From the podium of the General Assembly, Niger – victim of the quadruple scourge of climate change, migration, poverty and terrorism – gave a ringing endorsement of the United Nations on Saturday as the “irreplaceable” Organization capable of resolving these and a host of other problems.
“My country gives the choice spot to the multilateralism and federating role of the UN,” Foreign Minister Kalla Ankourao told the Assembly’s annual general debate on its fifth day.
He denounced the “abject practice” of human trafficking involving African migrants in the sub-Saharan Sahel region of which Niger is part and welcomed the meeting in Morocco in November to launch the Global Pact on Migration that seeks international cooperation for a structure process. “As the prime example of a transit country, Niger will be there,” he said.
He stressed that equal imperative of global cooperation to address climate change, which threatens to expand the desertification of already arid Niger and worsen the already grinding poverty of its people.
As for terrorism and the activities of Boko Haram in the country’s northern Lake Chad area, Mr. Ankourao highlighted the importance of the G5 Sahel, a military task force comprising Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger to fight terrorism in sub-Sahara, noting the need provide a reliable source of international funding beyond the one year agreed at a meeting in Brussels in February.
“The major concern of this force is to make its means of action permanent,” he stressed
He also noted that the challenge in the region has become much more a socio-economic than one of security.