President Bola Tinubu on Monday called for a united front against the proliferation of arms and light weapons in Africa.

Expressing concern over the rising threat of terrorism, insurgency and military intrusions in governance across Africa, particularly in West Africa, Tinubu pressed the African Union and the United Nations to devise innovative strategies to halt the flow of arms and light weapons into the continent.

The President stated this when he declared open a conference for dialogue in Abuja themed ‘The Africa we want and the UN we need.’

He said, “As part of our collective response to these challenges which have grave global implications, may I urge the participants to find innovative and cost-effective strategies by which the African Union would collaborate with the United Nations and the international community to stem the tide of the proliferation of arms and light weapons into Africa, end terrorism and resurgent insurgency and to check the retrogressive return of the military in governance in Africa.”

Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, the President commended the efforts of the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, and the Stimson Centre for organising the high-level Regional Dialogue, highlighting the global call for reform and democratisation of the UN System.

“The wide support by many reputable international Civil Society organisations and research institutions…speaks the minds of honest and progressive global citizens,” he noted, emphasising the collective desire to improve global governance through multilateralism.

The President also acknowledged the severe socio-economic, environmental, and political challenges facing many African countries, making it difficult for them to achieve their development goals.

He agreed that African perspectives and innovative priorities need to be included in policy debates to enhance the performance of global institutions in addressing sustainable development, peace and security, climate governance, and human rights.

Highlighting the establishment of a standing Network of African think tanks, President Tinubu praised the initiative as a visionary move to ensure African voices are heard in resolving global governance challenges.

He also reiterated his commitment to negotiating the peaceful return of democratic governance in ECOWAS member states affected by military interventions.

In closing, President Tinubu officially declared the conference open, wishing participants fruitful deliberations.

On his part, the former Chief of Staff to ex-President Muhammadu Buhari and founder/chairman of the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy, and Development, Ibrahim Gambari, said Africans must be vocal advocates for causes that concern them.

“As Africans, we must be our champions and very vocal advocates. All Africans must desire for each other a continent that is peaceful, secure, united, and prosperous.

“We must promote constitutionalism and respect for human rights and human dignity. These we must reach a consensus on as our non-negotiables and upon which all else will be built,” said Gambari.

The ace diplomat called for reforms in the UN saying, “Our position for reform of the UN Security Council is to evolve into a body that is not paralysed by the misuse of vetoes as demonstrated in the wars in Ukraine and Gaza.

“It must also be a more inclusive body by making changes to the configuration of both permanent and non-permanent member states, and more importantly, Africa deserves two permanent seats at the council.

“The International Multilateral Institutions, especially the Bretton Woods institutions, should play a stronger role as an effective partner, understanding where we are in the development lifecycle while promoting trade facilitation, efficient harnessing, and maximisation of Africa’s resources for its economic growth and benefit.”

Gambari argued that the governance of these multilateral institutions must reflect effective African participation and thus responsiveness to its needs.

“Africa cannot be asked to defend that in which it did not participate in its definition and design,” he opined.

The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said a prime goal of the Commission’s Agenda 2063 is to completely change the continent.

He blamed Africa’s failure to deepen democracy and collective security as a major impediment to achieving sustainable development and progress.

Present/represented at the forum were a former President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Donald Kaberuka; Chairperson, African Union Commission, Mousa Faki Mahamat; Chairman, Dangote Group and Representative of the African Business Group, Aliko Dangote; Founder and Chairman, Savannah Centre, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, amongst others.

Back To Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap