By J Nastranis
NEW YORK (IDN) - António Guterres, who was sworn in on December 12 as the new UN Secretary-General, is expected to appoint Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, as his Deputy, according to Nigeria's Premium Times.
Mohammed had formerly served as an adviser to the outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. She was appointed minister by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2015.
Nigeria's Vanguard stated on December 12: A tweet by Pamela Falk, CBS UN correspondent, obtained by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that the world body would soon release a statement confirming the appointment of the Nigerian Minister of Environment.
Vanguard reported Nigeria’s Presidency reacting to the purported appointment of Mohammed, saying “she remains our Minister of Environment’’.
In a tweet on December 11 in Abuja, Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President assured that Nigerians would be fully informed on any development concerning the matter.
He said: “There is a lot of exuberance on the net concerning a UN job for Mrs Amina Mohammed. She remains our Minister of Environment. If there is anything on this that is released officially, we will let Nigerians know. I am pleased to know that she enjoys so much goodwill.’’
Meanwhile, Guterres pledged to reposition development at the centre of the Organization’s work and ensure that the UN can change to effectively meet the myriad challenges facing the international community.
“The United Nations needs to be nimble, efficient and effective. It must focus more on delivery and less on process; more on people and less on bureaucracy,” said Guterres after taking the oath of office at a ceremony before the 193-member UN General Assembly.
“The United Nations was born from war. Today we must be here for peace,” he added, noting that addressing root causes, cutting across all three pillars of the UN: peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, must be a priority for the Organization.
Guterres, a former Portuguese Prime Minister (1995 to 2002) and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees (2005-2015) replaces Ban who steps down at the end of the month after leading the global Organization for the past 10 years.
He was formally appointed by the General Assembly on October 13 in what was the culmination of an historic process Member States set in motion towards the end of 2015: the selection of a new UN Secretary-General, traditionally decided behind closed-doors by a few powerful countries, for the first time in history, involved public discussions with each candidate vying for the leadership position. [IDN-InDepthNews – 12 December 2016]
IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate.
Photo: Nigeria’s Environment Minister Amina Mohammed. Credit: Premium Times.