The Director of the United Nations information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Mr. Ronald Kayanja has commended Nigeria for its role as a troop contributing country to UN peace operations around the world since the 1960s. Mr. Kayanja was presenting a lecture on the “United Nations Peace Operations: Organisation and Roles” at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Jaji, Kaduna, Northern Nigeria on 14 May 2015.
“As at 31 March 2015, Nigeria had about 3,000 serving officers in UN peacekeeping operations around the world. Currently Nigeria is the 6th largest troop contributor to UN peace operations in Africa and the 10th largest in the world,” he noted. “The United Nations is grateful to Nigeria for its continued support to UN peace efforts.”
The UNIC Director informed the Officers of the Nigerian Military that this year the UN marks 70 years of carrying out its mandate to maintain international peace and security. He explained that the UN has seven main avenues to promoting international peace which include preventive diplomacy; peace making; peacekeeping; peace enforcement; peace building; counter terrorism and disarmament. “Since its establishment, the UN has deployed 69 peacekeeping operations around the world. Currently, there are 16 ongoing peacekeeping operations and 11 political and peacebuilding operations around the world,” Mr. Kayanja said.
Mr. Kayanja also explained that the development, human rights and humanitarian work of the United Nations system helps to deal with underlying factors responsible for causing conflict and instability. In Nigeria the UN agencies, funds and programmes are focusing on good governance; social capital development; equitable and sustainable economic growth; human security and risk management.
Following the Lecture the participants engaged the UNIC Director in a discussion which touched on counter terrorism and the UN support to Nigeria, the duration of peace operations, influence of member states to UN initiatives and issues of human rights.
The UNIC Director was received at the Nigerian Armed Forces Command and Staff College by the Commandant AVM JC Ifemeje. He thanked Mr. Kayanja for making the presentation to the Officers of the Nigerian Military which will go a long way to enable them understand how the United Nations works, especially in the context of peace operations.
Following the lecture, the UNIC Director held a meeting with the Commandant of the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria, Major-General Birigeni with whom they discussed the commemoration of 70 years of the United Nations.