President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Antonio Guterres on his appointment by the United Nations General Assembly as the next UN Secretary-General, beginning from Jan. 1, 2017.
The President’s congratulatory message to Guterres is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu.
Buhari noted that Guterres’ wealth of experience as a former Prime Minister of Portugal, head of UN Refugee Agency for several years, diplomat and a politician of repute, had eminently prepared and qualified him for the new position.
According to him, Nigeria looks forward to working and supporting Guterres to address the world’s most pressing challenges.
He said the challenges included winning the war against terrorism and violent extremism for a peaceful and prosperous future, reducing poverty and tackling the devastating effects of climate change and confronting the root causes of migrants and refugee crisis.
The President stated that for the UN to remain relevant in the 21st century, the new UN Secretary-General must redouble efforts and spearhead essential reforms of the world body to enable it effectively address current global challenges.
Buhari also congratulated the outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on his successful tenure and dedicated service to humanity.
The President noted that “the world indeed owes a debt of gratitude to the outgoing Secretary-General for spearheading the Sustainable Development Goals and achieving the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change, among other laudable achievements’’.
Buhari acknowledged the roles played by the UN and its agencies in strengthening democracy, good governance and stability in Nigeria, under the leadership of Ban Ki-Moon.