Nigeria assumes membership of UN Security Council

Goodluck Jonathan and Ban Ki-Moon

Nigeria on Thursday formally assumed the membership of the UN Security Council for a two-year term (2014-2015), making it the fifth time the nation had been elected into the council.

The UN Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the nation’s term for the non-permanent seat of the council began on January 1, but due to the New Year holiday, the council could not sit.

Nigeria was on October 16, 2012 elected into the world body with 186 votes out of 193.

UN Council has five permanent members comprising China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the U.S. as well as 10 other non-permanent members which are elected for two years by the 193 members of the UN General Assembly.

Earlier, following the admission of Nigeria into the council, Prof. Joy Ogwu, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, had assured that Nigeria would promote preventive diplomacy for peace as a fulcrum of its agenda.

The permanent representative also noted that Nigeria was driven by a deep seated aspiration to deal with issues of peace, security and development not only in Africa but the rest of the world.

“So to this effect, we will work assiduously with all members of the security council to represent all other member states and to fulfil the renewed mandate that we have received today,” Ogwu said.

The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, had assured the international community that Nigeria would continue to work in the area of preventive diplomacy.

Onwuliri also said that Nigeria would focus on mediation and prevention of conflict situations in Africa.

“We need to have a strong voice to help the UN to deal with issues in Africa. African issues are the majority of issues facing the UN Security Council today,” she said.

Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, Permanent Representative of Jordan to the UN, is the President of the Security Council for the month of January.

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