation in Nigeria has urged the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Nigerian government to tailor the new global strategy around women, children and adolescents health,rather than a broad based approach with little or no impact.

Tonte Ibraye, National Co-ordinator of the Alliance, who reviewed the MDGs and expectations for the SDGs, at a media forum on Tuesday in Abuja, said there had not been good accountability system for maternal health initiatives, globally, despite huge advances in health and wellbeing during the lifespan of the MDGs.

Ibraye said millions of women and children in Nigeria were bypassed by progress towards MDGs 4 and 5, while current medical trends indicates that four million children and 200,000 women will die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth in 2030.

He said completing the unfinished agenda and ending preventable new-born, child and maternal deaths within the next 15 years can only be possible in a climate of public expectation and robust accountability.

The group which had initially organised citizens hearings in local communities around Nigeria, said the people specifically want the new SDGs to focus on civic participation in governance and accountability.

“During the 2015 UN General Assembly, as global leaders convene to make ambitious commitments for the next fifteen years, we are saying that there should be ‘nothing about us without us’.

“As stakeholders in the health sector, we would want the UN to institute mechanisms that will allow citizens to participate in the country level implementation of the SDGs; incorporate mainstream environmental sustainability into the SDGs as well as ensure youth involvement in reproductive health issues.

“A good communication structure should be created in the new SDGs where citizens can voice their complaints and experiences,” the alliance emphasised.

Accompanied by the governors of Sokoto, Kaduna and Niger states, the National Security Adviser and the Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Finance, Health, Industry, Trade and Investment, President Buhari would return to Abuja next Tuesday.