New UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday announced Nigeria’s Environment Minister, Amina Mohammed, as his Deputy Secretary-General.
Guterres made the announcement through the spokesman of the Secretary-General, Mr. Stephane Dujarric.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Guterres 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.
“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,” Guterres said.
Mohammed, Nigeria’s current Minister of Environment, served as UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the 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 Millennium Development Goals.
She provided advice on issues including poverty, public sector reforms, sustainable development, and coordinating poverty reduction interventions.
She is also an Adjunct Professor in Development Practice at Columbia University, and serves on numerous international advisory boards and panels, including the UN Secretary-General’s high-level panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Others include the Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development and the Global Development Programme of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Born in 1961, and educated in Nigeria and the UK, Mohammed is married and has six children.
Guterres had hinted on Monday after he took the oath of office that gender parity would be top of his agenda as the UN scribe.
He said, “I think that one very important element of the agenda would be to give a clear signal that gender parity is a must and so in the appointments I will be making.
“And the first ones would be announced soon. You’ll see that gender parity will become a clear priority from top to bottom in the UN and it will have to be respected by all.”