The Federal Government on Wednesday pledged to broaden the scopes of its bilateral and multilateral cooperation for sustained global peace, security, justice and the rule of law.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) stated this in his keynote address at the African launch of the Global Commission Report on Governance, Security and Development organised by the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD), in Abuja.
Osinbajo further said that the Muhammadu Buhari administration would enhance the capacity of the human and material resources available to it to promote positive collective collaboration and cooperation at regional, continental and global levels.
He said: “Let me, therefore, conclude by assuring the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance and the international community that the current government of Nigeria, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, will continue to broaden the scope of her bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
“And increase her capacity – human and material – to support and work with all relevant international organisations and progressive development partners to promote positive collective collaboration and cooperation at regional, continental and global levels for the achievement and sustenance of global peace, security, justice and the rule of law.“
Osinbajo added that the crisis of global governance had deeply contributed to (and continued to) engender insecurity, injustice, corruption, insurgency, violent extremism, terrorism, piracy, climate change fears, cybercrime and underdevelopment, amongst other vices.
He, however, expressed regret that Africa was one of the continents at the centre of the crisis.
“For instance, the report highlighted the issue of the inter-section between justice and security, and this opens up the question of the place of social justice in ensuring security.
“There are those, who believe that the absence of social justice in parts of our continent is partially responsible for the insecurity experienced in many of the countries in this content.
“The subtext is that African states must learn to treat our people not merely as statistics, but as human beings worthy of dignity and respect.
“And this can only be fully reflected in the provision by governments of social services and opportunities for their peoples.
“Of course injustice in one state leads to instability or insecurity in neighbouring states.
“Even if only on account of the social economic consequences of the movement of refugees, ultimately no nation is free from the consequence of injustice anywhere,“ Osinbajo noted.
According to him, Nigeria fully shares the views expressed in the report that the UN Security Council should be expanded and supports the call for restraint in the use of veto by the five-permanent members.
“In addition, we take the position that based on our peacekeeping role in the UN, the size and strength of our economy and the fact that our country has the largest population on the continent, Nigeria deserves permanent member status on the Security Council.
“In consonance with our view that peaceful settlement of disputes be encouraged and made more robust, we also agree with the report that the International Court of Justice or the World Court, should be strengthened and put to wider use,“ he said.
He called for an wider acceptance of its jurisdiction and the use of its opinions creatively in the settlement of global disputes.
The VP said that Nigeria fully shared the view that no one state or group of states could effectively deal with the challenges of trans-border problems alone.
“For us as a nation and a government, the issues of security, justice, human rights, climate change and sustainable good governance constitute the cornerstone of the responsibilities that we owe our people.
“That explains why the Federal Government is meticulously reassessing the entire governance questions with the hope of putting in place structures and institutions that can sustain Nigeria in confronting the multitude of challenges identified in the report.
“The success of Nigeria in this endeavour would, indeed impact positively, not only on other countries in our sub-region, but the rest of Africa,“ he added.
According to Osinbajo, sustainable governance as a panacea to the challenges confronting the world today can only be successfully addressed by a determined visionary leadership, whose preoccupation will be to contribute to the happiness of the greatest number of our people.
He said that such natural democratic expectation was not a task for the political leadership alone, adding: “central to the success of governance as leadership is, every segment of the population, has critical roles to play to bring about the world of our dreams.’’
The vice president underscored the need for effective synergy to steer nations toward sustainable growth and make the world a better and more secure place to live.
Osinbajo observed that insecurity accentuated by violent extremism and insurgency, as presented by Boko Haram, had since assumed regional and international dimensions even though it was initially a Nigerian phenomenon.
He also said that climate change, desertification and the shrinking of the Lake Chad posed socio-economic and security challenges to the sub-region.
He expressed happiness that the country had made significant progress through the revitalised sub-regional security arrangement – the multi-national Joint Task Force (MNJTF) under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC).
He also highlighted the role played by Nigeria in collaboration with international groups to reach a peace agreement in South Sudan.
Osinbajo gave the assurance that the Federal Government would pay attention to the outcome of the interactive to enhance policy capacity for sustainable good governance in Nigeria, Africa, and the world.
“The demand for the reforms of global governance institutions is also of interest to Nigeria and the African continent,“ he added.