UN agencies honor Obasanjo, others


Two United Nations agencies on Sunday in New York conferred on former President Olusegun Obasanjo the South-South Awards for Global Leadership.

The ceremony was part of the 2nd Annual South-South Awards which took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel during the High-Level Segment of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly, said Mr Vitalis Ortese, Assistant to President Obasanjo.

‘’This year, the 2012 South-South Awards ceremony celebrates with Heads of State and Government, UN Ambassadors, top UN officials and other distinguished guests from the private sector and civil society e-governance, and ICT infrastructure, while looking ahead to the future of Sustainable Tourism, initiatives that are successfully helping to advance the Millennium Development Goals.’’

It said that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Chairman of the Group 77 and Helen Clark, Administrator of UNDP provided their statements in support of the UN Day.

These year’s awards were at the instance of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The event, which was hosted by the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, attracted more than 20 serving and former Heads of State, as well other global leaders.

Other recipients of the awards include Zambian President Michael Chilufya Sata, Prime Minister of Lesotho, Thomas Motsoahae Thabane, and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Madam Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma, who were present at the event.

The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, was also at the event.

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“Following the success of last year’s event, which saw the award going to the President of Tanzania and other recipients, this year, the award focuses on e-government and tourism,” the statement said.

“The United Nations MDGs High-Level Summit recognised that progress toward the MDGs had been mixed in the past 10 years. World leaders stressed the need to accelerate the pace of progress if the MDGs are to be achieved by 2015.

“The South-South objective is to accelerate the pace of development by creating an enabling e-environment for governance, education, health, entrepreneurship and job creation in the push to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.”

The demand for a new push to the MDGs has come from leaders of the South as expressed by the recent conference on “ICT and Sustainable Urbanisation” held in Hong Kong on April 16.

The 2012 South-South Award recognises, shares and disseminates the most outstanding success stories and lessons learned in South-South and triangular cooperation in using ICT for development.

The selection process for the Awards is led by an internationally recognised jury, and the Awards are organised in close cooperation with several international organisations under the patronage of the ITU and the WTO.

The criteria for the nomination and selection of Award winners focus on achievements and initiatives, which represent outstanding contributions and advances in the use of ICT and media in advancing the MDGs.

The Awardees include government leaders, business, ICT innovators and practitioners, and youth leaders. (NAN)

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