Delivering an address at the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, in New York, United States, President Jonathan said “We must win the war against terrorism because it infringes on the fundamental rights of all peoples to life and safety from fear”.
He lamented “the increasing use of terror in various regions of the world as a form of political action” and warned that such action “poses serious threat to international peace and security”.
The president recalled the challenges Nigeria has been facing in the past few months with the “upsurge of terrorist attacks in parts of our country.”
He commiserated with the “UN family for this barbaric and heinous attack against those who have dedicated their lives to helping others,” and reassured the world of the country’s preparedness to tackle terrorism.
Jonathan said “for us in Nigeria, terrorist acts, rather than intimidate, will only help to strengthen our resolve to develop appropriate national strategies and collaborate even more closely with the international community in the fight against this menace”.
He disclosed that “as part of Nigeria’s efforts to fight terrorism, I signed into law the Terrorism (Prevention) Bill 2011 and the Anti-Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act on the 3rd of June this year. The new laws not only outlined measures for the prevention and combating of acts of terrorism, but also prohibit the financing of terrorism and laundering of the proceeds of crime. Nigeria will continue to work with the UN and other partners in this global fight”.
The president reaffirmed Nigeria’s readiness to collaborate with the international communities in the fight against terrorism saying that “Nigeria is working closely with the UN Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force, CTITF, the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate, CTED, as well as relevant international bodies and friendly countries to sharpen our response mechanisms. In this connection, the UN Counter Terrorism Implementation Task force is launching its first project in Abuja in November 2011, aimed at conflict prevention and countering the appeal of terrorism to youth through education and dialogue”.
The president said “in addition, Nigeria is a member of the new global body, the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF), initiated to galvanize and pull our efforts together to fight the scourge in all its ramifications. We pledge to continue to work with all stakeholders, as we enlarge and intensify our partnerships”.
Jonathan who spoke on the nation’s successful April polls and other sundry issues affecting the world declared that “for the world to move from a culture of response after conflict to that of a culture of prevention, the international community must muster the political will to promote preventive diplomacy, in particular through mediation”.
He stressed that the measure “will necessarily entail re-dedicating greater human and financial resources to institutions and mechanisms that already exist within and outside the UN system for conflict prevention and resolution”.
Going forward, President Jonathan proposed “the establishment, under the Secretary-General’s Office, a Conflict Mediation Commission, to be charged, among others, with the collation of information on conflict situations across the world, identify the dramatis persona and develop appropriate strategies for initiating resolution of such conflicts”.
The Commission he explained further “will also develop rules of engagement, including sanctions which would apply to those who may obstruct efforts to resolve conflicts peacefully”.