Incoming United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, on Thursday announced Ms Amina Mohammed as his Deputy Secretary-General.
Guterres made the announcement through the spokesman of the Secretary-General, Mr Stephane Dujarric.
Mohammed, Nigeria’s current Minister of Environment, was former UN Under-Secretary-General to outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the 2030 Agenda for Development.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the secretary-general-designate also announced the appointment of two other women into top UN positions.
NAN reports that Guterres had hinted on Monday after he took the oath of office that gender parity would be top on his agenda as the UN scribe.
The UN chief, who succeeds outgoing secretary-general Ban, will assume office on Jan. 1, 2017, for the next five years.
Mohammed was recently appointed by President Buhari to serve in the African Union (AU) Reform Steering Committee as Nigeria’s Representative.
Mohammed, who hails from Gombe State in North-East, had formerly served as adviser to the outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
Prior to this confirmation, there were unconfirmed media reports that Amina Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, has been appointed as Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The social and traditional media outfits had reported widely that Mrs Mohammed is set to be appointed UN Deputy Secretary-General.
A tweet by Pamela Falk, CBS news reporter for the United Nations, obtained by NAN, said that the world body would soon release a statement confirming the appointment of the Nigerian Minister of Environment.
The Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York, 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, 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.
She provided advice on issues including poverty, public sector reform and 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 Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
She is also the UN Secretary-General’s Global Sustainability Panel, the African Women’s Millennium Initiative, Girl Effect and the ActionAid International Right to Education Project.
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.
“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.”
“This is a very ambitious agenda, an agenda that must be for both woman and man, and that is why parity is so important in our reform perspectives.
“That is also why the empowerment of women is so important in everything the UN will be doing around the world,” the incoming UN scribe said.
Guterres, succeeds outgoing secretary-general Ban, who bows out on Dec. 31, 2016 after a decade of two terms, while the new secretary-general assumes office on Jan. 1, 2017, for the next five years.