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Nigeria’s presidency of security council ‘historic’

May 01
13:14 2014
Ogwu "did her best during the month", says a Chinese-American journalist

Ogwu “did her best during the month”, says a Chinese-American journalist

Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Joy Ogwu, gave the figure on Wednesday night in New York at a briefing to wrap-up the country’s month-long presidency of the council.

Ogwu told non-members of the council that Nigeria engaged in no fewer than 10 topics ranging from Western Sahara to South Sudan, Central African Republic, Darfur, Cote d Ivoire, Syria, Ukraine and genocide.

She described the adoption of Resolution 2151 on Security Sector Reform (SSR), which was promoted by Nigeria as a major achievement in the annals of the UN history.

“It was the first ever stand alone resolution on SSR in the annals of the United Nations.

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“The council had already discussed SSR in the context of three presidential statements which were adopted under the thematic subject of maintenance of peace and international security in 2007, 2008 and in 2011.”

She said Resolution 2131 emphasised the inter-linkages between the SSR and other important factors of stablisation and reconstruction such as transitional justice, disarmament, demobilisation, protection of women and children and human right issues.

The resolution also recognised that SSR should be a nationally-owned process, she said.

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In this regard, the resolution recalls the sovereign right and the primary responsibility of the states concerned to determine their respective SSR approaches and priorities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt there were three rounds of negotiations on the draft resolution on SSR, a week before its adoption.

Some of the negotiations lasted more than seven hours.

On Western Sahara, Nigeria was said to have pushed the AU position that there should be a human rights monitoring mechanism in the MINURSO mission.

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However, the resolution adopted by the 15-member council on April 29 fell short of including rights monitoring mechanism in the mission.

On the council’s resolution which removed a ban on Cote d Ivoire diamond trade and eased an arms embargo, Ogwu said Nigeria was vocal in the negotiations that led to the easing of the sanctions regime in the country.

“Worthy of note is the fact that the resolution responds to the need of the country, it addresses specific areas deemed inimical to the well being of the state by being flexible in its application.

“My country was vocal by insisting that the council does not give the impression that the sanctions were instituted to punish rather than to effect change,” said the envoy.

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The resolution maintained the financial and travel measures imposed on selected individuals.

It also renewed the mandate of the Group of Experts (GoE) assisting the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee for 13 months.

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NAN reports that on the last day of Nigeria’s presidency, Ogwu at different functions with the media and member states paraphrased Shakespeare’s “All the world’s is a stage”, with UN members at the centre of the play.

“These lines help us to convey the drama of global politics of which the UN is the epic centre.

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“The question is can we safely draw parallel between what we see as the game of international politics and the place of Shakespeare? And I say yes we can.

“Both are cosmic and complex as complex as the negotiations we conduct every day.

“In both, the actions are always dramatic as in Ukraine for example, often tragic as in South Sudan, CAR and Syria.

“All of us member states are the actors and we have the responsibility to act out our part to the benefit of mankind,” she said.

Ogwu expressed concern about the worsening humanitarian situation in conflict areas around the globe, saying it is “moral issue” that aid and help is being denied people in dire need.

On media relations, the Nigeria delegation to the UN conducted nine question and answer sessions, including one by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb.  Aminu Wali, on April 28.

“She (Ogwu) certainly did her best during the month, in terms of accessibility: she did nine questions and answer stakeouts,” Matthew Lee, a Chinese-American journalist accredited to the UN wrote on his blog.

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