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Security, poverty tops UNGA president’s 2020 priority goals

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Senator Iroegbu

The Nigerian-born President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, has rolled out plans for 2020 with peace and security, eradication of poverty , zero hunger and climate action as main areas of focus.

Muhammad-Bande who disclosed this while briefing states on Monday, listed priority areas for the UN body to ensure global peaceful coexistence and development.

He said that the recent incident of 176 people who died on the plane shot down by Iran and indicates th the need for diplomacy to achieve peace and security particularly in the Middle East.

“Our priority for the 74th Session is the implementation of existing mandates, Peace & Security, Poverty Eradication, Zero Hunger, Quality Education, Climate Action and Inclusion. 

All these are anchored on the already agreed SDGs. We are determined to galvanize partnerships in implementing the “Roadmap” , Bande said.

Here are the priority areas of UNGA president in 2020:

Peace and Security 

“International Peace and Security is key to achieving the SDGs, as no development can happen in the absence of peace. The need to work harder on achieving peace and security is evident in the current tragedy, which has led to the loss of 176 human lives. If ever diplomacy should achieve its purpose, this is one urgent area it must show its face. The Security Council as well as other relevant actors ought to prioritize getting a lasting solution to this. This crisis can also not be dissociated from the larger situation in the Middle East. It is thus crucial that we find solutions to the Israel 

“Palestine Question, as with those in Syria, Yemen, Libya and others. I will continue flag these issues with the Presidents of the Security Council and the Secretary-General, as with all who are able to assist in this regard.

International Day of Education

“I will convene an event to celebrate the second International Day of Education on 24th January 2020. It will have in attendance various stakeholders in the education system, including governments, the private sector and civil society organizations. It will focus on transforming the education system through partnerships and provide an avenue for stakeholders to network and share best practices. Ensuring access to free and quality primary and secondary education, as well as affordable and inclusive vocational and technical education, is important, and I will continue to reach out to you beyond the International Day of Education on how best we can continue to collaborate. Already, the Morning Dialogue which we had in relation to education, has provided us useful ideas, encouraging us to push further.

Zero Hunger

“I will host an event in February to discuss the topic “Targeting Hunger: South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Transforming Agriculture”. It is my hope that member states will use that opportunity to deepen discussion on how to deepen cooperation to achieve Zero Hunger, particularly through partnerships in the agricultural sector. We can end hunger and help to eradicate poverty if we deepen cooperation in modernizing the agricultural sector, particularly as it concerns availability and affordability of industrial machineries, irrigation systems, high yield seedlings and access to finance. Throughout the Session, I will also be following up on the conclusions we reach during the event.

Ocean Conference 

“There will be an Ocean Conference from 2nd to 6th June 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. A preparatory meeting to determine the themes of the Seven (7) interactive dialogues will be held from 3rd to 4th February. The preparatory meeting will also provide initial inputs for the declaration to be adopted at the end of the conference. As I have communicated to you all earlier, the Permanent Representatives of Denmark and Palau have been appointed to co-facilitate this process. As always, I count on your engagement with them to assure success.

Biodiversity Summit

“The Biodiversity Summit is a mandated event that the Permanent Representatives of Costa Rica and Italy will co-facilitate its preparatory process. They will convene their first meeting on Thursday, 16 September, and I urge you to render all necessary support to them, as we must do our best to tackle the environmental emergencies that we currently face. Accordingly, we must build on the political momentum generated by the Paris Agreement in 2015 and the Climate Summit last September, to accelerate action to save the planet from the peril that inaction can unleash. This is particularly so, in the light of our disappointment that we could not reach consensus on important issues during COP25 in Madrid.

“I will convene a High-Level dialogue in collaboration with the Secretariat of the UN Convention on Combating Desertification on 9 June. The dialogue will aim to review the progress made in the fight against desertification, land degradation and drought.

Initiative on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity  

“Together with the President of ECOSOC, I am currently working on an initiative on Financial Integrity. This is in line with the General Assembly resolution which mandated the President of the General Assembly and the President of ECOSOC to give due consideration to the need to promote international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows, with a view to foster sustainable development. More information will follow.

“It is my hope that as an outcome of this initiative, Member States will have a basis to take action to more effectively close the current financial gaps due to Illicit Financial Flows, Corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. Details of this initiative will be shared at a briefing on 28 January 2020, held jointly with the ECOSOC president. 


“Inclusion is key to our world. Exclusion has been a major source of instability in all societies. There is absolutely no reason to exclude anyone – whether they are a woman, youth, disabled, or because of their faith, color or where they are from. Accordingly, I urge all delegations to be involved in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women; 20th anniversary of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS); as well as the 10th anniversary of UN Women, among others.

“Also, on inclusion, I will organize a High-Level Youth Plenary on 31 March 2020, in conjunction with the President of ECOSOC. This will give youths an opportunity to interact among themselves as well as with other stakeholders, including member states and UN officials. There is no doubt that we have to devise a strategy to tackle the immediate problem that face our youths, such as lack of quality education, unemployment and underemployment.

The president called member states for more coperation to achieve the goal.

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