Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has called on world leaders to emulate values of former South African President, Nelson Mandela, by prioritising dignity in their quest to ensure just, peaceful and inclusive governance to all.
Buhari, who spoke at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit in New York, said the centenary celebration of Mandela was an opportunity for the leaders to rededicate themselves to the service of humanity by championing democracy, conflict resolution, disarmament, mutual respect, reconciliation, gender equality and the fight against poverty.
The Nigerian president, who urged world leaders to look beyond diverse challenges in climate change, terrorism, desertification, poverty, arms trafficking and extremism, opined that hope is guaranteed if inspiration is drawn from Mandela whose life symbolized uncommon humility, compassion, courage and forgiveness.
“It is within this ethos of the great Mandela that we place this declaration. We must, therefore, make concerted efforts to build a just, peaceful, prosperous and inclusive and fair world and revert to the values for which Nelson Mandela stood by placing human dignity at the centre of our action.”
“There is no doubt that in the quest to attain peace and development, the world will draw inspiration from the likes of Nelson Mandela.”
Buhari who affirmed that the United Nations is built on pillars of peace and security, development and human rights, urged world leaders to embrace the principles in their countries for sustainable development.
“There can be no peace without sustainable development and no sustainable development without peace and full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.”
President Buhari stated that “Nigeria is committed to the promotion and protection of the rights of all women as well as providing an enabling environment for them to realize their full potentials.”
He further declared: “We declare that racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance present the very opposite of the noble purpose of the United Nations.
“We recognize that tolerance of cultural, ethnic, racial, religious diversities are essential for lasting peace, understanding and friendship among peoples, nations, cultures and individuals.”
At the end of the summit, representatives of all 100 Heads of State and Government, Ministers, Member States and representatives of civil society declared their commitment to increasing efforts to build a just, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive, and fair world, as they paid tribute to Mandela’s celebrated qualities and service to humanity.