Nigeria wants UN youth agency established

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

By Ekemini Yemi-Ladejobi

The Federal Government has advocated for the establishment of a youth agency by the United Nations to enable it cater for their “bulging” needs across the globe.

Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs made the call at a news conference on the sidelines of the bilateral meetings at the 71st United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Sunday in New York.

He said that President Muhammadu Buhari advocated this during his bilateral meeting of Heads of State and Governments with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

“Mr President was the only leader among the heads of state and governments that made the specific point that Nigeria will be pushing for the establishment of a UN agency dedicated exclusively to the youth.

“He also made a point on the importance of giving attention to the youth.

“A lot of countries including Nigeria, have a large population being below the age of 35 and we really have to address what they call the “youth bulge” in the area of education and job opportunities.

Onyeama recalled that under the tenure of the UN secretary general, a UN agency was created for the women and gender issues.

He said that Buhari expressed the belief that one was also required for the youth.

On the issue of stolen funds from Nigeria, Onyeama said that  Buhari met with President Barack Obama, the Swiss President and Minister of Justice.

“Mr President and his Swiss counterpart looked at the modalities of restitution of some of the stolen funds totaling over 300 million Swiss Franc from Nigeria into that country.

“We are also already looking at how we are going to use some of these funds, particularly the one with the Swiss government for the benefit of the country.

“With the American government, we also discussed going forward and what we need to do and how they can help us trace looted fund and repatriation of those funds.

“It was interesting to note that President Barack Obama advised us to be careful with whom we employ to help us identify those stolen funds because there have been cases where some private legal practitioners and lawyers have been used to help us.

“His advice was that we should actually deal directly with the U. S government and I think this was a very important advice.

“I think that also is very good for us so, we cut off middle men and it also showed U.S. commitment in helping us in this context,’’ Onyeama said.

President Buhari, who has since returned to the country after five days of activities at the UNGA, declared that he had a very successful outing.(NAN)

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