UNGA 78: Tinubu Advocates Global Action Against Illicit Arms And miniral Smuggling

By Mohammed Bello Doka. 
In a powerful address to world leaders at the 78th United Nations General Assembly, President Bola Tinubu called upon UN member states to take decisive action against terror financing, economic sabotage, and the illicit smuggling of arms and minerals in the developing world. Speaking with determination, President Tinubu emphasized the urgency for countries to demonstrate through their actions that they are committed to combatting these issues.

During his speech, President Tinubu highlighted the importance of protecting Africa's mineral-rich areas from exploitation and conflict, noting that regions such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo have long suffered from this issue. Despite the presence of the UN, these areas remain plagued by misery and exploitation, depriving nations of the resources needed for development.

President Tinubu drew attention to the involvement of foreign entities that partner with local criminals, who aspire to become petty warlords, exploiting thousands of individuals for illegal mining activities. The billions of dollars meant to uplift nations are instead funding violent enterprises. This trend, if left unchecked, poses a grave threat to national security and peace. In light of this grave injustice, many Africans question whether this exploitation is accidental or deliberate, calling on member nations to collaborate and deter their companies and nationals from pillaging Africa's riches.

Furthermore, President Tinubu highlighted Nigeria's efforts to promote economic development through aggressive diplomatic push for new investments. However, he acknowledged that the ease of doing business might not be the main barrier to large-scale investments. The President emphasized the importance of open and mutually beneficial cooperation, including direct investment in critical industries, expanded trade, and meaningful debt relief.

Touching upon the global fight against climate change, President Tinubu urged for a tailored approach that takes into account the unique strengths and weaknesses of each nation. He emphasized the need for countries to be involved in the design and implementation of their own strategies, which align with their socio-economic conditions. Nigeria, for example, aims to build political consensus by highlighting actions that simultaneously promote economic growth and address climate change.

President Tinubu concluded his address by reminding the world of Africa's significance in the global landscape. He called for genuine friendship and partnership, emphasizing that Africa is not a problem to be avoided or pitied, but rather the key to the world's future.

The Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, issued this statement on September 19, 2023.

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