The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has hailed the United Nations (UN) for its commitment to world peace and security, eradication of poverty, and building coalition to address challenges of social and economic development.
Obaseki said this on the occasion of the commemoration of the International Human Solidarity Day marked by the United Nations on December 20, each year.
He said that the day is particularly important because its principle under-girds the philosophy of the United Nations, which has worked over the years to strengthen and sustain world peace and security.
According to him, “the need for solidarity across the globe in the propagation of an equitable society to advance ideals of social justice and engender development has been the bedrock of the UN. Much as there is a call for global solidarity and cooperation, there ought to be solidarity in-country among various agencies in society to deepen the conversation on development.
“As a day dedicated to the promotion of unity in diversity, it affords us the opportunity to reflect on the ideals that bind us all together as partners in progress in the quest for development for our people. For us in Edo State, the need to accommodate all others in the quest for development is even more urgent because we are known to have sought and promoted cordial relations among our people and neighbours from apogee of the Benin Empire to this time,” he said.
He, however, called on world leaders to respect their commitments to international agreements, as such would not only strengthen global action to actualise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but bequeath their citizens opportunities to tap from the pool of development-focused initiatives for economic growth.
He urged civil society groups to strengthen the coalition to drive policy reforms and devise new initiatives that would help in eradicating poverty and improving the livelihood of vulnerable populations across the state and the country.
“Much as government is creating the environment for the people to realise their potential, civil society groups are encouraged to strengthen their push for policy reforms that will give the people better opportunities for participation in economic and social development,” he said.
According to him, “Edo State has a number of development-focused programmes such as the SEEFOR and other UN-backed intervention projects. We believe that it is as a result of the solidarity we seek that we are able to maximise the gains from these projects.”
The United Nations General Assembly with the 60/209 Resolution on 22 December 2005, identified solidarity as one of the fundamental and universal values that “should underlie relations between peoples in the Twenty-first century, and in that regard decided to proclaim 20 December of each year International Human Solidarity Day.”
This culminated in a resolution that set up a trust fund of the United Nations Development Programme with an objective to eradicate poverty and promote human and social development in developing countries, in particular among the poorest segments of their populations.