11 May 2022

Activities of Secretary-General in Nigeria, 3-4 May

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Maiduguri, Nigeria, from Niger on 3 May.  He visited a site hosting displaced men, women and children and Bulumkutu transit centre, supported by the UN and providing services for children formerly associated with armed groups.

In remarks to the press later in the day, he said that he found in Borno a state of hope, adding that he was impressed to see that the policy applied here recognizes that we don’t fight terrorism only by military means.

The Secretary-General spent his final day in Abuja, Nigeria, where he had a series of meetings with civil society and the diplomatic community, as well as United Nations colleagues.

The Secretary-General took part in a wreath-laying ceremony to honour the memory of 23 United Nations employees and civilians who died in the 2011 terrorist attack on UN House there.  See Press Release SG/SM/21257.

He also had a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.  In his remarks to the press after the meeting, the Secretary-General reiterated the importance of the partnership between Nigeria and the United Nations, adding that the country is a pillar of continental and global cooperation.

Turning to the impact of the war in Ukraine on the African continent, the Secretary-General said the conflict is only making things worse, setting in motion a three-dimensional crisis that is devastating global food, energy and financial systems for the developing world.

Addressing the issue of global food security, he said that he is determined to do everything to facilitate a dialogue that can help bring back the agricultural production of Ukraine and the food and fertilizer production of the Russian Federation and Belarus into world markets, despite the war.

Earlier in the day, the Secretary-General had a meeting with Jean-Claude Brou, the President of the Commission of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS).  They discussed ECOWAS’ efforts to address a wide range of governance and security challenges in the subregion, including the political transitions in Guinea, Mali and Burkina Faso.  The Secretary-General reiterated the United Nations’ support for the work of ECOWAS.

Later that night, the Secretary-General returned to New York.

For information media. Not an official record.