Ukraine: ‘Nigeria not un­der EU, Western world’

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL - By Romoke W. Ah­mad

The For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Am­bas­sador Aminu Wali and the Nigeria per­ma­nent rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the United Na­tions Prof. Joy Ogwu said Nigeria is against an­nex­a­tion of Crimea by Rus­sia not as re­sult of pres­sure from the Euro­pean Union or any Western coun­try.

They both gave this ex­pla­na­tion dur­ing their pre­sen­ta­tion at the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil and gen­eral as­sem­bly over the on­go­ing cri­sis be­tween Ukraine and Rus­sia.

The United Na­tions Gen­eral As­sem­bly (UNGA) last week con­sid­ered a Res­o­lu­tion on the con­flict on the sit­u­a­tion in Ukraine. This fol­lowed the dead­lock at the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil where an ear­lier Res­o­lu­tion was blocked by the Rus­sian Veto and ab­sten­tion by China.

The UN reaf­firmed the para­mount im­por­tance of the UN Char­ter as the bed rock as the pro­mo­tion of the rule of Law in­clud­ing the im­per­a­tive to up­hold the prin­ci­ples of the UN Char­ter par­tic­u­larly Ar­ti­cle 2 as well as other rel­e­vant pro­vi­sions of In­ter­na­tional Law.

Wali said Nigeria’s vote has been mis­un­der­stood as if it arose from the pres­sure and the di­rec­tion of the Euro­pean Union (EU) and other Western Pow­ers adding that noth­ing can be fur­ther from the truth as ex­plained by the Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Nigeria to the United Na­tions, Pro­fes­sor (Mrs) Joy Ogwu and him­self.

“Nigeria voted in favour of prin­ci­ples and in de­fence of its na­tional in­ter­est. What was at stake was some of the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples on which the UN is based as con­tained in the Char­ter of the global body. Re­spect for the ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of coun­tries and re­course to ne­go­ti­a­tions and peace­ful di­a­logue in the res­o­lu­tion of con­flicts are among the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of the UN to which Nigeria strongly sub­scribe. This was what Nigeria voted for,’ the min­is­ter said.

He how­ever noted that what is more im­por­tant to Nigeria as a multi-re­li­gious, multi- eth­nic, and plu­ral­ist so­ci­ety, is re­spect for ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity, peace and unity of the coun­try as a mat­ter of core na­tional in­ter­est. Adding that that was why Nigeria could not have voted in favour of any at­tempt to dis­mem­ber any mem­ber state of the UN, es­pe­cially when the is­sues in dis­pute have not been re­solved am­i­ca­bly.

“It is our con­sid­ered view that change of ex­ist­ing borders, when they do oc­cur, must arise from peace­ful ne­go­ti­a­tions in a process that is open, fair, and trans­par­ent; de­void of ex­ter­nal in­flu­ences. Any­thing short of this is an open in­vi­ta­tion to in­ter­na­tional an­ar­chy,” Wali said.

Wali said those who hold the view that Nigeria voted based on pres­sure from Western Pow­ers and EU, have con­ve­niently ig­nored the time tested ax­iom that for­eign pol­icy de­ci­sion mak­ing must re­flect the na­tional in­ter­est. In the process of up­hold­ing and re­spect­ing ones na­tional in­ter­est, there could be co­in­ci­dence of views and po­si­tions of coun­tries or group of coun­tries.

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