INTRODUCTION: A three-day conference on disarmament and development in Africa has opened in Lagos.
GV Nigerian Institute of International Affairs building. (2 SHOTS)
SCU INT Minister of State Alhaji Ali Baba speaking in English. (4 SHOTS)
SPEECH ON CASSETTE (TRANSCRIPT)
BABA: "The need for disarmament should be the concern of all humanity, whether they be nuclear or non-nuclear weapon states. Our world civilisation as we know it is the common heritage of mankind, and its preservation must rate the highest priority of us all. No task is therefore more urgent or compelling than that of world disarmament. Disarmament on a global scale will release forces of peace and the advancement of mankind to a level yet unprecedented or dreamed of. The decision is ours to make, and delay will only increase the potential hazards the world already faces through continued acquisition of nuclear weapons. To buttress the need for disarmament in order to achieve development, the Brandt Commission Report on the North-South Dialogue, written in 1979, among other things pointed out that the annual military bill of the world, which was now approaching $450 billion - that was in 1979 - while official development aid accounted for less than five per cent of this figure. $23 billion.
Furthermore, the Report noted that the military bill of only half a day would suffice to finance the whole malaria eradication programme of the World Health Organisation, and less would be needed to conquer river blindness, which is still the scourge of millions, especially in developing countries. But perhaps the most sobering set of statistics is the fact, contained in the Report, that one half of one per cent of one year's world military expenditure would pay for all the farm equipments needed to increase food production and approach self-sufficiency in food deficit in low-income countries by 1990."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: A three-day conference on disarmament and development in Africa has opened in Lagos. Delegates from universities and armed forces across the continent will be discussing development in Africa in relation to the security needs of the continent, in particular to military expenditure. Speakers will also examine such contentious issues as the role of foreign military bases in Africa and the threat posed by nuclear weapons. The conference sponsored by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs began on Wednesday (15 July).
SYNOPSIS: Alhaji Ali Baba of the Nigerian External Affairs Ministry opened the proceedings.