UNGA 77: Buhari calls for respect for free speech, cancellation of debt of poor countries
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged fellow African nations and United Nations member states to uphold free speech.
The President said this on Wednesday during his last address as President of Nigeria at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York, USA.
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He called for the protection of vulnerable communities against misinformation which, he says, has driven most of the armed conflicts in Africa and around the world.
The President also cited the enormous advantages of social media in the country’s efforts towards Climate Change adaptation.
But lamented that it is a “more corrosive form” of disseminating information which has been weaponised by some sinister elements in the past.
We must defend freedom of speech while upholding values that we cherish. Efforts to protect communities from misinformation must be intensified to reduce inequality and stem conflict drivers,” Buhari said.
He also called for debt cancellation of poor countries facing numerous challenges, including being able to service external debts.
He asked the world leaders to address what he described as the burden of unsustainable external debts.
“Nigeria, therefore, implores our global partners to do more to complement our endeavours. Indeed the multi-faceted challenges facing most developing countries have placed the ability to address their fiscal place,” he said.
“This equally calls for the need to address the burden of unsustainable external debts by a global commitment to the expansion and extension of the debt service suspension initiative to countries facing fiscal and liquidity challenges as well as outright cancellation for countries facing the most severe challenges.”