Security Council Press Statement on ISIL’s Destruction of Religious and Cultural Artifacts in Mosul


UN Logo - 1The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the ongoing barbaric terrorist acts in Iraq by ISIL [Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant] (Da’esh), including: the abduction of 100 Sunni tribesmen from outside Tikrit on February 25; the immolation of 45 Iraqis in Baghdadi on February 17; ongoing daily attacks targeting civilians in Baghdad; and the deliberate destruction of irreplaceable religious and cultural artifacts housed in the Mosul Museum and burning of thousands of books and rare manuscripts from the Mosul Library (SC/11437).
The members of the Security Council reiterated their condemnation of the destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria, particularly by ISIL, including targeted destruction of religious sites and objects, and noted with concern that ISIL and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida are generating income from engaging directly or indirectly in the looting and smuggling of cultural heritage items from archaeological sites, museums, libraries, archives, and other sites in Iraq and Syria, which is being used to support their recruitment efforts and strengthen their operational capability to organize and carry out terrorist attacks (UNSCR 2199).

The members of the Security Council stressed again that ISIL must be defeated and that the intolerance, violence, and hatred it espouses must be stamped out.  The members of the Council further emphasized that such continued acts of barbarism perpetrated by ISIL do not intimidate them, but rather stiffen their resolve and stressed that there has to be a common effort amongst Governments and institutions, including those in the region most affected, to counter ISIL, as the Council resolved in United Nations Security Council resolutions 2161 (2014), 2170 (2014) and 2199 (2015), and underscored the need for their full and immediate implementation by all member states. (SC/11625 and 11799)

The members of the Security Council reiterated that no act of violence or terrorism can reverse a path towards peace, democracy and reconstruction in Iraq, underpinned by the rule of law and respect for human rights, which is supported by the people and the Government of Iraq and the international community.  They reminded States that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee, and humanitarian law. (based on SC/11799)


Ki-moon condemns Boko Haram attacks against civilians in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria

Ban Ki-moonThe Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, reiterates his strong condemnation of the continuing indiscriminate and horrific attacks by Boko Haram against civilian populations in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.  The abduction and use of children, including as “suicide bombers”, is particularly abhorrent.
The Secretary-General is encouraged by the positive steps taken by the countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin, with the support of the African Union, towards operationalizing the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to counter the threat posed by Boko Haram in the sub-region. He calls on international partners to provide support to these regional efforts.     The Secretary-General urges the states involved to ensure that all measures taken to combat the terrorist threat of Boko Haram are conducted in line with international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law. He is concerned by the impact of combat operations on local populations in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria and calls on countries of the region to give the highest priority to the protection of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons, including by providing them with life-saving support. The United Nations is scaling up its humanitarian operations and increasing its human rights monitoring in the affected countries.   The Secretary-General is convinced that a military approach alone will not suffice to counter the Boko Haram insurgency. Only through a multi-dimensional approach that addresses legitimate grievances, past and current human rights violations, and root causes of the conflict, will we be able to effectively respond to the barbaric threat posed by Boko Haram to regional peace and security and to local populations.

UNAIDS hails signing of Nigeria’s Anti-Discrimination law

UNAIDS-logo-FFADFA3139-seeklogo_comAs the world commemorates the Zero Discrimination Day on Sunday 1st March 2015, UNAIDS expresses its full support of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s commitment to ending stigma and discrimination against people living with and affected by HIV.

I would like to thank the National Assembly for crafting the humanly sensitive bill and the President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the Anti-Discrimination law. This law is a big boost to improving Nigeria’s AIDS response because it gives back human rights and dignity to people living with or affected by HIV and ensures that the country ends the AIDS epidemic by 2030,” said the UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria and UNAIDS Focal Point for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Dr. Bilali Camara.

The HIV/AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act 2014 makes it illegal to discriminate against people based on their HIV status. Among other issues, it also prohibits any employer, individual or organization from requiring a person to take an HIV test as a precondition for employment or access to services.

It is hoped that the new law will create a more supportive environment, allowing people living with and affected by HIV to carry on their lives as normally as possible in the society and the work places.

More than three million people are living with HIV in Nigeria although the country has made great strides in its AIDS response in the past five years. The number of HIV infections in Nigeria declined by 35% and the country is now pursuing efforts to stop new infections altogether. The number of sites providing services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV increased from 675 in 2010 to 5,622 in 2013.

UNAIDS is working with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA)  and other  authorities to ensure that anyone living with HIV receives treatment, care and support services in dignity.

With this new Anti-Discrimination law, I am confident that Nigeria will be able to accelerate the AIDS response dramatically in the coming months. And as we, the human family, commemorate the Zero Discrimination Day 2015, I would like to urge religious and traditional leaders to add their trusted voices to the call for more compassion, tolerance and peace for people living with or affected by HIV in Nigeria,” Dr. Camara said.

Use social media wisely and positively – UNIC tells youths as Social Media Week Lagos holds

Lagos, 26 February 2015. Nigerian youths have been urged to use the various social media platforms wisely and positively to enhance their self-development and that of the society. ‘Your social media activities could add value to you or devalue you, use social media wisely and positively’, the National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun, had told an audience of predominantly youths during the Social Media Week Lagos.

Oluseyi Soremekun addresses the audience

Oluseyi Soremekun addresses the audience

The Social Media Week Lagos organized by UNIC and a Non-Governmental Organisation, DoTheDream Initiative, was held at the Library Auditorium of the UN Information Centre (UNIC) Ikoyi Lagos.

The National Information Officer warned the youths to be careful of what they do in the cyber space, explaining that from their social media posts, comments and tweets, opinions could be formed about their character and disposition to issues and people.

‘You are what you like on Facebook; your tweets mirror your personality and what you stand for; your social media posts are reflections of your character,’ Soremekun explained, ‘therefore, keep your activities clean and positive as you are accountable for your action and must be ready to bear the consequences of your actions.’

Facilitators of the programmes

Facilitators of the programmes

A group photograph of some of the participants

A group photograph of some of the participants

The National Information Officer who spoke on ‘Using Social media wisely’, also urged the youths to always cross-checked their contents very well before posting for public view. He added that contents, including photographs and videos that were not created by them should be credited to the copyright owners.

In his presentation on ‘Social media, the Game changer’, a social media expert and family therapist, Olutayo Olushola, underscored the capability of the social media to transform businesses and lives. He charged the youths to always nurture positive thoughts and harness the power of social networking to transform lives.

The Founder and Director of Programmes of DoTheDream Initiative, Olutayo Olumadewa had earlier welcomed the participants and enjoined them to make the best use of the opportunity to learn more about optimizing the benefits of the social media.

Seven mother languages spoken as UNIC Lagos hosts tweeter and Facebook chats to observe Mother Language Day

Facebook screen shotIt was simply exciting and extremely instructive of the diversity of languages and cultures as seven different mother languages were used by hundreds of UNIC Lagos Tweeter followers and Facebook friends during a tweet chat and Facebook engagement sessions to mark the International Mother Language Day.

On Saturday, 21 February 2015, UNIC Lagos, on its Facebook page and through its Twitter handle, had posed these questions: ‘Can u speak/write ur mother language? Then translate ‘Mother Language matters’ to ur mother tongue & mention d language’ and ‘What is ‘Mother language matters’ in your mother tongue? Tell us d translation and the name of your mother language.’

Responding, hundreds of friends and followers replied by translating ‘Mother language matters’ in seven different mother languages which included Yoruba, Fulfulde and Igbo (Nigeria); Luganda and Runyankole/Rukiga (Uganda); Telegu (India) and Arabic.

In addition to her starslated text, a UNIC Lagos Facebook friend, Shambhavi V.Murthy Gopalkrishna, added, ‘My Mother tongue is important to me.’

The observance of the 2015 International Mother Language Day on the social media enhanced appreciation of mother language and increased awareness of diversity of peoples and tongues.

Airtel Partners UNAIDS to tackle mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Nigeria

MDG6_July copyLagos, 18 February 2015 — The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, have partnered to support the National Agency for the Control of AIDS in an initiative to ensure that no child is born with HIV in Nigeria.

The UNAIDS and Airtel partnership sealed through a Memorandum of Understanding signed today will allow the Telco’s subscribers to benefit from information on how and where to access prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services in Nigeria. The information shall be disseminated through innovative and regular text messages.

In July 2011, a Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive was launched at the United Nations General Assembly Meeting on AIDS. On its part, Nigeria unveiled a National Operational Plan in 2014 focused on eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and accelerating the implementation of similar efforts in the country.

The UNAIDS partnership with Airtel Nigeria bolsters the Telco’s existing partnership with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), other government departments and the Civil Society to boost Nigeria’s efforts at eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

In 2013, Nigeria represented 22 per cent of the global burden of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, although new scientific evidence indicates the target to have zero new HIV infections among children is achievable.

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, said the partnership will provide Airtel with a new opportunity to deepen its commitment to touching the lives of Nigerians positively, especially in the area of quality healthcare services delivery.


At Airtel, we have a track record of supporting and empowering young people, who are the future leaders of our country. We have adopted and built schools for children; provided several interventions in the area of healthcare for hundreds of kids while our Touching Lives programme has even offered us a more elaborate platform to reach and connect with underprivileged children. Indeed, Airtel is intensely interested in impacting society positively as this underscores our corporate philosophy of becoming the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians,” Segun Ogunsanya, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria.

“NACA has worked in strong partnership with Airtel since 2005. The partnership commencing today is a new extension of the valued support that UNAIDS and Airtel are providing to the HIV and AIDS response in Nigeria. Airtel’s decision to invest in keeping more children and mothers healthy is a much welcome intervention.”Prof. John Idoko, Director General, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS

“Eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV and keeping their mother alive do not only improve the wellbeing of children and their mothers. They impact positively on the general maternal and child survival.”Dr. Bilali Camara, UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria and the UNAIDS Focal Point for the ECOWAS


World Radio Day: There’s need to hear voices of young women and men – Ki-moon

UNIC National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun shares the SG's message

UNIC National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun shares the SG’s message

Seyi in the studios

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has observed that ‘as the international community shapes new sustainable development goals and a new global agreement on climate change, we need to hear the voices of young women and men loudly, strongly and urgently.’

This observation was part of his message on

L-R: Ayo Arogundade, Bukola Ajiboye and Oluseyi Soremekun after the programme

L-R: Ayo Arogundade, Bukola Ajiboye and Oluseyi Soremekun after the programme

World Radio Day shared by the National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Oluseyi Soremekun during a live discussion on Radio Continental 102.3 FM Lagos. The discussion which centred on ‘Youth and Radio’, involved secondary school students and experienced but young broadcasters.

‘This year’s observance of World Radio Day’, the Secretary General said further, ‘highlights the importance of radio to the world’s 1.8 billion young women and men.

Responding to a question on the reason for the World Radio Day, Soremekun explained that it was about celebrating radio, why we love it and need it more than ever before. He added that World Radio Day was also meant to remember the unique power of radio to touch lives and to strengthen the voices of youths on radio.

Anchored by an ace broadcaster, Bukola Ajiboye, the live radio programme also featured a guest broadcaster, Ayo Arogundade and generated quite a number of feedbacks from listeners who tweeted and called in on phone to contribute.

UNIC will continue to partner Police and CSOs to ensure peaceful elections – NIO

The National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun, has assured of the Centre’s continued collaboration with the police authorities, the Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) and other key stakeholders for the success of the democratic process, especially the March 2015 general elections in Nigeria.

Nat'l Info. Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun addresses the audience

Nat’l Info. Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun addresses the audience

He gave this assurance while presiding over a roundtable dialogue between the Lagos State Police Command and the leadership of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) from all the local government areas and development councils in Lagos State. The dialogue which centred on improving police and youth relationship for a violence-free elections in Nigeria, also had in attendance, representatives of NYCN affiliate organisations.Group foto

At the end of the parley, the Lagos State Command represented by the Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ken Nwosu reiterated its commitment to maintenance of law and order and protection of lives and property during the elections and pledged to assist the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in ensuring violence-free elections in Lagos State.

He urged youth leaders to caution their members against any act that is capable of breaching public peace, insisting that the police would remain neutral in the discharge of their duties.PPRO speaks

While acknowledging the efforts of the police in maintaining law and order in Lagos State, the leader of the youth delegation who is also the South-West Coordinator of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Mr Kayode Odunuga, also called on the police to exercise restraints when dealing with youths during the elections.

In his contribution, the Executive Director of African Youth Initiative for Crime Prevention (AYICRIP), Mr Chris Ibe urged the youth and the police to seize the opportunity of the dialogue to foster a cordial relationship that would transcend the period of the elections.

A communique was drafted, adopted and issued at the end of the meeting.

Human Rights issues echo as Covenant University students visit UNIC

Oluseyi Soremekun presents UN publications

Oluseyi Soremekun presents UN publications

Tolerance, intercultural dialogue and human rights issues formed the core of discussion at the interactive session with students and faculty members of Covenant University Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria during their recent visit to the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos. The delegation comprising of 97 students and three faculty members, was of the Department of Political Science and International Relations of the university.
Oluseyi Soremekun explains the UN Emblem

Oluseyi Soremekun explains the UN Emblem

Following his presentation on ‘United Nations works for you’, the screening of the film, ‘UN4U’ and ‘The Path to Nazi Genocide’, the National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, during the ensuing interactive session, stressed the need for ethno-religious tolerance as everyone, irrespective of religious affiliation and ethnic origin, was born a human being and therefore, entitled to fundamental human rights.
He urged the students to be agents of peace by respecting others’ views on issues and promoting dialogue and tolerance every time and all the time.
Drawing inferences from the films and other presentations, Ms Skye Ohaneze of the Department of International Relations, noted the widespread racial discrimination and hatred that prevailed under the Nazis and underscored the importance of the United Nations efforts in promoting human rights and global peace and security. She requested for copies of the films and the presentation.
A cross-section of Covenant University students

A cross-section of Covenant University students

In his remarks, a faculty member of the institution, Dr Chidozie Felix Chidozie, noted that UNIC had added to their knowledge of the UN and increased their understanding of certain global issues. He thanked the Centre for the presentations and for the UN publications given to the students and the school. Dr Chidozie later presented to UNIC, some publications of the department and that of the University.
A group photograph

A group photograph

Reciprocating, the National Information Officer also presented to the University, copies of the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’; ‘The United Nations Charter’; ‘60 ways the UN makes a difference’; Basic Facts about the United Nations 2014’; Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action – 20 years working for your rights’ ; ‘End Poverty 2015 – MDGs’ and a Calendar of UN Observances.

Ki-moon speaks on elections postponement, urges INEC to ensure eligible Nigerians including IDPs vote in the coming elections

Ban Ki-moonThe UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has urged the Nigeria’s electoral authorities, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to take all necessary measures, such as the rapid distribution of the remaining Permanent Voter Cards, to enable all eligible citizens, including those displaced, to exercise their right to vote in a timely manner. This is imperative for ensuring a credible, free and transparent election. He said this while noting the decision of the Nigerian Independent Electoral Commission to postpone the general elections, initially scheduled for 14 February 2015.

On 7 February 2015, the Secretary-General spoke by phone to President Goodluck Jonathan. Earlier in the week, on 2 February 2015, the Secretary-General also spoke to opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari.

In his conversations, the Secretary-General encouraged both President Jonathan and opposition candidate Buhari to respect the Abuja Accord they willingly adopted and which commits them to non-violence, peace and tolerance during the elections.

He looks to Nigeria’s authorities to uphold their commitment to ensure a violence-free election and put in place adequate security measures so that citizens across the country are able to exercise their civic duty safely and without fear.

The Secretary-General hopes that the forthcoming elections will meet the high expectations of the Nigerian people and the international community. The successful conduct of these polls would strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and enable the country to continue to play a leading role in the promotion of regional peace and security.