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Statement by Mr. Said Djinnit, High-Level Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Nigeria Special Representative for West Africa

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ABUJA, Nigeria, May 15, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Statement by Mr. Said Djinnit

I am concluding today a four day visit to Nigeria. My visit is as a follow up to a telephone conversation between the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday 8 May. Durin! g their conversation, President Goodluck Jonathan welcomed the decision of the Secretary-General to send a High-Level Representative to Nigeria to consult with Government officials on what the United Nations can do to support ongoing efforts towards the safe release of the abducted girls.

I met with President Goodluck Jonathan and other senior Government officials including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General. I also met with the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the abducted girls, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). I met also with the Ambassadors of countries that have offered assistance in support of Ni geria's efforts to release the abducted girls.

The abduction of the school girls in Chibok on 14 April has been widely condemned by the United Nations including the Secretary General and the UN Security Council. I wish to reiterate the strong condemnation by the United Nations of this unacceptable act of abduction of innocent girls.

I wish to reiterate the United Nations' solidarity with the abducted schoolgirls and their families, the people and Government of Nigeria.

The UN is committed to do its utmost within its capacity to assist the authorities of Nigeria in their efforts towards the release of the school girls.

As part of its assistance, the United Nations has initiated the preparation of an Integrated Support Package that includes immediate support to the affected families, the population and the girls after their release, in particular with psycho-social counseling and facilitation of their reintegration in families and communities. The package will also include response to emergency needs both in food and non-food items; early recovery support by promoting alternative livelihood and activities geared towards addressing the long term structural challenges through capacity building.

On the security situation, I expressed the United Nation's deep concern at the lingering insecurity in the North-East part of Nigeria. I expressed the support of t he United Nations to the efforts of Nigeria to restore security in the! affected areas while stressing the importance of due respect for Human Rights. I also reaffirmed the United Nation's support to Nigeria within the framework of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

I also expressed concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in North-East including the dire situation of IDP's. In this regard, I offered the support of the United Nation to the Government and NEMA in reinforcing the response capacity especially through enhanced coordination. I urged also for improved access for delivery of the much needed humanitarian assistance.