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DSG/SM/1469
1 October 2020

Deputy Secretary-General, in Message on Nigeria’s Sixtieth Anniversary, Pledges United Nations Support for Quest to Realize Sustainable Development Goals

Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary‑General Amina Mohammed’s video message on the occasion of the Nigeria 60:  “Unlocking the Diamonds! The Global Virtual Commemoration”, today:

Happy birthday, Nigeria!  Happy birthday, Mr. President.

We attain 60 years facing common enemies:  terrorism and violent extremism; climate insecurity; populism and threats to multilateralism itself.  Sixty years ago the vision of our leaders saw a Nigeria freed to pursue its aspirations of a peaceful, prosperous people banded by the strength of our diversity.  Our rich culture, value and land had the potential to unlock the wealth of our nations, our people.  Over the past six decades we have traveled through many trials and tribulations.

Today should be a day of deep appreciation, where individually and collectively we ask what our contributions have been to this great nation, where we have fallen short and how we will move forward better able to face any challenges and unlock the “diamonds”.

My humble reflection is the missed opportunity of investing in our local level of Government, where communities and our people, the diamonds in the rough, reside.  My hope is that we will find it in ourselves to rise up against what divides us and look for the strands in the fabric of Nigeria that bind us together, that we find the wisdom and courage to embark upon a new journey of discovery, that will see the young people of this great nation shape its future, that we may all rise to our aspirations in peace, unity and dignity and respect for each other, leaving no one behind.

COVID-19 has dealt the world a terrible blow ‑ 1 million lost lives ‑ but it has given us the opportunity to come together as an international community to combat the pandemic, save lives and our economies.  Nigeria at sixty is a sparkling opportunity to take the diamonds in the rough and make them shine.  The United Nations will continue to accompany Nigeria in its quest to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and a future deserved by all Nigerians.

For information media. Not an official record.