•Makes case for HIV free generation
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
New York – President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria yesterday in New York, United States of America impressed it upon the minds of world leaders to work assiduously for the elimination of hunger, illiteracy and disease by 2030.
The president made the remark while addressing the United Nations Plenary Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda at the UN general assembly.
The social vices were the focal points of the contained post-2015 Development Agenda adopted by world leaders on Friday.
President Buhari said that the priority of his government was to run a transparent and accountable public revenue management system that would ensure a Leeds development of Nigeria.
He noted that his administration was taking steps to improve and streamline internal generation of revenue, and to plug all loopholes that have led to illicit capital flight from Nigeria, adding that his government was also putting mechanisms in place to prevent oil theft and other criminal practices that are detrimental to Nigeria’s economy.
President Buhari however said that he was pleased that world leaders had reaffirmed their commitment to sustainable development, international peace and security, and the protection of the planet.
“These are really the major issues of the day. For the first time, we have at our disposal a framework that is universal in scope and outlook, with clearly defined goals and targets, and appropriately crafted methods of implemen-tation.
“The Declaration that we have adopted today testifies to the urgency and the necessity for action by all of us. It is not for want of commitment that previous initiatives have failed or could not be fully realized. What seemed to be lacking in the past were political will and the required global partners-hip to pursue and implement the programmes to which we committed ourselves.
“This Declaration enjoys global consensus. We have agreed to deliver as one and to leave no one behind.’’
This is a promise worth keeping. We have agreed to create viable partnerships and to adopt the means of implementation for the goals and targets of the global sustainable development agenda in all its three dimensions; namely economic, social and environmental.
“The Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) together with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda that we adopted in July 2015, offer us a unique opportunity to address the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“They also provide the basis for a new set of global development priorities to usher in a peaceful and prosperous world, where no one is left behind, and where the freedom from fear and want, and for everyone to live in dignity, is enthroned,” President Buhari said.
Noting that illiteracy, hunger and diseases are associated evils that go hand in hand with poverty, the President urged the assembled world leaders to do everything possible “to eliminate these ills from our midst by 2030 as the Declaration loudly proclaims”.
“The bottom billion that has neither safety nets nor social protection, need to be rescued from their perpetual state of hopelessness, fear and indignity. This is a task that should have been accomplished decades ago. Now that it has fallen on our shoulders to discharge this responsibility, we should do so with the enthusiasm and commitment that is worthy of the cause.
“We must adopt targeted interventions at both policy and practical levels, to address extreme poverty and combat illiteracy, hunger and diseases. We must create viable partnerships that bring together national, regional and global actors with shared objectives to carry this forward.
“We must also create the enabling environments for executing this global agenda, by developing the relevant frameworks for working with different types of partners and constituencies that recognize the contributions of civil society, religious and cultural bodies, private sector, academia and most importantly, governments.
“Just as the relative success of the MDGs was underpinned by national ownership, the Post-2015 and the SDGs frameworks must also be guided by national priorities and ownership. Domestic resource mobilization supplemented by improved terms of trade between industrial and developing economies should drive the implementation processes in both streams. The facilitation of remittances by migrant and overseas workers, as well as efficient tax collection are needed as complimentary sources of financing for development,” the President said.
He said that Nigeria was proud to have availed her services to the United Nations in co-chairing the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, whose work contributed in no small measure to the expansion of financing for development strategies.
Also speaking on the strides Nigeria has recorded in the elimination of HIV and prevention of mother to child infection if the virus, president Buhari stated that the country over 63 000 pregnant women were given access to anti- retroviral therapy in 2014.
“For over 30 years, HIV as a public health challenge has been causing havoc and untold hardship in virtually every part of the world. To date, several million children have been orphaned and some communities have been devastated, while economic activities have been disrupted.
“Unfortunately, Sub -Saharan Africa bears a disproportionate burden of this epidemic. The good news is that the effort of the global community has resulted in greater control, less spread and better management.
“Furthermore, we have made significant progress towards the interception of mother to child transmission of HIV. In 2014 alone, over 3million pregnant women were tested for HIV and 63,000 of these tested women, accessed anti-retroviral therapy”, he said.
While pledging the support of Nigeria in arresting the scourge, he urged the world to work towards ending the menace of HIV and AIDs, Tuberculosis, Malaria and other communicable diseases by the year 2030.
“Nigeria will continue to work with development partners and key stakeholders to strengthen the means of implementation of the SDGs as elaborated in the Post- 2015 Development Agenda. At the continental level, Nigeria remains fully committed to the outcome of the Abuja process as evident in the 2002 Declaration, the Action Framework on Roll – Back Malaria. In addition, the 2013 Abuja + 12 Declaration is a strong commitment towards eliminating HIV and AIDs in Africa by 2030. Globally, the United Nations Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS of 2011 is a major reference point for intensifying efforts to eliminate the epidemic.
“Nigeria appreciates the support of our development partners for their support and commitment to the total eradication of HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as other deadly communicable diseases, for example Ebola, when an epidemic arises.
“I therefore encourage you to continue in your efforts to sustain the fight against infant and maternal deaths, HIV and AIDs, Tuberculosis, Malaria and other communicable diseases, high on the global development agenda.
“Let us work together to make HIV and AIDs history by 2030”, the president said.