Ms Amina Mohammed, the immediate past Minister of Environment, will be sworn-in on Tuesday as the UN Deputy Secretary-General at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Mohammed, who was appointed by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Dec. 15, 2016 as his deputy, was supposed to have assumed office on Jan. 1, 2017.
She, however, delayed the assumption of her new role at the request of President Muhammadu Buhari to complete some ongoing responsibilities she was handling at that time.
Guterres had, while announcing Mohammed alongside two other women appointees, described them as “highly competent”.
“I am happy to count on the efforts of these three highly competent women, whom I have chosen for their strong backgrounds in global affairs, development, diplomacy, human rights and humanitarian action.
Amina Mohammed: new UN deputy secretary-general
“These appointments are the foundations of my team, which I will continue to build, respecting my pledges on gender parity and geographical diversity,” Guterres had said.
The office of the UN Deputy Secretary-General was formally established by the General Assembly in 1997 to handle many of the administrative responsibilities of the Secretary-General.
As the fifth Deputy Secretary-General, Mohammed will help to manage the UN Secretariat operations, and “ensuring inter-sectoral and inter-institutional coherence of activities and programmes”.
She will also support the Secretary-General in elevating “the profile and leadership of the UN in the economic and social spheres, including further efforts to strengthen the UN as a leading centre for development policy and development assistance”.
In accepting the appointment, the then environment minister said she would continue to lay strong foundations for the various ongoing initiatives critical to the Federal Government’s success in the environment sector.
“The opportunity and responsibility to serve people and planet as the next UN Deputy Secretary-General is truly humbling.
“I am most grateful for the confidence and trust demonstrated by the United Nations Secretary-General-designate António Guterres and President Muhammadu Buhari.
“As directed by Mr President, I will continue in the meantime to lay strong foundations with various important ongoing initiatives critical to the government success in the environment sector.
“These include our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Climate Agreement, the successful launch of the first Sovereign Green Bonds in 2017, the ongoing Ogoni clean-up and development of the Great Green Walls.”
Mohammed also thanked her colleagues and the various stakeholders in the environment sector.
“The next phase of my continued service to the people of Nigeria at the global level, will certainly build on the rich insights and lessons drawn from engaging with leaders, colleagues and stakeholders across our beloved nation.”
She recalled her positions of responsibilities over the last three decades and her contributions to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and recently working for environment protection as part of Buhari administration’s vision to transform Nigeria.
Mohammed served as UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning.
She was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the SDGs.
Before joining the UN, Mohammed worked for three successive administrations in Nigeria, serving as Special Adviser on MDGs.
She provided advice on issues including poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development, and coordinating poverty reduction interventions.