UN General Assembly 2023: Confusion Surrounding Niger’s Speaking Slot

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The 2023 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is taking place from September 19 to 26. On September 21, representatives from several countries are still scheduled to address the assembly, including those from 17 African nations. Niger, which experienced a coup on July 26, was also supposed to speak during the UNGA. However, as the UN does not recognize the junta in charge, Niger may not have the opportunity to address the assembly. Here’s an explanation of the situation.

Debates continue at the United Nations General Assembly on September 21, 2023. Seventeen representatives from African states are set to speak on this day. The speech from Niger, a country led by an unrecognized junta by the UN, was originally scheduled for this day before being removed from the agenda by the UN’s authorities. Despite this, the coup leaders sent their Minister of Foreign Affairs to represent Niger at the UN.

The designated representative is Yaou SangarĂ© Bakary, who had been appointed as Niger’s representative to the UN in March, well before the coup that took place on July 26, 2023, against President Mohamed Bazoum. In his capacity as Niger’s ambassador, Yaou SangarĂ© Bakary possessed diplomatic credentials and accreditation to access the UN headquarters.

Moreover, the Minister was in New York on September 18 to attend the Summit on Sustainable Development Goals. He even recorded a video in the UN corridors in which he stated, “Niger is represented, and it intends to participate at all levels in the Assembly’s proceedings.” This statement was broadcast by Nigerien state television.

However, a source at the UN has indicated that the organization received a communication from Hassoumi Massaoudou, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the overthrown regime of Mohamed Bazoum, considered the only legitimate authority in Niger.

Soukaina Sghir

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