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Terrorism: What VP Osinbajo Told UN Security Council To Do

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has asked the United Nations Security Council to collaborate with African countries to eradicate terrorism from the continent.

He said African countries faced severe threat of terrorism arising from the encroachment of global terror groups and their franchises into Africa. The council has 15 members.

Speaking virtually on Friday while delivering his special address at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Osinbajo said, “It is imperative for the international community to make more robust interventions to clear terrorists from Africa just as it did in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

“The United Nations Security Council must find unanimity in working with and assisting African countries to eradicate the menace of terrorism on the continent once and for all.”

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The vice-president was chosen to deliver one of the 12 Special Addresses at this year’s event. About 25 Heads of State and Government have featured at the virtual forum since Monday.

The 2022 virtual edition of the forum features a mix of visionary “state of the world” special addresses and ambitious high-level leadership panels focusing on critical collective challenges, among others.

The vice-president also called for a waiver on intellectual property rights to allow African countries to produce Covid-19 vaccines, to contain the spread of the virus and improve the protection of Africans.

This was as he said the defunding of oil and gas projects by multilateral finance institutions would have consequences on African economies and ultimately impede the process of phasing out more polluting fuels such as coal, diesel and others.

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Osinbajo lamented that less than 10 per cent of African countries had vaccinated 40 per cent of their population, saying vaccination remained essential because of the emergence of variants that could be more dangerous than Omicron.

He added, “It has proven impossible for individual countries to contain the virus, as long as there are outbreaks in other parts of the world. There are also issues around African countries being able to produce vaccines. That is entirely possible with cooperation, especially around intellectual property issues.

We have to look at issues around patent rights, intellectual property rights and exclusivity rights especially if we will improve the chances of African countries manufacturing vaccines. We have to look at relaxing those rights. Patent and intellectual property waivers will be important. No one seems to be making much progress on that.

“We can’t really talk about African countries producing their own vaccines if we don’t address those important structural problems.”

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Speaking on climate change and Africa’s energy needs, Osinbajo called for continued investments in gas projects, saying gas remained a crucial transition fuel in Africa.

He added, “Again, I think President Buhari’s affirmation of our commitment to net zero emissions by 2030 is essential. Not only does it show the commitment of Africa’s largest economy, but also points out the need for global cooperation.

For many African countries, especially the gas-rich countries, one of the biggest shocks is the notion that fossil fuels, including gas, should be defunded, especially by international financial institutions. We think gas as a transition fuel is absolutely crucial, not just for effective transition but also for our economies.

“We are faced with two challenges, the climate change challenge and economic development. And so for us, gas as a transition fuel is the only pathway. So this is why for us, we must be able to continue to attract gas investments and demand that we use gas for purposes of being able to have to transit from some of the more hazardous fuels, such as coal, and some of the heavy fuels, oil and all of that. Unless we are assisted in ensuring this, we may suffer not just from climate change but more importantly in economic development.”

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