Friday, September 22, 2017

MYSTERY JERUSALEM FURTHER EXPOUNDED AT JERUSALEM AFRICAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT (ALS)

Pastor Reuven Berger had spoken on Jerusalem mystery at the ALS which held in Ile-Ife in 2016 (see CA! Vol 19 Qtr 2, No. 104).  He took the subject to new depths at the recently concluded ALS held in the city of Jerusalem (Aug 27-30).  One major conclusion of the talk is that the city of Jerusalem is currently in spiritual bondage and that Christians are duty-bound to pray for her.

In another article in this edition of CA!, we address the troubling statistics in Europe and the United States of churches closing enmasse, and mosques replacing them. Does Planting Churches matter?    As Pastor Agu Irukwu pointed out, it’s all about exercising territorial dominion (see http://churcharise.blogspot.com).  Even if there are only a dozen worshippers, what heaven sees is a worship centre.

The issue is particularly well-illustrated by the ongoing fierce spiritual battle for Mount Moriah. Expounding on this and ongoing efforts to build the 3rd Temple, Pastor Reuven Berger pointed out that the very existence of two Islamic shrines on Mount Moriah is a literal depiction of Jerusalem being currently in bondage with her children. As illustrated in Gal.4.25 Agar is clearly currently having the upper hand. The spiritual world is desperate to prevent a change in status quo on the mount. Who is worshipped on Mount Moriah would be God: Satan or Jehohah. Hence the raging conflict.

Pastor Reuven spoke of three “Zions,” depicted respectively as ZION, Zion, and zion. ZION represents the heavenly Jerusalem that is coming. The one described in Hebrews 12:  comprising the entire community of saints gone and present.  Zion refers to the current earthly Jerusalem (currently in spiritual bondage). Lastly,  zion refers to each child of God anywhere on the planet at this glorious Church Age.  According to Pastor Reuven, the will of God is that Zion be delivered from her bondage and be aligned (vertically) with the heavenly ZION.  Likewise, all the zions are to align (horizontally) with Zion, praying into existence, the will of God over Her.  These vertical and horizontal alignments, centred on Zion, is represented by the Cross.  As the Enemy gathers his forces against Zion, God is also gathering His Mahanaim, 2 camps comprised of a heavenly and an earthly squad.

As alluded to by several speakers at the ALS, more or less as a key and its lock need to be properly aligned for a functional fit, alignment of the “Zions” is required to allow Heaven inhabit Earth. Such as was demonstrated when the Holy Spirit visibly came to inhabit the Lord Jesus Christ during His baptism at Jordan, and the Church at Pentecost.

For now, it is Homecoming approaching, both for the Church and for Israel.  According to Pastor Reuven, “The homecoming of the Bride is the homecoming of Israel to the Lord.”  As Israel gets enlightened and returns to the Lord, her Messiah the Lord Jesus; it will also be time for the Church to return to the Lord, being joined with Her Head, in the Rapture.

The focus therefore for now, is the building of the Temple of Men, the Church. (1 Peter 2:5).  Thereafter, with the Rapture accomplished, the focus can shift back to the Temple of Stones – to be located on Mount Moriah. (Interesting to note that Mount Moriah is on the same range as Calvary).
The gentile Church therefore needs to pray for Israel, that God’s first son, estranged for our sakes (Exo. 4:22, Rom 11:26) would soon be reconciled back to Him.  Temporary estrangement between God and his first son Israel happened so as to give us opportunity to be grafted into the covenant and be reconciled to God.  It is our responsibility to share in God’s burden that reconciliation between Him and His first son be not delayed. The stock into which the gentiles are grafted is the Messianic Jews, starting from the early Apostles.  Currently, orthodox Jews object seriously to Messianic Jews who they consider to be cults. (see http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/234849 )

In a nutshell, our ultimate assignment for this age is preparing the Highway for the soon-return of the Great King. Israel’s being graffed back into her own tree will literally be “resurrection from the dead.” Not only for Israel, but for us all! (Rom 11:15).

SEPTEMBER 23: THUMP, TRUMP, OR THE TRUMP?



Amidst the various intense local conflicts and uncertainties on-going all over the world (eg in Nigeria: Restructuring, IPOB, etc), one deafening background buzz is the possibilities of a global cataclysm, a singularity-type event (i.e. something unprecedented, not likely-to-be repeated) happening this very weekend.

Of course in the Jewish calendar, it’s the beginning of a new year 5778 (Thursday-Friday).  To many people, across several shades of spirituality (Judaism, Bible Prophecy, as well as New Age - including Freemasons and the likes), the general consensus is that the long-prophesied new age would arrive sometime in 5777 after the landmark year 5776.  Now that the year 5777 itself has expired, rather than the expectation for a coming new age fading with it, it is only being extra-ordinarily heightened, and now adjudged “overdue”.   

The convergence of expectations across these diverse strange bedfellows of spiritualities is hinged on various premises.  These range from the possibility of the famed “planet Nibiru” (which exists only in the alternative science world!) thumping onto planet earth in some form of catastrophic collision; to that of President Trump deciding on a pre-emptive nuking of the ‘Rocket man’ of North Korea; or ultimately, to the blaring of the long-awaited Trump of God, which presumably will signal the Rapture of the saints off the planet.

Our focus is on the Rapture, which according to the Scriptures is an event BOUND to occur – any time from now, and without any further warning.  As will be evident shortly, TODAY Friday 22nd September 2017 is an especially appropriate and interesting day to examine the Rapture in relation with the feasts the Lord instituted for Israel.  There are seven of these feasts, (celebrated as a cluster of three festivals) and they are elaborately described in Leviticus 23:1-44. The first cluster comprised of three feasts which are celebrated in the Spring season (around April), then there is one Feast for the summer, and another cluster of three feasts come up during the Fall season (around September).
It is generally accepted that the four feasts associated with Spring/Summer were fulfilled at Jesus first coming, exactly at the periods when the feasts were physically being celebrated in Israel.  Thus the Lord was crucified at the feast of Passover, buried at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and rose from the dead during First fruits.  Furthermore, seven weeks after His resurrection, on the exact day of the feast of Pentecost (“when the day of Pentecost was fully come…” Acts 2:1), He sent the Holy Spirit on the disciples, marking the birth of the Church. It is interesting to note that it was also on this day that Moses had brought the Torah from the Mountain, thus in a way, marking also the birth of Israel. (http://endtimepilgrim.org/jewishfeasts.htm

Most Bible scholars therefore believe that the Fall feasts also would similarly be fulfilled in their exact times.  Thus the trumpet to herald the arrival of the Lord Jesus back to earth is expected to sound exactly on the Feast of the Trumpets, which would then usher in the Day of Atonement, and ultimately heaven literally coming to earth at the Feast of Tabernacles/Indwelling.  These last 3 feasts are not expected to be fulfilled in the same year though.  In fact, the final literal return of Jesus to earth (expected for a Feast of Tabernacles) is not expected to happen until the final “week” (7 years) appointed for the nation of Israel (see Daniel 9:27) has been fulfilled. 

Here then is what the time-table is expected to look like: The Trumpet sounds, heralding His coming, rousing the dead in Christ (1 Cor. 15:52, 1 Thess. 4:16-17), closing the Church age (Rom. 11:25, 2 Thess. 2:7), and automatically kicking off the final week (7 years) appointed for Israel (Dan. 9:27). Simultaneous with the sounding of the Trumpet, the antichrist shoots into prominence with the exit of the Church which had hitherto restrained his manifestation (2 Thess. 2:8), presumably aided by the emergence of a series of truly catastrophic global events that would need a man of extra charisma for their resolution.  The solution to be proffered by the antichrist to these global problems will be purely humanistic and would only work for a while, about three and half years.  Things will eventually become very rough for the Jews who would still want to honour the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For the next three-and-half years, persecuted and threatened, the Jews are nevertheless taken care of by the special Divine arrangement of Rev. 12:6, 13-14.  This period eventually closes with the Lord Jesus physically coming to rescue Israel and usher in the millennial reign of the Kingdom (Zech. 14, 2 Thess. 2:8).

Now to some hard facts on ground. Tomorrow Saturday September 23, the skies over Jerusalem would witness a special configuration of stars, planets and other heavenly bodies which very much will vividly resemble the vision described in Revelations 12:1ff. Blaring of Trumpets, which started yesterday at Rosh Hashanah will also continue as the nation of Israel marks Shabbat Shuva (Shabbat of Returning), the Shabbat between Rosh Hashana and the Day of Atonement. All these events, which may not be out-of-the-ordinary on their own, assume gargantuan importance when considered in the context of the many special jubilees and associated momentous events, all converging in Israel in the year 2017.  Now superpose all these with the increasing unprecedented upheavals in the environment, socio-economic, scientific, political, and spiritual sectors, at the global level, as extensively discussed on several occasions by Church Arise! 

Something need to give, one way or the other!

The big question for us Rapture-believing Christians (unfortunately MOST Christians in the world today do not believe in a literal Rapture) is: would it be at these particular trumps, that the Heavenly trump will also sound, leading to the rising of the dead in Christ and us still alive and remaining being caught up in the skies? 

Church Arise! says, “Why Not!”

To date, we have spoken against date-setting movements. Primarily, because, according to our understanding, events in Christianity, unlike those in Judaism, are not set in stones. They are to be fulfilled entirely at times the Father has put in His own power (Acts 1:7).  Indeed, the Church is not directly captured in the Jewish Feasts and all our association of the Rapture with the Feasts are only based on deductions.  THEREFORE WE BELIEVE THAT THE RAPTURE COULD VERY WELL HAPPEN AHEAD OF ANY PROJECTED DATE (NO MATTER HOW REASONABLE THE DATE).

In the present circumstances however, with only few hours to these buzz-dates, there is little danger of someone casting off restraints because they believed they still had some years, months, weeks, or even days before such expected dates for the Rapture. We therefore heartily enjoin Christians to enthusiastically keep alive in their hearts, the possibility of the Rapture occurring spontaneously anytime from NOW!  This is exceedingly exciting indeed and it is a great priviledge to be able to dare have this hope (Mat. 13:17!)

Of course there is also the big danger, which has repeated itself countless of times in the past, of people developing apathy or even hostility to the subject in the event of a no-show at some previous expected date.  In order words, what happens if the Rapture does not happen this weekend?  Perhaps it will be a week after. Or we might even have to wait another year, or even longer?

It will be foolish ruling out this possibility!  While there are abundant evidences confirming that we are operating as it were in “injury time”, nevertheless, there would remain some fundamental uncertainties in the calculations.  And unlike the famous “Uncertainty Principle” of quantum mechanics, we can’t really be sure of the magnitude of deviations we are dealing with.  Consider for instance that, even though the Lord Jesus was evidently sacrificed at Passover as our Passover Lamb; that same year, He himself still partook of the Passover meal with His disciples!  He would therefore have been seriously mistaken, anyone who seeing the Lord eat the Passover jumped to the conclusion that He (the Lord) would not be fulfilling the Passover that particular year. Bible scholars have addressed this issue. A citation attributed to Josephus explaining that people from the Northern Tribes eat their Passover earlier than those  in Judea can be found here, while a more rigorous discussion of the situation can be found here.  Furthermore according to an article we posted on our blog several weeks ago the exact time of the Feast of Trumpet is NOT predictable as it depends on the actual local weather condition over Jerusalem. Other scholars also strongly argue that The Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah)  might actually be different from Rosh Hashanah (see Shabbat-Shuvah,  NehemiahWalls

The point being made here is that tomorrow, September 23, is indeed as good as any day ever calculated for the Rapture to occur; but we must also realize that our best calculations are liable to some minor uncertainties. Even when we can’t be 100% sure of any particular date, we can be 100% sure that the season is here.  The day the Rapture would occur would dawn like any other day.  Like today.

As with other Kingdom-minded children of God, our prayers at Church Arise! are that there would be no more delays in the ushering in of God’s will on earth as it is in heaven.  That His  counsel finally overtake and prevail over the current chaos and counsel of hell on our beloved planet.  And that this will indeed happen this weekend!

However, if any of this analysis would require you having a drastic change in your schedules, it only confirms you have not had your priorities right as a Christian, all along.  The Lord’s instruction is that we occupy till He comes. Thank God there is still room to make amends! Whether the Lord bids us come up this weekend, or tarries a little longer, we must live in such a way that no news or speculations need make us break our strides or schedules.  We should endeavour to always put the Kingdom first, at all times! 

Do you have issues about your salvation?  Simply ask the Lord Jesus to have mercy on you, and believe He is good and will honour His words not to reject, under whatever circumstance, anyone who humbly asks for His mercy. (John 6:37., Rev 3:20, John 8:11)

Meanwhile, we are still here and there is work to do.  Hands to the Plough. Eyes on the Master, OCCUPY!

NCEF: SUKKUK IS STEALTH JIHAD CONTRARY TO SECTIONS 1 AND 10 OF THE NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION




21st  September, 2017


Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle
The President
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)
National Christian Centre
Abuja. FCT


Your Eminence,

SUKKUK IS STEALTH JIHAD CONTRARY TO SECTIONS 1 AND 10 OF THE NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION

We wish to congratulate CAN for the incisive and impactful intervention (the Press Statement) on the Federal Government sponsored Sukkuk financial system in Nigeria. With this intervention, CAN has opened the way for more purposeful Christian response on this issue. 

Section 1 of the 1999 Constitution provides as follows:
(1) This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on the authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
(2) The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any persons or group of persons take control of the Government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
(3) If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void

The introduction of Sukkuk and other forms of Islamic financial systems in Nigeria are not primarily for the financial benefits of the country but to entrench the Islamization Agenda through financial inducement. Sukkuk should not be viewed from the perspective of Government seeking to expand or strengthen the Nigerian economy, rather, as another surreptitious method of making Sharia the source of legislation and transmuting Nigeria into a full blown Islamic State. By now, these facts should be clear to all and sundry.

While we appreciate the contributions and suggestions coming from various Christian groups and individuals, it is necessary to retain focus on what is actually at stake. We are dealing with a gross violation of Sections 1 and 10 of the 1999 Constitution.  Section 10 prohibits Federal/State Government’s adoption of any religion. This is the focal point that all Christian efforts should be directed with the intention of retaining the Supremacy of the Constitution as the only source of legislation in Nigeria. If the Government is permitted to succeed with this violation of the Constitution, then the secularity of the Nigerian State may finally be abolished and a new source of legislation, which is Sharia, could come into operation in full force.

The NCEF appreciates the suggestion to visit notable Government financial institutions like the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Debt Management Office for discussions with Government officials on this issue. To our mind however, this would look like reporting an intransigent Employer to his Employees. All the officials at both CBN and DMO are Government employees and they must toe the line of their employer which, in this case, is responsible for the violation of the Constitution and subsequent introduction of Sharia.

The NCEF therefore supports the call by CAN in its Press Statement to engage in litigation on this issue. We have come to the point at which the Courts, up to the Supreme Court, has to interpret Sections 1 and 10 of the 1999 Constitution.  We must not forget that Sarkin Muslimi has said he recognizes only the Quran. A lot of inhuman and outright unconstitutional actions have taken place in Nigeria over the years, resulting in gross abuse of human rights of Christians in the country. The marginalization of Christians in the so-called “Sharia states”, the violation of the Principle of Federal Character in appointments, the lopsided dismissal of Christian personnel in the security agencies, and the recent introduction of Sukkuk Bond, to mention but a few, demand holistic approach.

Sharia-compliant finance (Sukkuk) is a category of investment or financial transactions that are conducted or structured in such a way considered by Islamic authorities to be “legal,” “authorized” or “pure” (halal) pursuant to Sharia. Whether a given transaction is deemed “compliant” depends on the approval of one or more Islamic scholars – men who are recognized by such authorities as possessing the requisite knowledge of sharia and who are engaged to serve on a sharia advisory board for the purpose of vetting each deal. (David Yerushalmi, Esq., “Sharia’s “Black Box”: Civil Liability and Criminal Exposure Surrounding Sharia Compliant Finance,” Utah Law Review, Vol. 2008, No. 3.)

Proponents of sharia-compliant finance (SCF) often convey the impression that SCF is an “ethical” financial system whose roots and practice are to be found in the Quran, hadiths and traditions of early Islam. In fact, it was invented out of whole cloth in the mid-20th Century by Muslim Brotherhood figures like Sayyid Qutb and Sayyid AbulA'la Al-Mawdudi. Its purpose was to provide yet another method to penetrate and undermine non-Sharia societies by stealthily insinuating sharia into their free markets. To this end, the Ikhwan seized upon what was, in fact, a biblical injunction against usury and transformed it into a prohibition on charging or earning any interest.

According to the SCF industry, other “impure” activities that must not be allowed to sully financial transactions involve pork, gambling, tobacco, music, drugs, pornography and non-Sharia countries defense.  The sharia-compliant finance industry did not amount to much until the beginning of the present century, when – thanks to the increased price of oil – vast foreign reserves created leverage for the oil exporting nations, their ruling elites and sovereign wealth funds to demand increasingly SCF options in exchange for recycling their petrodollars.  The sharia-compliant finance industry provides multiple benefits to the stealth jihadists. For starters, it has created a new instrument for forcing non-sharia-adherent Muslims to conform to their program.

Another benefit to the Ikhwan and its allies: SCF enables the “sharia advisors” to penetrate non-Sharia countries’ companies that retain their services, often essentially at board level. Once installed as the arbiters of what is halal (pure) and haram (impure), these champions of sharia are able to: gain insights into investments under consideration, shape deals, and discourage those of which they do not approve.

It stands to reason that from such influential positions, the advisors may be able to have a say not only over transactions involving Muslims, but others, as well. Needless to say, playing such a role would greatly magnify the opportunities sharia-compliant finance provides, in the words of Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Yousuf al-Qaradawi, to wage jihad with money”.

Qaradawi and other Muslim Brotherhood operatives calculated that by building automatically deducted zakat into their various deals, the advisors could obtain and channel vast sums to approved “charities” in accordance with sharia. In accordance with the Islamic obligation to perform zakat, promoters of sharia-complaint finance seek to facilitate and control such charitable donations.

Sharia approved philanthropy involves supporting jihad and its perpetrator and SCF amounts to a way to dress up for substantial zakat. The same can be said of funds derived from the “purification” of financial transactions initially deemed to be sharia-compliant but subsequently determined to be haram, instead. By sluicing the profits in this way from investments, financial instruments, etc., that were once deemed acceptable, the sharia advisors are able, at their discretion, to increase still further the sum available for their favorite “charities”.

Perhaps it is time to emphasize the fact that Christians erected the solid pillars upon which Nigeria attained its present height.  Rather than be given their due for this fact for the progress so far garnered in Nigeria, no matter however this is viewed, Islamists and others proponents of Islam continue to device one subterfuge or another to compromise the gains, all for the sake of promoting the Islamist prime objective (Sultanate) geared towards compromising democracy and rule of law.  Sukkuk is one of these devices intended to slow down the progress of Nigerians further by slowing down the progress of Christians.  We urge that Christians especially the leadership must be circumspect in dealing with traps laid by Islamists to ensnare and compromise the cherished ideals of Christianity.

These are Constitutional issues that require legal interpretation by competent courts of law and the NCEF is willing to work with the Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON), and other well meaning Christians and Christian Groups to legally pursue this issue to a logical conclusion.

We shall keep CAN abreast as we proceed and progress in this initiative.

Kindest regards,

Yours faithfully,


Solomon Asemota, SAN
Chairman,
National Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF)
21st September, 2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017

President Buhari's Address to the UNGA 2017


Note: The speech by President Buhari was apparently revised at the last minute, and the old one which had been widely distributed was dubbed “fake speech”.  The changes are highlighted at https://www.naij.com/1126079-6-differences-buharis-real-un-talk-fake-circulated.html.  The version here is from the facebook page of the President's media chief, so it qualifies as official.

STATEMENT DELIVERED BY
HIS EXCELLENCY MUHAMMADU BUHARI,
PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
AT
THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 72ND SESSION OF UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, IN NEW YORK,
ON
TUESDAY, 19 SEPTEMBER 2017
 Mr. President,
 Fellow Heads of State and Government,
 Mr. Secretary-General,
 Distinguished Delegates,
 Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of my country, Nigeria, I congratulate you Mr. President on your election and Mr. Gutteres on his first General Assembly outing as our Secretary-General. I assure you both of my country’s solidarity and cooperation. You will indeed need the cooperation of all member States as we are meeting during extra-ordinarily troubled and dangerous times. Let me also thank former Secretary-General Mr. Ban ki Moon for his service to the United Nations and wish him peaceful retirement.
Mr. President,
2. The previous year has witnessed many far-reaching developments. Some of the most significant events include the Iran Nuclear Deal, the Paris Climate Change Agreement and, of grave concern, the North Korean nuclear crisis.
l
Mr. President,
3. I must also commend the UN’s role in helping to settle thousands of innocent civilians caught in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. In particular, we must collectively thank the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany under the commendable leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Governments of Italy, Greece and Turkey for assisting hundreds of thousands of refugees.
4. In an exemplary show of solidarity, the international community came together within my own region to assist the countries and communities in the Sahel and the Lake Chad regions to contain the threats posed by Al Qaida and Boko Haram.
5. We thank the Security Council for visiting the countries of the Lake Chad Basin to assess the security situation and humanitarian needs, and for pledging assistance to rebuild lives and livelihoods. Indeed, in Nigeria we are providing relief and humanitarian assistance to millions in camps and those afflicted by terrorism, drought, floods and other natural disasters.
6. In the last year, the international community came together to focus on the need for gender equality, youth empowerment, social inclusion, and the promotion of education, creativity and innovation. The frontiers of good governance, democracy including holding free and fair elections, and enthronement of the rule of law are expanding everywhere, especially in Africa.
7. Our faith in democracy remains firm and unshaken. Our regional organisation ECOWAS came together to uphold democratic principles in The Gambia – as we had done previously in Cote D’Ivoire.
8. Through our individual national efforts, state institutions are being strengthened to promote accountability, and to combat corruption and asset recovery. These can only be achieved through the international community cooperating and providing critical assistance and material support. We shall also cooperate in addressing the growing transnational crimes such as forced labour, modern day slavery, human trafficking and cybercrime.
Mr. President,
9. These cooperative efforts should be sustained. We must collectively devise strategies and mobilise the required responses to stop fleeing ISIS fighters from mutating and infiltrating into the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, where there are insufficient resources and response capacity is weak.
10. This will require strong UN cooperation with regional organisations, such as the African Union, in conflict prevention and management. The UN should continue to take primary leadership of the maintenance of international peace and security by providing, in a predictable and sustainable manner, adequate funding and other enablers to regional initiatives and peacekeeping operations authorized by the Security Council.
Mr. President,
11. New conflicts should not make us lose focus on ongoing unresolved old conflicts. For example, several UN Security Council Resolutions from 1967 on the Middle East crisis remain unimplemented. Meanwhile, the suffering of the Palestinian people and the blockade of Gaza continue.
12. Additionally, we are now confronted by the desperate human rights and humanitarian situations in Yemen and most tragically in the Rakhine State of Myanmar. The Myanmar crisis is very reminiscent of what happened in Bosnia in 1995 and in Rwanda in 1994.
13. The international community cannot remain silent and not condemn the horrendous suffering caused by what, from all indications is a state-backed programme of brutal depopulation of the Rohingya inhabited areas in Myanmar on the bases of ethnicity and religion. We fully endorse the call by the Secretary-General on the Government of Myanmar to order a halt to the ongoing ethnic cleansing and ensure the safe return of the displaced Rohingya to their homes in safety and dignity.
14. In all these crises, the primary victims are the people, the most vulnerable being women and children. That is why the theme of this session: Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet" is most apposite.
15. While the international community grapples to resolve these conflicts, we must be mindful and focus on the widening inequalities within societies, and the gap between the rich and the poor nations. These inequalities and gaps are part of the underlining root causes of competition for resources, frustration and anger leading to spiralling instability.
16. The most pressing threat to international peace and security today is the accelerated nuclear weapons development programme by North Korea. Since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, we have never come so close to the threat of nuclear war as we have now.
17. All necessary pressure and diplomatic efforts must be brought to bear on North Korea to accept peaceful resolution of the crisis. As Hiroshima and Nagasaki painfully remind us, if we fail, the catastrophic and devastating human loss and environmental degradation cannot be imagined.
Mr. President,
18. Nigeria proposes a strong UN delegation to urgently engage the North Korean Leader. The delegation, led by the Security Council, should include members from all the regions.
19. The crisis in the Korean peninsula underscores the urgency for all member states, guided by the spirit of enthroning a safer and more peaceful world, to ratify without delay the Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, which will be open for signature here tomorrow.
Mr. President,
20. I end my remarks by reiterating Nigeria’s abiding commitment to the foundational principles and goals of the United Nations. Since our admission as a member state in 1960, we have always participated in all efforts to bring about global peace, security and development. Nigeria will continue to support the UN in all its efforts, including the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
I thank you.