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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Nigerian Amina Muhammed becomes 5th Deputy Secretary-General of United Nations

Shettima, Amosun in UN headquarters as Amina Mohammed takes oath of office

By Lawal Mustafa AbdulRaheem

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed

Nigerian Minister of Environment, Ms.Amina J. Muhhammed has been sworn-in Tuesday to become the 5th Deputy Secretary General of United Nations. The swearing-in ceremony held in New York was witnessed by many chiefs of UN who assembled to give accolade to the second female to occupy the post since the year 1997 deputy position was formalised by UN General Assembly.

NUJ Europe reports that Ibikunle Amosun, governor of Ogun state and his Borno state counterpart Shettima Mustafa were among the Nigerian politicians who witnessed the swearing in of Amina Mohammed as Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations at headquarters in New York.

Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, administered the oath on Mohammed.

Born in 1961, and educated in Nigeria and the UK, Ms. Mohammed is married with six children. She was the Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from November 2015 to December 2016, where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action, protecting the natural environment and conserving resources for sustainable development.

One of the notable projects that the ministry of environment embarked upon under her watch was the flagging off of the cleanup of Ogoni land.

Prior to this, she served as Special Adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning, where she was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

She provided advice on issues including poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development, and coordinating poverty reduction interventions.

An adjunct professor of Development Practice at Columbia University, Mohammed has served on numerous international advisory boards and panels including the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the African Women’s Millennium Initiative, Girl Effect, 2016 African Union Reform and the ActionAid International Right to Education Project.

Speaking in Abuja during a valedictory service organised in her honour last week, Mohammed said the development of Nigeria and Africa, will be her priority at UN.

Before joining the UN, Ms. Mohammed worked for three successive administrations in Nigeria, serving as Special Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals, providing advice on issues including poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development, and coordinating programmes worth $1 billion annually for MDG-related interventions.

The new post of Deputy Secretary-General was established by the General Assembly at the end of 1997 as part of the reform of the United Nations, to help manage Secretariat operations and to ensure coherence of activities and programmes. The purpose was also to elevate the Organization's profile and leadership in the economic and social spheres.

Ms. Mohammed began her 35-year career in the private sector with architects and engineers responsible for the project management of health, education and public sector buildings.

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