President Muhammadu Buhari has renewed Nigeria’s call for the urgent reform of the UN Security Council, saying that the 15 years’ intergovernmental negotiations on the issue ‘‘have taken too long’’.
Buhari, who made the demand in his address at the UN General Assembly on Friday in New York, said: “No reform of the UN system is more urgent than that of the Security Council.
“Stakeholders around the world are asking how such power could be concentrated, with scant representation.
“The intergovernmental negotiations have taken too long — some 15 years. We must avoid going in cycles,” he said.
The President said that a consensus had been achieved in some of the elements of the reform, particularly those regarding the representation of Africa on the basis of the Elzuwini consensus and the Sirte Declaration.
“It is unreasonable to expect unanimity in this matter. The issue, indeed, is about justice, not unanimity. Without justice, the legitimacy (even efficacy) of our organisation is called to question.
‘‘We can and must make substantial, irreversible progress on Security Council reform in the current session,” he said.
Besides, the Nigerian leader spoke on the situation in the Middle East, saying that the issue was about ‘‘the question of justice, fairness, and equity in respect of the Palestinian people.
“The situation in the Middle East is long-standing and gives cause for concern. Nigeria encourages Israel and Palestine to re-engage in dialogue, based on relevant UN resolutions and Initiatives.
‘‘The two-state solution has the support of the international community and is widely acknowledged as the path to lasting peace,’’ he said.
Buhari reaffirmed Nigeria’s faith in the UN as the pre-eminent body for solving current and emerging challenges, as well as developing norms that are protective of all.
He pledged that Nigeria would continue to work with all the UN member-states for peace and security, development and the protection of human rights.
‘‘In the current moment, hope for these is dependent on how we assist each other to get COVID-19 out of all countries, regardless of their classification. We can and must do so,’’ he said.
Buhari paid a special tribute to the outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, describing her as ‘‘a great and humane internationalist, and an exemplary practitioner of multilateral cooperation’’.