Newly elected UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday announced Nigeria’s Environment minister, Amina Mohammed as his Deputy Secretary-General.
Speaking on behalf of Guterres, the spokesman of the Secretary-General, Mr Stephane Dujarric, also announced the duo of Ms. Maria Viotti of Brazil and Ms. Kyung-wha Kang of the Republic of Korea into high-profile positions at the UN.
Guterres said: “I am pleased to announce that I will be appointing Ms. Amina J. Mohammed of Nigeria as my Deputy Secretary-General, and Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil as my Chef De Cabinet.
“I also intend to create the position of Special Advisor on Policy, and to appoint Ms. Kyung-wha Kang of the Republic of Korea to this new role.
“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.
“These appointments are the foundations of my team, which I will continue to build, respecting my pledges on gender parity and geographical diversity.”
Mohammed, the current Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, served as UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning.
She was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals.
Before joining the UN, Mohammed worked for three successive administrations in Nigeria, serving as Special Adviser on the Millennium Development Goals.
In her reply, Ms. Mohammed, thanked Secretary-General-designate, António Guterres, and President Muhammadu Buhari for the confidence they reposed in her.
Ms. Mohammed, in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria, in New York 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.”
The Minister of Environment 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.”