President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in New York called on developed societies to help Africa address the challenges confronting its people.
He made the appeal while addressing the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA74).
Buhari said the theme of meeting: “Galvanising multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion” called for collective action which will benefit national and global interests.
He said, “We must admit that as the world grows richer, there are regrettable signals in the World Economic and Political Order. Millions in Africa and around the world remain in abject poverty.
“Furthermore, we are witnessing a backlash against multilateralism in the shape of rising tide of racism, xenophobia, resurgent nationalism, populism and tendencies towards protectionism and unilateralism. The pristine principles of the United Nations appear threatened.
“A developed Africa will not be antagonistic to industrialised countries but will become friends and partners in prosperity, security and development. A prosperous Africa will mean greater prosperity for the rest of the world. A poor Africa will be a drag on the rest of the world. Is this what the international community wants?” he asked.
“Africa charges you with the singular task of initiating the effort we are calling for. The United Nations has in place processes for promoting collective action to combat global threats. No threat is more potent than poverty and exclusion.
“They are the foul source from which common criminality, insurgency, cross-border crimes, human trafficking and its terrible consequences draw their inspiration,” he said.
President Buhari, who said poverty in all its manifestations remained one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, stressed that its eradication is an indispensable requirement for achieving sustainable development.
He said Nigeria had, in this regard, developed a National Social Investment Programme – a pro-poor scheme that targets the poorest and most vulnerable households in the country.