Nigeria: Buhari, 4 Ministers, Others Off to Abidjan for Cop-15 Conference

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday departed for Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, to attend a United Nations' conference on the future of land with focus on desertification, drought, degradation, rights, restoration and implications for national and world economies.

He was accompanied by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Environment, Agriculture and Water Resources, Geoffrey Onyeama, Mohammed Abdullahi, Mahmoud Mohammed and Suleiman Adamu respectively.

Also on the trip were the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; the Director General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar and the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa

A presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, in a statement, said Buhari, who is also the president of the Great Green Wall in Africa, would participate in a summit of Heads of State and Government today and tomorrow.

He said Buhari would join world leaders at Sofitel Hotel, for the 15th session of the Conference Of the parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), with the theme 'Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity.'

Shehu stated: "The convention aims to take action to ensure that land, the lifeline on the planet, continues to benefit present and future generations.

"To achieve the visionary objective of land restoration and balance, COP15 will bring together leaders from governments, the private sector, civil society and other key stakeholders from around the world to drive progress in the future of sustainable management of one of the most precious assets, land.

"The convention will explore links between land and other key development issues, which will be discussed during the high-level segment, including a Heads of States Summit, high-level roundtables and interactive dialogue sessions.

"COP 15 is a key moment in the fight against desertification, land degradation and drought. Accordingly, it will build on the findings of the second edition of the Global Land Outlook and offer a concrete response to the interconnected challenges of land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss as the world steps into the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

"Drought, land restoration, and related enablers such as land rights, gender equality and youth empowerment are among the top items on the conference agenda."

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