Stimson in the News

Abuja Launch of the Commission Report

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On Wednesday 9 September, the report of the Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance, titled “Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance,” was launched in Abuja, Nigeria in a public event sponsored by the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy, and Development (SCDDD). Following its initial launch in June at the Peace Palace in The Hague and subsequently at the United Nations in New York, the Abuja event marks the first of its kind in Africa. Event Chairman and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, H.E. Babagana Kingibe—representing former President Olusegun Obasanjo—welcomed the audience by stating that the report is “… an important milestone in advance of the United Nations 70th Anniversary Summit this September in New York,” and he highlighted its relevance to Nigerian and regional African concerns, as well as wider global challenges.

After introducing the Global Commission as a joint project of The Hague Institute for Global Justice and the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C., H.E. Kingibe invited Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Founder and Chairman of the SCDDD, a former Nigerian Foreign Minister and UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and Commission Co-Chair, alongside former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, to present the report’s key findings. Professor Gambari noted that: “we need better tools to avoid catastrophe, whether it takes the form of armed conflict, violent floods, or market failure. Our management tools need to match the scope of our problems. As the problems are global, we need more capable tools of global governance.” He then introduced the Commission Report’s three main topics: state fragility and coping with violence, climate governance, and the volatile hyperconnected global economy. Professor Gambari further reiterated the need for UN and broader global governance reform: “Repeated failures to achieve reform within the UN and other entities deepen the global governance crisis with serious implications for security and justice.”

He was then followed by H.E. Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice-President of Nigeria, who shared remarks on behalf of the Nigerian government. He stated that: “Nigeria fully shares the views expressed in the report that no one State or group of States can effectively deal with these trans-border problems alone,” and he expressed the Government’s commitment to reform governance structures and institutions in accordance with the recommendations of the report. With a particular emphasis on the issues of security, justice, human rights, and climate change, Vice-President Osinbajo argued that: “The success of Nigeria in this endeavor would, indeed, impact positively not only on other countries in our sub-region but the rest of Africa.”

 After an interactive session with the audience—which representatives from government, civil society, business, and the media—the event’s Chairman, H.E. Babagana Kingibe, closed the event with a vote of thanks to the participants, panelists, and the organizing sponsor, the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy, and Development.

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