The Vice-president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has reiterated the need for G-8 countries to leverage on their strength and comparative advantage to advance the course of their nations.
Osinbajo made the remarks at the 6th D-8 Ministerial Meeting on Industrial Cooperation with member countries in Abuja on Tuesday, saying that the countries at all times must uphold the principles of fundamental freedoms, peace and justice.
This was contained in a press statement made available to newsmen by the senior special assistant to the vice-president on media and publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande.
“Let me begin by, on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria, to join all members of the G-8 in expressing our sincere condolences to the government and people of Iran on the very unfortunate earthquake and the loss of so many lives only a couple of days ago.
“Pease, accept my very warm welcome toNigeria and Abuja on behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari. This is an important meeting especially coming so soon after the extremely successful meeting in Turkey where our president offered to host this meeting of ministers of industry.
“This meeting offers an opportunity to consolidate on some of the gains of the 9th Summit. Your Excellencies, Honourable Ministers, we live in a time of great challenges. For us the fall in commodity prices, huge problems with climate change and slowing of economic growth are only a few. But besides, between now and 2015, ten countries are going to account collectively for over half the world’s projected population increase. Of that ten, four, including Nigeria, are D-8 countries. All of these countries also have large youth populations who will need education, jobs and livelihoods in the next few years.
“But perhaps more importantly, it is a time also of enormous opportunities. The fall in commodity prices has led us to deepen diversification of our economies, and challenge industry to greater productivity and cost effectiveness. Most of our nations are achieving great milestones in the use of renewable energy while our young people, despite the difficulties, are competing with their peers in the commercial use of innovation and technology.
“Honourable Ministers, it is time to leverage on the clear vision of the founders of this organization for economic co-operation, which is to advance the positions of developing countries in the world economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations and enhance better standards of living for our people in the main areas we have marked for co-operation namely: finance, banking, rural development, science and technology, humanitarian development, agriculture, energy, environment and health.
“We must begin to make concrete plans for collaboration and partnerships. We must use our strength and comparative advantages to advance the good of one and all of our nations. This is the reason for our coming together and we must take full advantage of this auspicious arrangement.
“On the socio-economic front, we must constantly remind ourselves of the profound statement of principles, which we made in our very first summit in Istanbul in 1997, which was that the main objective of the D-8 is social economic development in accordance with the following principles; peace instead of conflict, dialogue instead of confrontation, co-operation instead of exploitation, justice instead of double standards, equality instead of discrimination, democracy instead of oppression. These principles are timeless and as relevant today as they were then.
“The D-8 countries must remain a potent force for peace, for justice and the observance of fundamental freedoms at all times. And this is especially so for the social upheavals, conflicts and tensions swelling here and there.
“Finally, let me again reiterate Nigeria’s commitment to working with all of our members in the task of enlarging opportunities for trade and investment, amongst our members and our readiness to continue to support the work of the organization in these areas.
“I wish you all very pleasant stay here in Abuja and very useful deliberations at this important meeting. It is now, my very special privilege to formally declare the 6thmeeting of the Ministers of the D-8 Countries for Economic Cooperation open”, the statement said.
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