Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has urged the United Nations (UN) to take a more proactive stance in addressing poverty and security challenges in his African nation and combat illicit resource extraction. This call was made during a meeting between Tinubu and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, as stated by Tinubu’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale.
Tinubu according to Reuters, emphasised the detrimental impact of malign actors engaging in illegal activities such as smuggling resources and weapons, which exploit Africa’s abundant mineral wealth and Nigerian President Urges UN Action Against Illicit Resource Extraction and Poverty the region.
He expressed concern about “scavengers” plundering the land through illegal mining and illicitly transporting precious resources like gold to developed economies through clandestine and violent means. Tinubu affirmed his commitment to confronting this issue and called for effective collaboration with the U.N.
Tinubu called upon the United Nations to shift from being primarily a global discussion platform to becoming a proactive coordination center, underscoring the urgency of addressing both poverty and security challenges in Africa.
In response, Secretary-General Guterres acknowledged the imperative for comprehensive reform within the U.N. to address institutional shortcomings and enhance the decision-making power of developing nations. He emphasized the need for the U.N. to evolve to better represent the contemporary global landscape.
During his speech at the U.N. General Assembly earlier in the week, Tinubu, who also serves as the chair of the West African bloc ECOWAS, strongly criticized the military coups that have recently swept through West Africa and pledged support for efforts to restore constitutional order in Niger.