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Ki-Moon honours slain colleagues at UN House, decries terror


Bank Ki-moon briefs the General Assembly.

Bank Ki-moon briefs the General Assembly.

• Wants Chibok girls, others released
• Seeks better laws on business protection
• UN House to be re-opened in six months
• Buhari for leaders’ summit on extremism

TWO days to the fourth anniversary of the bombing of the United Nations (UN) House in Abuja, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon yesterday laid a wreath at the global body’s premises to commemorate the terror attack.

The attack by Boko Haram on August 27, 2011 killed 23 UN workers and injured many others.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. John Chukwu, has assured Ki-Moon, that the Federal Government will handover the damaged UN Common Building in six months.

Chukwu gave the assurance shortly after laying a wreath in honour of the victims of the bomb attack on the UN House.

He said the Federal Government would do everything possible to ensure that the renovation and reconstruction work was completed within the period of six months.

Also, rising from behind a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House yesterday, Ki-Moon called for the unconditional release of the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted in April 2014.

In a related development, Buhari has accepted an invitation from Ki-moon to a meeting of world leaders in New York which is expected to formulate a fresh plan of action against extremism.

President Barack Obama and his France counterpart Francois Hollande are also expected to participate in the September 28 meeting which will, among other things deliberate on a new UN draft resolution on combating extremism worldwide.

Ki-Moon also stressed that protecting the girl-child is one of the key approaches that would prevent them (girls) against early marriages.

The UN boss, who stated this yesterday in Abuja when he visited the Garki Junior Secondary School (GJSS), Abuja, where he met with the principal, staff and students of the school, said: “Education for girls is one of the best strategies for protecting girls against child marriage and prepare them for better future.’’

And to ensure the realisation of the 2030 target for the identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the UN has urged business and philanthropy leaders to forge a tripartite partnership involving the government, business communities and private sector as well as the civil society.

Ki-Moon said: “We pay tribute to the 23 fallen colleagues, women and men, who were so brutally stolen from us. We reaffirm our commitment to keep faith with their families.

“Our fallen colleagues and partners will be remembered this morning with moments of silence in many places. “But nowhere are the memories of these colleagues more immediate, more vivid and more compelling than here in Abuja. We will remember them forever as truly the best of humanity.

“We join the families in prayers for the eternal rest of the souls of the departed and for long and healthy lives for the injured survivors,” he said.

Describing the abduction of the school girls as intolerable, the UN scribe reiterated the commitment of the world body to work with Nigeria to ensure that all the kidnapped girls and elsewhere are released unconditionally.

In a joint press conference he addressed with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, the UN scribe said the humanitarian crisis in northeast was worrisome, pledging the support of the UN to Nigeria in the areas of peace and security as well as development.

He expressed joy over the establishment of the multinational joint task force, (MNJTF) to tackle the insurgents, hoping that the rapid operationalisation of the task force would help in quickly bringing the insurgency to an end.

However, in tackling the insurgency, he hoped the President would stick to his pledge to uphold the basic rights.

On his part, Buhari commended the UN for standing by Nigeria in its trying moment, noting that the encouragement from the UN scribe has facilitated the development process of the country.

Ki-Moon, accompanied by Nigeria’s former Millennium Development Goals(MDG) boss, Mrs Amina Az-zbair, also yesterday, in a meeting with business and philanthropy leaders, stressed the need for government, private sector and civil society to work together for the actualisation of the 15 years Sustainable Development Goals target.

He noted that the Sustainable Development Goals had 17-sustainable development course, which was the UN part-way for the next 15 years, targeting 2030.

While urging the business leaders to discuss and come forward with their challenges and how the UN could assist them achieve needed growth, Ki-Moon further advocated capacity building initiatives for legislators in formulating legislations that would create a conducive business environment for investors.

The UN scribe also invited Buhari to a meeting of a select group of 25 world leaders in New York on September 27 to deliberate on a global climate change agreement.

He disclosed that the invitation was in recognition of Buhari’s political will to combat terror and in dealing with environmental issues.

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