Contrary to claims by the Nigerian presidency that a meeting at the 70th United Nations General Assembly to discuss the humanitarian crisis posed by the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group was unofficial, PREMIUM TIMES reports that the meeting is a “high-level” one convened as one of the most important events of the ongoing United Nations annual summit in New York.
The meeting tagged “High Level Event on the Lake Chad Basin” held Friday at the Conference Room 1 of the United Nations headquarters in New York.
It was convened by Stephen O’Brien, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General of Humanitarian Affairs and held as part of the of the UN Sustainable Development Summit, which opened Friday.
“The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, is an arm of the United Nations secretariat and a meeting organised by it on an issue threatening Nigeria’s existence cannot be described as unofficial,” said a respected Nigerian diplomat who requested not to be named so as not to anger the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The diplomat believes President Buhari should request Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Joy Ogwu, to explain why her office failed to identify the meeting as one of the key ones Nigeria should have attended at the ongoing summit.
“This is definitely a diplomatic blunder,” the diplomat said. “It portrayed us as an unserious country and the President should bring culpable officials to book rather than offer tepid excuses.”
Reuters was first to report the Nigeria’s non attendance at the meeting convened to principally discuss an issue affecting Nigeria the most.
“But while the radical Islamist militants operate out of Nigeria and U.N. aid chief Stephen O’Brien said that is where most people have been displaced by their attacks, Nigeria did not send anyone to the United Nations event,” Reuters reported. “U.S. and European Union diplomats said they were disappointed that Nigeria did not attend the event chaired by O’Brien on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.”