Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has charged Nigerian youths to be “fully engaged in the fight against corruption and firmly committed to its eradication.”
Onyeama, who spoke on Monday in Abuja at the plenary of the 4th Abuja International Model United Nations Conference, condemned the spate of corruption in Africa.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the theme of the conference is:“Winning the War on Corruption: A Sustainable path to Africa’s Transformation.”
The first Model UN Conference was held at St Lawrence University, New York, in 1949 and has since been organised globally based on certain guidelines developed by the UN.
Onyeama, who was represented by an official of the ministry, Mrs Chidi Okeke, said corruption was one of the challenges facing governments, undermining public policies and diverting public resources to the detriment of citizens.
He said that youths, if provided with the necessary skills and opportunities needed, would be “effective agents of change.
“Young people can be a driving force in supporting development. The fight against corruption is incomplete without the engagement of the youths and this succeeding generation should be mobilised.
“Youth-led organisations should be strengthened because they contribute to the development of civil leadership skills among young people.”
The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon, who spoke, commended the ministry for its support to the success of the conference.
Kallon, who was represented by a UN official, Mr Zebulou Takwa, said the conference served as a “veritable learning tool in public speaking, diplomacy, negotiation and consensus building for students.
“In its over 70 years of existence, Model UN has grown to become the pride of students and their institutions across the world.
“It is estimated that more than 400, 000 students worldwide participate every year in Model UNs at all educational levels, while many of today’s leaders were once Model UN delegates as students.”
The UN representative assured of the organisation’s commitment to meet the demands of schools across Nigeria requesting the organisation of such model conferences.
“The UN in Nigeria is committed to quality control of Model UN conferences and will continue to support all institutions.”
The Model UN is an educational simulation or academic activity in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the UN.