RECENT EVENTS AT THE EMBASSY
Nigeria came on the positive spotlight when Fr. Anthony Nnadi’s doctoral thesis was considered the best in recent times. He was consequently conferred with the prestigious PhD, on 28 November 2019 at the Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, Rome.
.............It is indeed a privilege and honour to have a galaxy of distinguished personalities like you, here, to celebrate with the Embassy of Nigeria to the Holy See this double-
4..........Secondly, we see our relationship with the Holy See, just like all the countries Nigeria has diplomatic relations with and those we are yet to formally do so, as indispensable. This year we are celebrating 43rd anniversary of our relationship with the Holy See, to some countries represented here by Your Excellencies, we could be talking of some 59 years. Whichever number of years Nigeria has had relationship with you, we would like to assure you of our commitment and support at all times, and we do hope you would reciprocate our kind gesture.
5..........Consequently, Nigeria invites you to avail yourselves of the many opportunities she presents in Agriculture, Mining, Infrastructural development, Manufacturing, Commerce and the Arts, to mention a few, to participate in her economy. The Nigerian government had long identified some of the impediments to smooth business relationships with foreign countries, the often-
7..........For the rest participants, I would like to invite you to sit, comfortably, and enjoy the Symposium, which will be handled by renowned scholars, for the next 80 minutes or thereabout. I thank you for coming.
Opening Address by His Eminence Card. Pietro Parolin,
Secretary of State of the Holy See.
Hotel Roma Aurelia Antica, Thursday 31 October 2019.
Your Excellency Mr. Godwin George Umo, Ambassador of Nigeria to the Holy See, Distinguished Speakers, Ambassadors, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my honour to address you on this special occasion as we commemorate the 59th anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence and the 43rd anniversary of diplomatic relations between Nigeria and the Holy See.
First of all, I wish thank Ambassador Umo for inviting me to be with you and to say a few words at the beginning of this symposium. In so doing, I am happy to extend to you Mr. Ambassador, and through you, to the Authorities and all the citizens of Nigeria, as well as to all who are gathered here, the good wishes and blessings of the Holy Father Pope Francis.
The theme of this symposium “Cultural Diplomacy, Global Peace and Shared Prosperity” is very timely. Culture is comprised of all those characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, encompassing language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music, arts, etc. The Centre for Advance Research on Language Acquisition goes a step further, defining culture as shared patterns of behaviours and interactions, cognitive constructs and understanding that are learned by socialization. Thus, it can be seen as the growth of a collective identity fostered by social patterns unique to the group.
A philosopher historian once commented that centuries of existence are required to generate a little history; many more centuries are necessary to create a little civilization; and an even greater number is required to distil a culture. As such, culture is the embodiment and outcome of centuries of history and the development of a civilisation.
The Holy See bases its definition of culture on the Second Vatican Council: «The word “culture” in its general sense indicates everything whereby man develops and perfects his many bodily and spiritual qualities; he strives by his knowledge and his labour, to bring the world itself under his control. He renders social life more human both in the family and the civic community, through improvement of customs and institutions. Throughout the course of time he expresses, communicates and conserves in his works, great spiritual experiences and desires, that they might be of advantage to the progress of many, even of the whole human family» (Gaudium et spes, 53).
The human person is at the heart of all the cultural activities of the Church. Culture is defined in relation to human beings, and all cultural activities are both from and for humankind. Culture is a springing forth of human potential. Pope Benedict XVI recalled, on the occasion of the colloquium “Culture, Reason and Freedom” (May 2005), with words borrowed from St. John Paul II’s 1980 speech at the headquarters of UNESCO: “In the cultural field, man is always the first fact: man is the prime and fundamental fact of culture”.
What is the role that dialogue between cultures play in bilateral relations? In June last year, when Mr. Philip Pullella, Chief of Reuter’s Rome bureau, asked about the relations of the Holy See with China, His Holiness Pope Francis responded by indicating three different paths leading to diplomatic relations: the first one is the dialogue between the official Delegates of both Parties, the second is “dialogue of everyone and with everyone” and the third path, which according to the Holy Father is the most important, is the dialogue between cultures. Pope Francis has meant it in two different ways, i.e. intercultural dialogue and the cooperation between the Parties by organising intercultural events.
This path is very important because, in Pope Francis’ vision, there exists an inextricable bond that unites people with their culture. He has said this several times. Moreover, according to him, in dialogue between different cultures, it is the people themselves who enter into dialogue. As a result, there comes about an opening up to the other, shortening the distances in between and building up peace.
Cultural dialogue is the way to overcome the misunderstandings and ambiguities that exist between the Parties. In fact, cultures in themselves do not engage in dialogue, but rather it is the men and women of different cultures who enter into dialogue. In short, a human encounter is needed for an intercultural dialogue, which naturally leads to a better understanding of each other.
Cultural events induce intercultural dialogue. As there exists a close bond between people and their culture, where there is intercultural dialogue, there is also a better relationship between peoples. In today’s world, cultural identities are increasingly evoked to build walls thus leading to division and even conflicts. On the other hand, intercultural dialogue will help to build bridges and consequently that will lead to peaceful coexistence.
The Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-
For the Holy See, this constructive approach towards different cultures is not something new. As is well known, the Catholic Church, from its beginning and even in times of persecution, has always been a promoter and guardian of culture and art. Religious freedom in the fourth century led to the birth of a characteristically Christian art, which found its expression in religious buildings and their decoration. In the Middle Ages, the Church became the guardian and vehicle to promote ancient cultural heritage. The Pastoral Constitution on the “Church in the Modern World” (Gaudium et spes) devoted a chapter to the Church’s relationship with culture and cultures. It enunciated some of the more urgent duties of Christians regarding culture: defence of the right of all to a culture, promotion of an integral culture and harmonization of the links between culture and Christianity.
Since 1965, the Holy See has been very aware of the importance for the Church of dialogue with contemporary culture and of its relationship with different cultures. In the Vatican Museums, St. Paul VI created a collection of contemporary art and in his exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi (1975), he drew attention to the need to evangelise the culture. This awareness, together with a rich personal experience, led St. John Paul II to create the Pontifical Council for Culture in 1982, with the aim of providing the Holy See with an instrument capable of fostering the Church’s dialogue with people and institutions from the world of culture and cultural policy. In the field of culture, Pope Benedict XVI had maintained continuity with the policy of his predecessors and Pope Francis also has never failed to foster dialogue between the Catholic Church and contemporary culture. Furthermore, the Holy See is actively engaged in inter-
As the American philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Peace cannot be achieved through violence; it can only be attained through understanding”. Therefore, in an age, which demands a fresh approach to international relations in the context of turbulent times, where we are forced to face the threat of global climate change, religious extremism and controversial military conflict, cultural diplomacy takes a relevant place in promoting peace and the consequent prosperity.
Ladies and Gentlemen, as I conclude this opening address, I wish to state that the Catholic Church remains committed to accompanying Nigeria in all its efforts to ensure the spiritual as well as material well-
Thank you for your kind attention. May God bless you all!
1..........The subject of Cultural Diplomacy has occupied the centre stage of academic discourses in recent times, especially, since the demise of the Cold War and the collapse of the Walls that stratified the world. This is more so when nation states have de-
WEAPONIZATION OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA AND ETHICAL ISSUES
3..........The advent of Information Age has promoted globalization, which has thrown up some good and some not-
On the not-
CULTURAL DIPLOMACY, XENOPHOBIA AND AFRICAN INTEGRATION
4..........When the Social Media are allowed to disseminate falsehood, inflame passions and create conflicts, some reactions are wont to occur. This scenario would only lead to more conflicts that would intensify the level of hate already present in the society. When such hate is intense, it is described as Xenophobia. Xenophobia divides the people, promotes mistrust and these hurt relations – political, social and economic. This played out in Africa of recent where a continental mechanism – The African Continental Free Trade Agreement – had just been signed, which was designed to foster shared prosperity among Africans. Dr Paulinus Nweke is set to let us into how Cultural Diplomacy could serve as an elixir in mitigating Xenophobia with a view to promoting African integration and shared prosperity, when he discusses “CULTURAL DIPLOMACY, XENOPHOBIA AND AFRICAN INTEGRATION”.
CULTURAL DIPLOMACY – PRECURSOR OF GLOBAL PEACE AN SHARED PROSPERITY
5..........The desire to improve the World’s Human Development Index (HDI) gave birth to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000. After 15 years of implementing the goals with no visible results, the MDGs were reviewed in 2015 to what we now know as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2016, with a 15-
CHALLENGES OF CULTURAL DIPLOMACY AND THE WAY FORWARD
7..........Just as globalization, changes in socio-
9..........When all these would have been said and done, we would have a 10-
10..........I implore you to hear these erudite scholars out on this very important discourse. I thank you for your presence.
Ms Sylvia Godfrey Akro, a young Nigerian Architect,
meets HE Ambassador (Gen) Godwin George Umo OON
(Rome, 09 October 2019)
After getting a Bachelor of Science in Architecture (Second Class Honours-
She did not limit herself to study her preferred subject matter, but wanted to apply it through work experience since 2013 at Jonem Consults (Nigeria), then as a Junior Architect (National Youth Service Corp), Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning (Nigeria) in 2015. She worked as a Space Planner at ExxonMobil -
She likes defining herself as a Dynamic Architect with experience and background in architectural design projects, coordination and planning. Highly skilled in the development of technical and construction drawings. 5 years+ in 3D BIM (Building Information Modelling) using Revit software. With a special interest in Sustainability, BIM/VDC, Additive manufacturing, Waste management, Green technologies, Energy efficiency, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ms Sylvia Godfrey Akro stands as a positive model for all Nigerian youths both in Nigeria and abroad, testifying that through self-
1st October each year is an opportunity for us to reflect and thank God for his endless blessings on our country.
2. It is also a time for us, collectively, to:
3. Remember the sacrifices made by our Founders and great leaders past; by soldiers, by distinguished public servants; by traditional leaders, by our workers — sacrifices on which Nigeria has been built over the 59 years since Independence in 1960; and
4. Rededicate ourselves to attaining the goals which we have set for ourselves: a united, prosperous and purposeful nation in the face of 21st century opportunities and challenges.
5. In the past four years, the majority of Nigerians have committed to Change for the Better. Indeed, this Administration was re-
6. This Change can only be delivered if we are united in purpose, as individuals and as a nation. We must all remain committed to achieving this positive and enduring Change. As I stated four years ago, “Change does not just happen… We must change our lawless habits, our attitude to public office and public trust… simply put, to bring about change, we must change ourselves by being law-
7. Good Governance and Economic Development cannot be sustained without an enabling environment of peace and security. In the last four years, we have combatted the terrorist scourge of Boko Haram. We owe a debt of gratitude to our gallant men and women in arms, through whose efforts we have been able to achieve the present results. We are also grateful to our neighbours and allies – within the region and across the world – who have supported us on this front.
8. The capacity of our armed forces to defend our territorial integrity continues to be enhanced by the acquisition of military hardware as well as continued improvements in the working conditions of our service men and women.
9. The Ministry of Police Affairs has been resuscitated to oversee the development and implementation of strategies to enhance internal security. My recent assent to the Nigerian Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act has created a legal framework to support our Police with increased fiscal resources to enhance their law enforcement capabilities.
10. These initiatives are being complemented by the ongoing recruitment of 10,000 constables into the Nigeria Police Force. This clearly demonstrates our commitment to arrest the incidence of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes across our nation.
11. We remain equally resolute in our efforts to combat militant attacks on our oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta and accelerate the Ogoni Clean-
12. The recent redeployment of the Niger Delta Development Commission from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs underscores our commitment to enhance the living standards of our communities in the Niger Delta, through coordinated and appropriate programmes.
13. Our attention is increasingly being focused on cyber-
14. In this regard, I reiterate my call for all to exercise restraint, tolerance and mutual respect in airing their grievances and frustrations. Whilst the ongoing national discourse on various political and religious issues is healthy and welcome, we must not forget the lessons of our past – lessons that are most relevant on a day such as this.
15. The path of hatred and distrust only leads to hostility and destruction. I believe that the vast majority of Nigerians would rather tread the path of peace and prosperity, as we continue to uphold and cherish our unity.
ACCELERATING SUSTAINABLE AND INCLUSIVE ECONOMY GROWTH
16. This Administration inherited a skewed economy, where the Oil Sector comprised only 8% of Gross Domestic Product but contributed 70% of government revenue and 90% foreign exchange earnings over the years. Past periods of relatively high economic growth were driven by our reliance on Oil Sector revenues to finance our demand for imported goods and services. Regrettably, previous governments abandoned the residual Investment-
17. To address this imbalance, our commitment to achieving economic diversification has been at the heart of our economic strategies under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, which I launched on the 5th of April, 2017.
18. This medium-
19. Learning from the mistakes of the past, this Administration is committed to responsibly managing our oil wealth endowments. We will continue to prudently save our oil income and invest more in the non-
20. In this regard, we are significantly increasing investments in critical infrastructure. Last year, capital releases only commenced with the approval of the Budget in June 2018. However, as at 20th June this year, up to N1.74 trillion had been released for capital projects in the 2018 fiscal year.
21. Implementation of the 2019 Capital Budget, which was only approved in June 2019, will be accelerated to ensure that critical priority projects are completed or substantially addressed. The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has been directed to release N600 billion for Capital Expenditure in the next 3 months.
22. To maximise impact, we shall continue to increasingly welcome and encourage private capital for infrastructural development through Public Private Partnerships. Through the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, which I initiated in January this year, we are giving incentives to private sector inflow of over N205 billion in 19 Nigerian roads and bridges of 794.4km across in 11 States of the Federation.
23. As we push to diversify the economy, we still remain focused on optimizing the revenues generated from the oil and gas sector. We will, working with the Legislature, soon pass the Petroleum Industry Bill and amendments to the Deep Offshore Act and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act into law, to ensure Government obtains a fair share of oil revenues, whilst encouraging private sector investment.
24. We will also continue our fight against illegal bunkering of crude oil and the smuggling of refined petroleum products across our borders, including the diligent prosecution and conviction of offenders found guilty of these acts. Whilst Nigeria remains committed to free and fair continental and international trade, we will not hesitate to take all necessary steps to tackle illegal smuggling, transshipment and other predatory trade practices that destroy jobs in our country.
25. We are resolute in reforming the power sector. In August this year, we launched the Presidential Power Initiative to modernize the National Grid in 3 phases: starting from 5 Gigawatts to 7 Gigawatts, then to 11 Gigawatts by 2023, and finally 25 Gigawatts afterwards. This programme, in partnership with the German Government and Siemens, will provide end-
26. The programme will also look to localize the development and assembly of smart meters as well as the operations and maintenance capabilities of transmission and distribution infrastructure.
27. I am pleased with the improved inter-
28. These initiatives are important to ensure that the technical and collection losses in the sector are substantially reduced. I remain confident that Nigerians will have affordable and uninterrupted electricity supply in the not too distant future.
29. Our efforts to improve the power sector will complement other infrastructure investments projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, which is investing in the Mambilla Power Plant project, as well as key economic road infrastructure such as the Lagos-
30. Our journey to food security and self-
31. Our commitment to achieving macroeconomic stability and economic diversification, has been underscored by the merger of the Ministry of Finance with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
32. This combined Ministry has the important mandate to enhance the management of domestic and global fiscal risks; coordinate policies with the trade and monetary authorities; raise and deploy revenues to fund budgeted expenditure; and integrate annual budgets and medium-
33. With this, our revenue-
34. I recently constituted an Economic Advisory Council to advise me on inclusive and sustainable macroeconomic, fiscal and monetary policies. This independent body will work with relevant Cabinet members and the heads of key monetary, fiscal and trade agencies to ensure we remain on track as we strive for collective prosperity. However, we are also committed to ensure that the inconvenience associated with any painful policy adjustments, is moderated, such that the poor and the vulnerable, who are most at risk, do not bear the brunt.
35. Our ongoing N500 billion Special Intervention Programme continues to target these vulnerable groups, through the Home-
36. To institutionalize these impactful programmes, we created the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development which shall consolidate and build on our achievements to date. To the beneficiaries of these programmes, I want to reassure you that our commitment to social inclusion will only increase.
37. Our population growth rate remains amongst the highest in the world, presenting both challenges as well as opportunities. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we provide adequate resources to meet the basic needs of our teeming youth.
38. Accordingly, we shall continue to invest in education, health, water and sanitation, as well as food security, to ensure that their basic needs are met, while providing them with every opportunity to live peaceful, prosperous and productive lives.
FIGHTING CORRUPTION AND RESTORING GOOD GOVERNANCE:
39. On fighting corruption, our institutional reforms to enforce the Treasury Single Account policy, introduce the Whistle-
40. The Ministry of Justice, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will continue to address this menace. We are determined to ensure that transparency and good governance are institutionalized in public service.
41. We must commit to installing a culture of Good Governance in all we do. This Administration has fought against corruption, by investigating and prosecuting those accused of embezzlement and the misuse of public resources. We have empowered teams of prosecutors, assembled detailed databases of evidence, traced the proceeds of crimes and accelerated the recovery of stolen funds.
42. Furthermore, we partnered with our friends abroad to combat tax evasion, smuggling, terrorism and illicit financial flows. In June 2018, I assented to the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, to provide a domestic legal framework for obtaining international assistance in criminal matters.
43. This measure has already strengthened our law enforcement agencies in obtaining evidence, investigating suspects and facilitating the recovery, forfeiture and confiscation of property implicated as proceeds of crime.
44. An example is the US$300 million recently identified as part of the Abacha money-
45. The P & ID Arbitral Award has underscored the manner in which significant economic damage has been caused by the past activities of a few corrupt and unpatriotic Nigerians.
46. The policies that we are putting in place today are to ensure such criminal and unpatriotic acts do not go without consequences. Our renewed partnership with the 9th National Assembly will facilitate the swift passage of enabling laws that will institutionalize these anti-
47. In this connection, I call upon our States to intensify their own efforts to instill greater fiscal transparency and accountability. And to ensure greater fiscal efficiency and optimum use of our very scarce resources.
48. The blight of Corruption is fighting back. Nevertheless, this is a battle that we shall see through and this is a war, which we shall win by the Grace of God.
49. I will also call upon all Nigerians, from every walk of life, to combat Corruption at every turn. By choosing to question and confront corrupt practices, by reporting unethical practices or through whistleblowing. Together, we can overcome corruption and will no longer be a country defined by corruption.
50. Fellow Nigerians, let me reiterate my call for unity across our dear nation.
51. Nigeria will emerge from our present challenges stronger and more resilient than ever – but only if all of us join hands to entrench Good Governance, foster Inclusive Economic Development, and defend and protect our Nation from all those who would wish us ill.
52. I thank you most sincerely and wish you a Happy Independence Anniversary.
53. May God bless you all, and may He continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
A Lecture by
H.E. Ambassador (Gen) Godwin George Umo OON
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Vatican
on the occasion of the 30th Annual Session of Crans Montana Forum
Geneva – Switzerland (26-
1..........A couple of years back the projection was that a new set of countries would become economic powers to reckon with. They were called the BRINCS – Brazil, Russia, India, Nigeria, China and South Africa. All the countries listed here have more or less realized that projection, except Nigeria. It is not for the want of the resources, both human and natural, that Nigeria, which is deemed the giant of Africa, could not actualize this projection, but for factors that have, sometimes, proved difficult to contend with.
2..........Nigeria serves as a beacon of hope for the Sub-
4..........Realizing the consequences that the continued negligence of the African deteriorating economic condition could bring about, African leaders took steps to unify and promote the economic wellbeing of member states. This re-
6..........The proliferation of security concerns is not unconnected with the fact that poverty, especially in the Sub-
8..........All the aforesaid could be further grouped into:
.............a. Kinetic security concerns or threats.
And these could be undertaken by Military and Non-
MEASURES TO ENHANCE GLOBAL SECURITY
10.........Issues of corruption and forced migrations are direct consequences of bad governance. Governments that are not based on the Rule of Law would not be all-
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
12.........Infrastructural development has been, and continues to be, key to overcoming challenges facing the developing world like Africa. Proper infrastructure can help the continent to attain fast-
14.........Modern societies rely on effective functioning of Critical Infrastructure networks to provide public services, enhance quality of life, sustain profits and spur economic growth. Having thus established the need for critical infrastructural development for economic growth, it becomes imperative that such critical infrastructure must be secure and resilient. Critical Infrastructure could suffer from Climate Change or terrorism. In either situation, the society must be capable of going about without serious consequences to their daily lives. This therefore calls for secure and resilient critical Infrastructure and adaptive ability on the part of the populace.
STRENGTHENING REGIONAL COOPERATION AND SOLIDARITY
15.........It was earlier argued that the war against Hybrid Threats, which pose security challenges to any region of the world, equally pose such security challenges to the entire world. Indeed, the UNHCR posits that 70 million people have been displaced, globally, due to wars and conflicts occasioned by these threats. Consequently, a coordinated approach to stemming multi-
16.........In this short discourse on Global Security within the context of building a new Africa of the 21st century that would attain a world power status, I have talked about the projection, a few years ago, that saw Nigeria and South Africa as possible economic powers in no distant future. The countries of Brazil, Russia, India, Nigeria, China and South Africa were tipped to attain the said status. Whist all other countries listed above, have in one way or the other realized this projection, Nigeria has not managed to inch towards the projection; and this has a ripple effect on African progress.
17.........What makes the situation in Africa worrisome is that Sub-
...............a. Good Governance to include creating avenuefor inspiration and ensuring there are opportunities to realize the dreams.
...............b. Human capital development.
...............c. Critical infrastructure development and the need for them to be made secure and resilient.
...............d. Strengthening of regional cooperation and solidarity.
This brings me to the end of my contribution as regards Global Security within the context of building the 21st century Africa towards becoming a world power; and, I thank you for listening.
A Lecture by
H.E. Ambassador (Gen) Godwin George Umo OON
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Vatican
on the occasion of the 30th Annual Session of Crans Montana Forum
Geneva – Switzerland (26-
1..........The realization that Africa cannot make progress without regional integration made some African leaders like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Kwame Nkurumah, Leopold Sedar Senghor, General Yakubu Gowon and Maomar Gaddafi to call for regional integration for economic prosperity. Indeed, the call led to the formation of regional blocs. In West Africa, there is the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), there is Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in Central Africa, the 5-
TOWARDS REGIONAL INTEGRATION
3..........At the Assembly of the AU in January 2012, a decision was adopted to establish a continental Free Trade Area by 2017, whilst also endorsing an action plan to boost inter-
AFRICA’S REGIONAL INTEGRATION INDEX
5..........It is a tool for measuring the progress of an Africa on the move. The Index is made up of 5 Dimensions, which are the key socio-
............:c. .........Production Integration
............:d. .........Free Movement of People.
............:e. .........Financial and Macroeconomic Integration.
Some RECs are strong in some of the Dimensions while some others are weak. The highest scores are on trade Integration, with the average REC scores of 0.54, the average REC scores are closest together on Regional Infrastructure and Productive Integration. The lowest scores are on Financial & Macroeconomic Integration.
6..........Integration is multi-
ESSENCE OF INVESTMENT CLIMATE
7..........The Integration Index, in conjunction with the individual countries profiles that make up the region, is essential to properly guide would-
KEY AREAS IN INVESTMENT CLIMATE
OPENNESS TO INVESTMENT
10.........Conditions of entry into the business must be explicit, ab initio, and should not involve shifting the goal post in the middle of the game. This is succinctly captured by Porter M. (1990) when he said that “competitive advantage no longer rests on a country’s natural endowments, but on that ability to create a business environment, along with supporting institutions that allow the nation’s inputs to be used and upgraded in the most productive manner”. The Investment Climate can thus be defined as the “POLICY, INSTITUTIONAL, AND BEHAVIOURAL ENVIRONMENT, BOTH PRESENT AND EXPECTED, THAT INFLUENCES THE RETURNS AND RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH INVESTMENT”. This environment comprises 3 main components which are discussed subsequently.
POLITICAL AND MACROECONOMIC STABILITY
11.........Political & Macroeconomic Stability is prerequisite for private Investment, both domestic and foreign. The key determinants for FDI are in Macroeconomic terms include: Fiscal Monetary and Exchange Rate policy.
LEGAL AND REGULATORY SYSTEMS
12.........Sound Regulatory Framework and Efficient Supporting Institutions to enforce the relevant Laws and Regulations are necessary for investors to enter the market, the costs of starting and operating a business have a large impact on choices of country location by the investor and how much contribution the investment will make to the host economy.
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE
13.........An adequate physical and social infrastructure complements a good policy and regulatory framework to create the requisite environment for attracting and retaining investment. These include Power (Quality & Quantity), Transport and Communications, Access to Finance, skilled labour force (Human Capital Development) and the provision of social services.
RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS CONDUCT
14.........Investors must enjoy government’s confidence in an event that something goes wrong with the terms of investment. In other words, Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) entails, above all, compliance with laws, such as those respecting human rights, environmental protection, labour relations and financial accountability, even where these are poorly enforced. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) came up with Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on RBC. The governments that adhere to the Guidelines aim to encourage the positive contributions the MNEs can make to sustainable development and to minimize the difficulties to which their various operations may give rise.
15.........I would like to remark here that I come from the area in Nigeria where various MNEs are exploiting crude oil causing a lot of despoliation to the ecosystem there, making one to doubt if such MNEs have ever heard of RBC. For if they did, that is the OECD Guidelines, according to Christine Kaufman, they would have known how to navigate responsibly, thus translating human rights responsibilities into due diligence requirements.
16.........In the course of this short discourse, I highlighted efforts by sub-
18.........The Integration Index, with countries profiles, helps to determine the suitability of investment climate, and this assists the would-
.........a. .....Openness to Investment.
.........b. .....Political and Macroeconomic Stability.
.........c. ......Legal and Regulatory Systems.
.........d. .....Physical and Social Infranstructure.
.........e. .....Responsible Business Conduct (RBC), based on Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Guidelines.
I thank you for the attention.
A Lecture by
H.E. Ambassador (Gen) Godwin George Umo OON
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Vatican
on the occasion of the 30th Annual Session of Crans Montana Forum
Geneva – Switzerland (26-
1..........Cultural nuances have continued to define roles assigned to sexes in various climes of the world. Not just roles, but activities that they are permitted to partake in. From Africa, through Europe and Asia, to the Americas, there had always been one form of restriction or the other, based on sex, religion, ethnicity and even creed. The African situation was not too different; though it has been evolving, it is rather slow.
2..........From time immemorial, African women, in spite of the seeming disenfranchisement in some climes, have found themselves in positions of leadership and authority. In some cases, they defied the customary gender roles ascribed to them, to lead even the men. One of such was Nigeria’s Queen Amina of Zaria, born in the mid 16th century, who was a Hausa warrior queen of the city-
WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
4..........The 1929 Ikot Abasi Riot, which extended to Abak, Etim Ekpo (in present-
GENDER ROLES AND BELIEFS
AFRICAN WOMEN’S EMANCIPATION
9..........There is nogainsaying that African women have evolved from the docile, dumb and subjective mold to active participants in the socio-
WOMEN EMPOWERMENT PLATFORMS
11.........The ascension of women to the socio-
WOMEN’S EVOLUTION FOR GLOBAL CHANGE
14.........What has really given the impetus to women’s loud presence on the African socio-
17.........In this short talk on Women’s Leadership in Africa and what have inspired the women to evolve to the current levels they have reached, I talked about some prominent women who had held leadership positions in the past, and those who have held them in recent times, and the significant roles they played in their respective societies.
18.........I briefly touched on the gender roles and the beliefs that shape gender roles in African societies. It was equally pointed out that circumstances have had to change gender roles. It is this gender role swap that have inspired the African women to socio-
A Lecture by
H.E. Ambassador (Gen) Godwin George Umo OON
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Vatican
on the occasion of Carità Politica International Association Meeting
Rome – Italy (05 June 2019)
1. ..... .....At creation, God, in Genesis 1 vs.10-
3. ..... .....Indeed, His Holiness Pope Francis captured it succinctly when, in his Encyclical letter "LAUDATO SI", he stated that "The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together". In other words, the treatment meted out to the natural environment will elicit a direct proportional effect on the human. Unfortunately when and if that happens, the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of despoliation of the natural environment are the poor.
4. ..... .....I do not intend to underestimate the intelligence of this august audience by defining the key concepts of this discourse because they are commonplace. I would however remark that we have to deliberately ensure ecological prudence, that is, the proper use of natural resources to guarantee fairness to all the inhabitants of our common home – the Earth. The realization of fairness in the utilization of natural resources can only come through love. The love of God, of your fellow human being, and, of course the environment on which our collective lives depend.
5. ..... .....The aim of this discourse is to discuss critical factors that could ensure the sustainability of our common home – the Earth.
6. ..... .....I intend to cover this short discourse by considering the following:
..... ..... ..... .....a. Ecological issues and consequences.
..... ..... ..... .....b. Prudent utilization of natural resources.
..... ..... ..... .....c. Impact of the Environment on Justice.
..... ..... ..... ..... d. Cooperation through human brotherhood.
..... ..... ..... ..... e. Sustainable Development.
..... ..... ..... ..... f. Sustainable Development Goals.
..... ..... ..... ..... g. Diplomacy of Values.
ECOLOGICAL ISSUES AND CONSEQUENCES
7. ..... .....Anthropogenic activities have continued to dominate discussions on ecology; and this is necessarily so because of the adverse consequences these activities have on the environment. From bush-
a. Deforestation. Especially in the developing world, where subsistent farming is very well practiced, deforestation is well pronounced. Usually, the bushes have to be cleared before the planting season..ommences. It is not so much the clearing of the overgrowth that is at issue here, but the method employed in doing this. In the developed climes, mechanized farming is the practice; but in the developing countries, the bushes are most likely to be set on fire. These fires, .over a period of time, set off chain reactions. Carbons and other gases are liberated into the atmosphere and these would include CO2 (Carbon Dioxide), CO (Carbon Monoxide), CH4 (Methane) and N2O (Nitrous Oxide). These aregenerally called the Greenhouse Gases (GHGs). The consequences are that deforestation sets in, there is concomitant depletion of oxygen required by humans to survive, top soils of the burnt bushes are .destroyed leading to the destabilization of the ecosystem in those .environment
b. Greenhouse Gases Emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions arelargely.. responsible for global warming because when they float up theatmosphere, they deplete the Ozone Layer, which is responsible for the prevention of the full heat intensity of the Sun from hitting the Earth surface. As a result of the thinning off of the Ozone Layer, the ice caps melt, seas and oceans get warmed up and overflow their banks. These lead to flooding, destruction of lives and properties and the destruction of the ecosystem.
c. Air and Water Pollutions. When these gases are emitted from all the sources, earlier mentioned, coupled with effluents from factories, the air and water get polluted. The rich in the societies can afford health care if faced with these pollutions, it is the poor and the vulnerable of such societies that are left tograpple with the health challenges resulting from these pollutions.
9. ..... .....Notwithstanding the consequences of human activities, many measures have been devised to safeguard the global environments. These include the many summits on global warming in Rio De Janeiro, London and so on, to innovative technologies to mitigate the consequences. On Carbon Dioxide emission, clean renewable energy and Carbon Entrapment technology have been employed. Furthermore, on the issue of desertification and deforestation, Artificial Water Seeding and Hydro-
PRUDENT UTILIZATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES
10. ..... .....In his Encyclical Letter LAUDATO SI, His Holiness Pope Francis had cautioned that "the deterioration of natural and human environment goes pari-
IMPACT OF ABUSED ENVIRONMENT ON JUSTICE
12. ..... .....Quite often the rich do not cry. It is indeed the affluent segment of a society that are culprits in the destruction of the environment; and when the consequences of their abuses occur, they are the first to evade them. Take for instance there is a flood, perhaps warnings had been sounded by the Weather man, the rich have all the means of getting out of harm’s way before it comes. Can the same be said of the poor? The answer is NO. They will be left to face their fate. Nothing can be more unjust.
13. ..... .....This perhaps informed Pope Francis’s observation when he said that the lack of response to tragedies occasioned by Climate Change, which essentially impact the poor more, signposts the society’s laissez-
15. ..... .....It has since been recognized that eradicating the effects of years of environmental abuses would be impossible, as some of these actions are largely irreversible. Consequently, measures are being taken to mitigate the effect; and where mitigation fails, adaptation becomes the only option, Some of the measures include substituting fossil fuels with renewable energy and Carbon Capture technologies; unfortunately though, methods to mitigate the Greenhouse Gas effects are not common, as I earlier stated. It would, therefore, mean that deliberate policies must have to be churned out to mitigate GHGs effects on the environment.
COOPERATION THROUGH HUMAN BROTHERHOOD
16. ..... .....Pope Francis in his Post-
18. ..... .....The Bruntland Commission Report, also known as our common future, published in 1987, defines Sustainable Development as the organizing principle for meeting human development goals while, simultaneously, sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depend. In other words, it is the development that is conducted without the depletion of natural resources. So, Sustainable Development is about social programmes, economic development and the care of the planet and environment. Like I have always said, there is no development, if environmental sustainability is not guaranteed.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
19. ..... .....Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), are the blueprint, containing 17 global goals to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030. The SDGs are designed to address the global challenges confronting the world including those related to poverty, inequality, climate and the environment, to mention a few. It was put together by UN General Assembly 2015. Barely 11 years to the target date, poverty which was supposed to be eradicated by 2015, throughout the world, has gone extreme. This means that inequality, which impinges on the human rights of the poor and which the SDGs sought to eradicate, is still very much alive. The Catholic Church, more than any other, has advocated the restoration of human dignity through the respect of individuals’ human rights. This therefore calls for the committed implementation of the SDGs if inequality is to be eradicated.
DIPLOMACY OF VALUES
20. ..... .....According to Brian C. Rathburn, Diplomacy is a game of high stakes poker in which states have no incentive to show their cards or believe the cheap talks of others. However, he contends that good diplomacy is chess rather than poker. Furthermore, Rathburn submits that diplomacy could also be viewed as a reasoned dialogue, which is sometimes referred to as enlightened, civilized diplomacy of a liberal variety. The application of any of these varieties depends on individual diplomats.
21. ..... .....Anupam Ray in an article "Values in Diplomacy" defines values as principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgment of what is important in life. It connotes, among other things, the existence of right and wrong, of good and evil, it equally implies the existence of choice between them. I want to believe that, we as Ambassadors to the Holy See, will always identify with those values that promote ecological prudence, fairness and human brotherhood in order to uphold the sustainability of our Common Home.
22. ..... .....In the past 20 minutes or thereabout, I have tried to discuss some critical factors that could foster the sustainability of our Common Home – the Earth. In doing so, I argued that anthropogenic activities have continued to have very dire consequences on our Common Home and highlighted some of the measures employed in the mitigation of the consequences. Consequently, I advocated the prudent utilization of natural resources and stressed the need for synergistic collaboration between the developed and the developing segments of the world.
23. ..... .....The paper argued that most of the anthropogenic activities are driven by Consumerism, the rich being at the driving seat. When however the impact of their activities hit the environment, they are most likely not to share in the consequences, but the innocent poor would be left to bear the brunt. This serves as injustice to the poor and the vulnerable. Consequently, the paper argued that these consequences could be averted through cooperation and love brought about by human brotherhood.
24. ..... .....Though development is desirable as it brings with it changes, those changes must be in the positive sense. Development that does not enlist environmental sustainability is a development on the negative slope of a graph; and to ensure the development that would bring good to all, the UN SDGs were brought on board to eradicate extreme poverty, inequality, mitigate the effects of Climate Change and preserve the environment – our Common Home.
25. ..... .....Finally the paper encourages the Holy See Ambassadors to help propagate the values the Holy Father continuously emphasizes in order to promote ecological prudence that would remove inequality. It is inequality that ends up disenfranchising the poor. Therefore, we must preach human brotherhood towards sustaining our Common Home – the Earth.
1. I would like to thank the organizers of this epochal conference and especially, Senator Roberto Salerno and my Chief Host, Honourable Andrea Tronzano, for inviting me. I must confess that my joy does not only derive from having the opportunity of participating in this conference, but in the life-
2. The theme of this conference is rested on a tripod – Economy, Security and Immigration. I must say that the subject of discourse was not only well thought out, it is current and very relevant to the diplomatic relations of Italy and Nigeria.
3. The interconnectedness of the three concepts of this conference cannot be downplayed. Italy and Nigeria have had a bilateral relationship dating back to over half of a century. This relationship has economic dimension tied to it; and that explains the presence of Italian businesses in virtually every facet of the economic life of Nigeria. There are Italian companies doing businesses in Agro-
4. The Italian companies investments in Nigeria have been symbiotically beneficial to the peoples of the two countries and I would like to use this forum to encourage the Italian entrepreneurs to leverage the many Nigerian government’s incentives to invest more in the Nigerian economy. Besides Agriculture, the Mining industry remains largely untapped; and, there is a galaxy of important solid minerals, ranging from Marble to Gold. Investing in the many sectors of the Nigerian economy would, definitely, promote the economic wellbeing of both countries, ensure the security of the peoples and stem irregular immigration.
5. Security shares an umbilical chord with economy. Let me quickly define the aspect of security I am referring to. Security has been largely misconstrued to mean the preservation of nation states, governments and regimes from danger. This, of course, is the Westphalian conception of security, which is the Hard Security. I am, however, talking, here, about the Soft Security aspect of Security. Specifically, I am saying that when the basic needs of man are met, as espoused by Abraham Maslow in his Hierarchy of Needs, security is guaranteed. The economy of the nation has to be bouyant to sustain security, and that is why I earlier asserted that security and economy share the same umbilical chord. Consequently, the choice of the theme could not have been more apt in addressing the many socio-
6. It is when there are distortions in the economy that people begin to feel insecure; and, the next reaction is to seek where their security can be guaranteed. The exploration of a more conducive environment in the face of economic insecurity leads to migration. Though an age-
7. People are bound to migrate from places that do not guarantee safety from harm, hunger and climate. In the early 1930s, the global economic meltdown saw people migrating to where they felt they had some form of security. Italians were no exception. Another economic downturn in Italy in 2007/2008 saw many Italian companies relocating elsewhere they considered more economically-
8. In a good part of Africa, where Nigeria belongs, there has been a combination of factors responsible for the migration of its youths to Europe and America. Besides those causative factors earlier mentioned, Consumerism has been fingered as one of the reasons fuelling Irregular Immigration. Immigration on its own is not a bad thing, but it is the Irregular Immigration that people talk about. Most times, discussions on Irregular Immigration do not go over the entire Push-
9. I would like to end my short remarks by thanking the sponsors and conveners of this important conference, which seeks to address the Economy, Security and Immigration issues confronting our world. In discussing these issues, we must focus on solutions that would not only provide a healthy economic environment, these solutions must assure us of our security. Consequently, if those two parameters are guaranteed, the knack for Irregular Immigration will be much reduced.
10. Whilst wishing you a very exciting conference, I wish to thank you for the privilege granted me and the attention. God bless.
Your Excellency Msgr Giovanni D’Ercole, the Bishop of Ascoli Piceno, our host. I am General Godwin George Umo (Rtd), the Nigerian Ambassador to the Holy See. Your Excellencies, the Ambassadors or their representatives of:
f. Any other ones not mentioned.
It is, indeed, a privilege to say the following few words on behalf of my colleagues. When the idea of coming for this visit was mooted to me, I asked the organizers what the import of the visit was and who was going to be the host. A letter was sent to me with H.E. Msgr Giovanni D’Ercole as our chief host. Immediately, the name struck a chord in my head because the Bishop, we are so fortunate to be guests to, in other climes, ought to be one of the national heroes. For the benefit of those of us, who had not followed the Earthquakes in Aquila and the recent one in Ascoli Piceno in 2016, Bishop Giovanni D’Ercole played a very active part in helping to salvage the victims and survivors of the earthquakes. This is one feat that stands Bishop Giovanni out as first amongst equals.
Talking about the two earthquakes, there were severe destructions of infrastructure and monuments that defined the culture of the people. Though efforts have been made to rebuild the colossal damages to the infrastructure and monuments, the psychological restitution may never be achieved. This situation therefore calls for global solidarity with the victims and their families in their harrowing experiences. We would like to reiterate that we are in solidarity with the victims and their families of these unfortunate disasters.
Bishop Giovanni D’Ercole knows full well that the total person cannot be separated from the politics of the environment he or she finds himself or herself; so, he partakes in several political discourses all in an attempt to proffer solutions to the engaging challenges. Disturbed by the political firestorms that defined the 2018 Italian Elections, he opined that the harsh tones used by the various political gladiators during the electioneering campaigns were worrisome and cautioned, after the elections, that they should bury their political hatchets and seek to be responsible. The Bishop succinctly captured this in a very few words. “Now it is time to rebuild, like after an earthquake”.
Born in Morino on 05 October 1947, Bishop Giovanni was ordained priest on his birthday in 1974. H.E. Msgr Giovanni D’Ercole is a polyglot; specifically, he speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. Barely 2 years after ordination, the Bishop was posted to Grand-
In 1987, Saint Pope John Paul II appointed him the Deputy Director of the Holy See Press Office, then directed by Joaquín Navarro-
Your Excellency, Msgr Giovanni d’Ercole, the Bishop of Ascoli Piceno, our host, Your Excellencies, I believe I will be saying your minds if I say that this auspicious visit to the highly revered Bishop is another milestone in the art and practice of Diplomacy. It is not entirely surprising to us that Carità Politica has put this together, as the Association has been at the forefront of giving values to diplomacy at the Holy See. This exercise goes to reinforce the tenets of diplomatic communications, which have been eloquently expressed by the organizers of this visit and our host. Your Excellencies, our host is a well known figure in and outside Italy.
When one ponders on the raison d’être of diplomacy from its inception at the Vatican to its conceptualization in the United Kingdom in 1645, the import of the unique visit comes to the fore. Frequent diplomatic communications and interactions would eliminate rancour, friction and misunderstanding. It is, indeed, the absence of these diplomatic ingredients of symbiotic existence that lead to war and violence. When therefore peace reigns, both bilateral and multilateral relations are boosted.
It is this type of cordial atmosphere that promotes and gives vent to the proper employment of instruments of diplomacy to the benefit of the parties concerned. Here then lays the significance of this visit, which you have generously given the nod to take place.
We, the Ambassadors, will not take your kindness and compassion for granted. More than anything else, we shall see this visit as a means of further deepening the diplomatic relations between our respective countries and the Holy See.
Let me end these few remarks by expressing our sincere thanks and appreciation to Carità Politica, especially Professor Alfredo Luciani, who has continued to remind us of the values of diplomacy. Whilst not forgetting other contributors like Heads of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia to this important programme, our appreciation goes to our host, H.E. Msgr Giovanni D’Ercole, who has not only educated us on the nexus between Diplomacy of Values and Development, but has laid bare his chest of hospitality for our comfort. It is our prayer that the good Lord shall reciprocate your kind gestures in no distant future. We thank you; and, God bless you all.