Abuja, October 24, 2019 (CABNC): The United Nations Building in Abuja Nigeria, has reopened today after more than eight years since it was shut down as a result of the suicide attack by the Islamist group Boko Haram.
In the past 8 years, the UN mission in Nigeria has been operating in a number of smaller buildings scattered around Abuja. Following the handover, it will now move back to its original location in a four-storey office rebuilt by the Nigerian government.
Mark Lowcock, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, represented today the United Nations Secretary-General at the official handover of the UN House in the Nigerian capital Abuja.
“The Nigerian Government handing over this building to the UN is a symbol of our shared commitment to continue supporting the people and Government of Nigeria,” Mr. Lowcock said. On 26 August 2011, 23 people including UN staff and Nigerian civilians died in a suicide car bombing at the UN house in Abuja. This was the first attack against a UN facility in Nigeria. The building has since been rehabilitated by the Nigerian Government.
“Nigeria has been a key actor since it became a member of the United Nations in 1960, only eight days after its independence,” highlighted the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. “Today’s reopening of the UN House in Abuja demonstrates our collective commitment to continue addressing the complex challenges facing Nigeria, west Africa, and the whole world.”
United Nations Day highlights the enduring ideals of the Charter and the universal values it was founded upon – peace, freedom, social progress, equal rights and human dignity. United Nations Day 2019 marks the beginning of the UN’s 75th anniversary in 2020 and is devoted to “the Future We Want, the UN we need: Reaffirming our Commitment to Multilateralism”.
During his two-day visit to Nigeria, Mr Lowcock is also discussing the humanitarian situation in the northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. The United Nations and its humanitarian partners, in support of the Government of Nigeria, are working together to provide assistance to reach 6.2 million people in these states.