Abuja, Nigeria

27 February 2014

Secretary-General's message to event marking the Centenary of the Amalgamation of Nigeria [delivered by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)]

I thank His Excellency President Goodluck Jonathan for inviting me to participate in this historic celebration marking one hundred years of Nigeria’s amalgamation. 

I congratulate the Government and people of Nigeria on this milestone. 

The amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectoratesresulted in the richness and diversity that characterize the people of this beautiful country.  Together, the peoples of the North and South have made Nigeria a leading actor on the regional and global stage. 

Nigeria is widely recognized for its commitment to nation-building and democratization, including through its continuing efforts to end poverty, build a vibrant economy, fight corruption and promote sustainable development. 

I also pay tribute to Nigeria for its strong commitment to collective security under the United Nations Charter, including through its peacekeeping and preventive diplomacy roles. Its contributions to regional and United Nations peacekeeping efforts has been greatly appreciated.  Many countries in the West Africa sub-region, individually or in the context of the Economic Community of West African States, have been the beneficiaries of the fraternal support provided by successive governments of Nigeria. Moreover, the country’s election for a two-year term as a member of the Security Council in 2014 and 2015, in conjunction with its active roles in numerous United Nations bodies and fora, affords it the additional opportunity to make valuable contributions to regional and global peace and security efforts. 

I take this opportunity to reaffirm that the United Nations will continue to collaborate with Nigeria in embracing the opportunities and confronting the challenges of the next century. We especially look forward to accompanying the Government of Nigeria in enhancing peace and security in the sub-region, including by addressing the issues of terrorism, organized crime and piracy. The United Nations will continue to support the country’s efforts in the promotion and protection of human rights for all Nigerians in line with international legal standards

I deeply appreciate Nigeria’s multi-faceted partnership with the United Nations and its engagement with the rest of the world as a partner in formulating a global development agenda that will yield sustainable dividends of peace, security and stability.  I wish Nigeria every success as it moves into the second centenary.