As part of activities to mark the 2022 United Nations (UN) day, UN envoys in Nigeria have embarked on a health walk to promote peace.
The walk which had in attendance employees of the UN and their families held on Saturday, October 22, 2022 in Abuja.
Speaking on behalf of the UN, the Country Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Walter Mulombo, said: “Today, we are kick-starting the celebration of the United Nations Day, which falls every year on the 24th of October”.
Mulombo explained that the theme of the day was, “The UN and Nigeria: partnership for peace, prosperity and sustainable development”.
He informed that the walk was an advance event to mark, “the 77th anniversary of the United Nations system, which was established in the aftermath of the second world war, as a collective commitment for member States to avoid war and the consequences that we saw during the second world war.
“It is an organization established to put mechanisms in place for lasting peace, solidarity and mutual cooperation so that all the nations will avoid what we saw in the second world war. We are starting today with this walk, and on Monday, we will have exhibitions about different UN agencies activities, achievements, and what we are doing to support Nigeria. Same is happening all over the world”.
The Health expert added that the COVID-19 pandemic had shown us that if people continue to consider health as a consumption good, then we miss the point:
“Even during the Millennium Development era, health was posted as a prerequisite, means and outcome.
“If we don’t position health in our policies, strategies and interventions, as a requirement for all developmental efforts, then we are likely to face the same thing we saw during COVID-19 pandemic.
“Health is a human right and not a privilege. This is one of the things the UN is doing by carrying along that message to the highest level, so that leaders – Presidents and Heads of Governments can understand that health is a priority. Not only the leaders, but also the community in whatever they do. They need to realise that the real wealth is health and nothing else.
“Many Member States have understood that without peace, health, there is no development. Also, without stability, transparency, there is no development. Our role is to interphase, to make sure that whoever is in charge understands the tenet of security, health and development”, Mulombo explained.
On his part, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative to ECOWAS, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, said: “I really appreciate the United Nations for holding this wonderful event. We are now facing very difficult issues, including poverty, insecurity, food crisis, etc. But today is symbolic to show solidarity with Nigeria to have a concerted effort to overcome this kind of very difficult issue.”
Also speaking, the High Commissioner of the Canada High Commission, James Christoff, informed that the event showed the importance of cooperation within the international community:
“This shows a symbol of the importance of solidarity and cooperation within the international community”, he said.