It was all fun and fanfare at the weekend as the All Nigeria United Nations Students’ Association (ANUNSA) and the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos marked the United Nations 70th anniversary with a variety of activities which included a symposium, children fashion parade and cultural dances.
The programme which was a continuation of a series of activities marking UN@70 in Nigeria, was held at the Library Auditorium of the UNIC Lagos and attended by over 175 people including students from universities, high schools, and NGO representatives. Breaking the monotony of speeches were children fashion parade and cultural dances by students of Santa Isabel Montessori schools, Ejigbo Lagos; and a choreographic display by the students of Soleil High School Aguda Lagos.
Inspired by the UN@70 message of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja noted that the United Nations could look back on a proud record of working with many partners to dismantle colonialism, defeat deadly diseases, triumph over apartheid, advance international law, keep the peace in troubled areas and articulate a body of treaties to safeguard every person’s birth-right to freedom, equality and dignity.
‘Every day, the United Nations makes a positive difference for millions of people: vaccinating children; distributing food aid; sheltering refugees; deploying peacekeepers; protecting the environment; seeking the peaceful resolution of disputes and supporting democratic elections, gender equality, human rights and the rule of law,’ Mr Kayanja added.
Speaking on ’70 ways the UN is making a difference in Nigeria’, the National Information Officer of UNIC Lagos, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun stressed the support of the United Nations system to the government of Nigeria in maintaining peace and security as well as making and consolidating peace in the country.
He cited the contributions of the UN to the peaceful 2015 general elections; the support in drafting a peace architecture for the country as well as several projects of the UN Counter-terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) which included de-radicalisation of youth; countering the appeal of violence amongst youth as well as promoting peace and intercultural dialogue through education.
In her remarks, the President of ANUNSA, Ms Ukoha Nnenna Kalu disclosed that chapters of ANUNSA in Universities and Polytechnics across the country would still organise events on UN”70 before the end of the year.