UNIC, Covenant Explore Partnership on United Nations at 75
A partnership between Covenant University and the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos, is in the works preparatory to the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations in October 2020.
This much was disclosed on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at a meeting in Covenant between representatives of the UNIC led by its Country Director, Mr. Ronald Kayanja, and the University’s Management. According to Mr. Kayanja, the UN would be commemorating 75 years of its existence with the theme “The Future We Want, the United Nations We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism."
He noted that one of the ways of celebrating the world body was to promote a discussion around the theme of the event like the achievements of the United Nations, the challenges it was facing and the kind of world body needed in the face of the present challenges in the world today.
“We want a commemoration that is rooted in an academic setting. We want to have an academic conference and we are hoping that Covenant University can help us to convene this, which will bring many people from the academia around Nigeria and the world to discuss the United Nations and come up with ideas that can be advanced to the global platforms, where discussions will be taking place about the United Nations around the set time,” he stated.
The UNIC Lagos Country Director, who came in company of the UNIC National Information Officer, Dr. Oluseyi Soremekun, said that the conference would target experts in relevant fields putting up research papers that would address key operational and human issues bothering on all aspects of United Nations operations.
Mr. Kayanja stated that since the conference would be a multidisciplinary one, the Country Office would work at ensuring that Covenant enjoyed the full support of the Country Office and the world body with a view to making a success of the conference.
Covenant’s Director, International Office and Linkages, Dr. Ada Sonia Peters, said that situating a conference of this magnitude in an academic environment was a good step, taking into cognizance the fact that Ivory Towers were where ideas were birthed. She added that the event was sure to bring about quality deliberations on how to better advance the goals and objectives of the global body.
The Head, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Professor Sheriff Folarin, appreciated the leadership of the UNIC, Lagos, for the support extended to the University during the maiden edition of Covenant International Model United Nations (CIMUN) early in 2019. He said that preparation was in top gear for the second edition of CIMUN, which would largely be aligned with the theme of United Nations at 75.
The Registrar, Dr. Olusegun Omidiora, while appreciating UNIC for finding Covenant University a worthy partner in hosting the commemorative conference for the United Nations anniversary, reiterated the University’s commitment to partner with well-meaning organisations to deliver on her founding philosophies and mandate as a Christian mission institution.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Akan Williams, noted that faculty and students of Covenant University had over the years participated and remained active in UN related programmes, and the proposed conference was an avenue to take it to a higher level of relationship. According to him, “We are trusting that this new relationship will get to the point that Covenant will become the talk of the global community, through our robust engagement and actions in influencing the happenings around the world,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero, said that with the enthusiasm displayed by members of the University’s management, the only option available was to commit to hosting a most memorable event. He noted that preparations for the conference had gone far, with the initial driver of the idea, Dr. Oluyemi Fayomi, who worked with Professor Esther Akinlabi, having successfully secured approval for the publication of the conference proceedings in Palgrave Macmillan, and that was the level that must be maintained going forward.
“We are totally in support of all the good works the United Nations is doing in the world. That is why in the last academic session, various departments and colleges in the University hosted different international conferences geared at addressing various aspects of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, cutting across multidisciplinary fields of human endeavours,” he stated.
The Professor of Communication Engineering said that Covenant was committed to driving the SDGs initiative, which had seen the University ranked in 8 categories of the 17 SDGs in the inaugural Times Higher Education Impact Rankings of World Universities, with rigorous passion. He affirmed that the University management was ready to give all the institutional support needed to make the UN at 75 academic conference a mining field for further driving developmental efforts of the world body.
Professor Atayero noted that there was need to immediately put together a working committee, comprised of officials from the UNIC and Covenant, to start putting things in place towards a successful conference.
The proposed academic conference for the celebration of the United Nations at 75 would evolve sub-themes around the main theme of the event, which would seek to offer suggestions for the advancement of the UN operations globally and engender peace at all levels.