69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly - President Jonathan's Address

Address by

His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR

At the

Wednesday 24th September, 2014


 1.              Let me begin by expressing the best wishes of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on your assumption of the Presidency of the 69th Session of the General Assembly. Your election is indeed, a fitting compliment to your invaluable and inspiring contribution to international diplomacy.

 2.              May I also express my warm appreciation to your predecessor, Ambassador John Ashe, for the astute and steadfast manner he steered the affairs of the 68th General Assembly. I thank the Secretary General, Ban-Ki-Moon not only for his relentless commitment to the work of the UN, but especially his tireless efforts to address the challenges of world peace and security.

 6.              My country is honoured to have been accorded the privilege, jointly with Finland, of leading this work as Co-Chairs of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts, as mandated by Heads of State and Government in Rio.  Along with the work of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, the report provides a solid basis for intergovernmental negotiations for the post-2015 development agenda.

 7.              Nigeria takes cognisance of the need to create the enabling environment for rapid development.  We are committed to strengthening institutions and improving governance systems, in order to ensure efficiency of resources and the process itself. 

 9.              Today's terrorism, manifested sometimes in insurgency, is vicious and aimless. Its consequences are extremely agonizing, marked by a tendency to annihilate victims, and completely destroy infrastructure and properties. The involvement of foreign fighters has remained a common feature of terrorist groups - whether Al Qaieda in the Maghreb, Al Shaabab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, or the newly emerging Islamic State (I.S).  

11.         Mr. President, the violent and criminal activities of Boko Haram have continued to pose a potent challenge to the government and people of Nigeria. Through a wave of terror, assassinations, bombings, and now abductions and kidnappings predominantly in the North East of the country, Boko Haram is attempting to truncate development, by murder and mayhem, in these areas. In April, our innocent daughters were abducted from a Secondary School, in Chibok – North East Nigeria.  This callous and criminal act has attracted empathy and support for Nigeria across the globe.

 12.         I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the countries and organizations that expressed solidarity with us, and have continued to support our determined efforts to free our daughters. Although it has been over three months since they were abducted, we have never relented in our efforts to set them safely free. Together with our partners, we are working assiduously to free our daughters and reunite them with their families.

 13.         To this end, I wish to thank the Government of France for organizing and hosting the Special Summit on Security in Nigeria, in Paris in May, 2014.  The outcome of the French process and the follow-up in London, Washington and Abuja has helped to galvanize regional action and is already yielding positive results. Let me underline today, that we shall not waiver until we end this mindless war on the innocent, and bring all the perpetrators to justice. We will triumph over terrorism.

14.         Mr. President, the failure of unanimity of action by the Security Council over pressing challenges to global peace and security, in Syria, Iraq, the conflict in Ukraine, and the renewed aggression between Israel and Palestine, have strengthened the case for the reform of the Security Council.

17.         Mr. President, Your Excellencies, while Africa, and in particular, West Africa, battles conflicts and terrorism, with progressive results, the region is now being devastated by the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). 

 19.         We have however continued to support efforts at containing the spread of the disease in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. In addition to the direct donation of a total of three and a half million dollars ($3.5m), we have provided training and capacity building support to the three countries. 

 20.         It is pertinent to stress the need for the international community to properly appreciate the enormity of the EVD challenge. Indulging in isolationist and discriminatory tendencies will only worsen an already critical situation. To prevent the disease from becoming a global catastrophe, the UN must accord it the concerted effort it deserves.

21.         Mr. President, there is no doubt that much has been discussed on limiting the ozone layer depletion,  since the commencement of negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1994. However, the extent of progress in key areas, particularly in limiting the contribution of man-made activities to Green House emission, is yet to be determined.

22.         Mr. President, Nigeria appreciates the indispensable role of the UN in the search for solutions to all of these challenges: terrorism; global peace and security; the environment; and forging sustainable economic development. We have been, and will remain a reliable and active partner, especially as we collectively work to resolve the new and emerging threats to global peace and security.

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