In a historic moment, President Bola Tinubu will take the stage at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), hosted by President Dennis Francis of Trinidad and Tobago. This marks President Tinubu’s first appearance at the UNGA since assuming the presidency in May. He is set to address world leaders and emphasize Nigeria’s commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), addressing climate change, and promoting international peace and security.
One of the central topics President Tinubu will highlight is the issue of illicit financial flows and the return of assets, urging stronger international cooperation on this matter. His speech is scheduled for Tuesday evening, making him the fifth African leader to speak on the first day of the assembly and the 14th speaker out of 20 leaders for the day.
Throughout the week, President Tinubu is set to participate in various high-level dialogues and meetings. These include discussions on financing for development, pandemic prevention, climate ambition, universal health coverage, and global financial architecture reform. He will also engage in bilateral meetings with leaders from the United States, European Union Commission, Brazil, South Africa, and prominent transnational corporations like Microsoft, Meta, Exxon Mobil, and General Electric.
Nigeria’s agenda at UNGA also includes seeking strategic partnerships in the technology sector and the broader economy. Dr. Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, has outlined three core areas for partnership: the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Artificial Intelligence (AI) training, and economic diversification through technology. These initiatives aim to bridge the digital divide, position Nigeria as a hub for AI training, and accelerate economic diversification through technology.
The UNGA’s theme, “Rebuilding Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity: Accelerating Action on the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs towards peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability for all,” underscores the global community’s commitment to addressing critical challenges.
Despite some key leaders’ absence, the UNGA continues with 140 heads of state and government in attendance. While global disputes among major powers pose challenges, there is hope that this gathering can yield progress on pressing issues. President Tinubu’s presence and proactive agenda contribute to the event’s significance, and Nigeria aims to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of international cooperation and development.