President Goodluck Jonathan’s Speech At The UN General Assembly

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday in New York, United States (U.S.) gave a run down of the steps his administration had taken to win the war against terrorism.

He also condemned what he described as the deliberate denigration of the religious beliefs of others and counselled that freedom of expression should not be taken as a licence for actions, which could lead to violence and disorder in any part of the world.

According to the President, his administration was not helpless in tackling the insecurity caused by the activities of the Boko Haram sect.

Jonathan listed the steps the Federal Government had taken against the menace as exploring opportunities for dialogue, improving law enforcement to ensure public safety and security and international cooperation through signing of agreements with Nigeria’s neighbours – Cameroun, Niger and Chad bilaterally and multilaterally, on the platform of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

Jonathan, speaking to the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) against the background of recent protests in Nigeria and the Middle East and North Africa over the Internet publication of a video, which denigrates Prophet Mohammed, said that freedom of expression and religious tolerance should be complementary to each other for the peaceful coexistence of people of varying faiths and religious beliefs.

His words: “Events of recent weeks have demonstrated how interconnected our world is and the extent to which one incident can spark off general mayhem and conflagration. Freedom of expression should not be a licence to incitement. The freedom that we all hold dear and true should be exercised wisely and cautiously. Freedom of expression and religious tolerance must not be mutually exclusive but should be complementary to each other. Much as we eschew violence and deplore the needless losses of lives and destruction of property, we also condemn the deliberate denigration of religious beliefs and sensitivities which in turn lead to counter reactions.”

The President told the Assembly of Heads of State that his administration had adopted a multi-faceted strategy in dealing with the threats of terrorism and militancy.

He went on: “Our response has been multi-faceted, as we seek to address the root causes of these threats, exploring opportunities for dialogue, improving law enforcement to ensure public safety and security. International cooperation has also been a key factor in tackling our security challenges. We have signed agreements with our neighbours, Cameroun, Niger and Chad bilaterally, and multilaterally, on the platform of the Lake Chad Basin Commission. These efforts are aimed at safeguarding the security of our individual countries and denying terrorists the use of our region as sanctuary. We are confident that these measures will stem the flow and access to small arms and light weapons, which have indeed become Africa’s weapon of mass destruction.”

Remarking that it was a matter of great concern that many regions of the world, including the West African sub-region, are inundated with political crises, insurgency or terrorist activities, Jonathan reiterated his call for the establishment of a Conflict Mediation Commission under the Office of the Secretary-General to further strengthen the peace-building initiatives of the UN.

The Nigerian leader said “experience elsewhere gives us reason to believe that there is value in the creation of this mechanism. Nigeria stands ready to work with other countries to make the protection of innocent civilians caught in conflict situations a priority of the United Nations.”

The President called for the adoption of a global, legally-binding arms trade treaty, saying that it would galvanise the international community to regulate the transfer of conventional weapons and curb the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

Jonathan added: “There is no doubt that the absence of a global consensus to control the flow of such weapons, including small arms and light weapons, is fuelling conflicts, constraining growth and development and increasing human rights violations.”

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Posted on September 26, 2012, in Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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