Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Mr Antonio Guterres has tapped Nigeria’s former Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, as her Deputy for the second time.
Guterres made the announcement on Friday, shortly after the 193-member UN General Assembly unanimously reappointed him for another five-year term.
The New Diplomat had reported that the 72-year-old Portuguese was the sole candidate for the top position in the world’s apex body.
The UN boss said he feels “humbly and energetic” for the overwhelming support from countries, adding, “I will do my best to ensure that trust between large and small nations flourishes, build bridges, and work tirelessly to build trust.”
Guterres, who succeeded Ban Ki-moon in January 2017 as the ninth Secretary-General of the UN, will have his second term commence on January 1, 2022.
The UN Secretary-General, while speaking at a press conference shortly after taking his oath of office for the second term disclosed that he had extended an offer to Amina Mohammed to continue in office as the Deputy Secretary-General.
Guterres said, “After being elected, I have the pleasure to invite the deputy secretary-general to remain in my second mandate and I hope she will accept.’’
Responding to the announcement, Mohammed, who was standing behind Guterres at the press conference, said it’s an “absolute honour.”
- Amina Mohammed’s Profile
Mohammed is a diplomat and politician who is serving as the fifth Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
She had also served as the special adviser to Ban Ki-moon on post-2015 development planning, which focused on the 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals.
Mohammed was born in Liverpool, the UK, to a Fulani Nigerian veterinarian officer and a British nurse. She is the eldest of 5 daughters.
She attended her primary education in Kaduna and Maiduguri, and Buchan School in the Isle of Man. She further attended Henley Management College in 1989. After she finished her studies, her father demanded she return to Nigeria.
Between 1981 and 1991, Mohammed worked with Archcon Nigeria, an architectural design firm in association with Norman and Dawbarn United Kingdom.
In 1991, she founded Afri-Projects Consortium, and from 1991 to 2001 she was its Executive Director.
From 2002 until 2005, Mohammed coordinated the Task Force on Gender and Education for the United Nations Millennium Project.
Mohammed later acted as the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In 2005, she was charged with the coordination of Nigeria’s debt relief funds toward the achievement of the MDGs. Her mandate included designing a Virtual Poverty Fund with innovative approaches to poverty reduction, budget coordination and monitoring, as well as providing advice on pertinent issues regarding poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development.
Mohammed later became the Founder and CEO of the Center for Development Policy Solutions and an Adjunct Professor for the Masters in Development Practice program at Columbia University.
During that time, she served on numerous international advisory boards and panels, including the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development. She also chaired the Advisory Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Global Monitoring Report on Education (GME).
From 2012, Mohammed was a key player in the Post-2015 Development Agenda process, serving as the Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 development planning. In this role, she acted as the link between the Secretary-General, his High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons (HLP), and the General Assembly’s Open Working Group (OWG), among other stakeholders. From 2014, she also served on the Secretary-General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.
Mohammed served as Federal Minister of Environment in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari from November 2015 to February 2017. During that time, she was Nigeria’s representative in the African Union (AU) Reform Steering Committee, chaired by Paul Kagame. She resigned from the Nigerian Federal Executive Council on 24 February 2017.
In January 2017, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced his intention to appoint Mohammed as Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. In this capacity, she is a member of the UN Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (IACG).