UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (UNAN) Marks 2019 INTERNATIONAL NELSON MANDELA DAY- 18TH JULY
Participants at a Panel discussion at the celebration of the 2019 MANDELA Day Co-Organized by the United Nation Association of Nigeria(UNAN), United Nations Information Centre, Freedom Park Lagos and the South Africa Consul Lagos, has called on Federal, State Governments and other Stakeholders to take immediate steps to eradicate poverty in Nigeria which reportedly now has about 86.9 million people living in extreme poverty (according to UN and various international development Agencies). The panel discussion was on the topic THE MANDELA LEGACY AND COMMITMENT TO ERADICATION OF POVERTY UNDER GOAL 1 OF AGENDA 2030. It was inspired by the theme of this year’s MANDELA Day “Action Against Poverty”.
Notably, participants at the event drew attention to the fact that Nigeria was endowed with enough human and natural resources to make poverty a thing of the past in the country and all hands must be on deck to make poverty history in the country. Specifically, they identified key areas which needed urgent action namely education, food and nutrition shelter, sanitation, healthcare and other pro-poor policies and programmes. These they stressed are prerequisites in the quest to eradicate poverty in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Agenda 2030.
The discussion Panel was Chaired by Ambassador Olusegun Akinsanya (former Ambassador of Nigeria to Ethiopia and current Secretary of Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter). Also in attendance was Professor Bola Akinterinwa, former Director General of Nigeria Institute of International Affairs. Representative of the Director of the United Nations Information UNIC Mr Ronald Kayanja and, The South Africa Consul General in Lagos, Mr. Darkey Africa.
In his remarks, the Director of the UN Centre Mr. Roland Kayanja said that for the UN, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals encapsulated in Agenda 2030 and which has eradication of poverty as Goal number 1 was the main focus of the Organisation and priority for the UN Secretary General today. He therefore called on all to support the various UN initiatives in this respect.
Prof Akinterinwa drew attention of the audience to Legacy of Nelson Mandela and the fact that the Agenda 2030 is complemented by the Agenda 2063 of the African Union which also makes poverty eradication a priority.
On his part the South African General Mr. Darkey Africa called on the audience to be inspired by the life of late Nelson Mandela who dedicated his life to the poor and called on all to take everyday as a Mandela Day and act appropriately.
The event which was held at FREEDOM PARK Broad street LAGOS was attended by members of UNAN, Representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations, University Students, Some Secondary School Students (Eko Akete Secondary School) who recited some poems in praise of Nelson Mandela. The event was concluded with short presentations by representatives of ten (10) Youth Organizations on their activities which are primarily aimed at poverty reduction and wealth creation. Each of them was given a Certificate of Participation by UNAN.
Engr. Ganiyu Owolabi
Secretary-General, UNAN, Lagos.