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UN General Assembly elects Nigeria’s Mohammad-Bande as president

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Tijjani Muhammad-Bande PHOTO:Twitter

The United Nations General Assembly yesterday in New York, United States elected Nigeria’s Prof. Tijjani Mohammad-Bande as president of the 74th Session of the body.

As the sole candidate for the position, he emerged victorious through acclamation at the 87th plenary meeting of the Assembly.

He is the second Nigerian to hold the office after Joseph Garba, a retired military officer and diplomat, who led the organ between 1989 and 1990.

As the nation’s Permanent Representative to the global organisation, Mohammad-Bande worked in all regions of the world to achieve common objectives. He had served as vice president of the General Assembly during the 71st Session and remained active in several forums, including as chair of the United Nations Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34), member, Advisory Board of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre and chair of the ECOWAS Group (2018-2019).

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Muhammad-Bande, who has had an outstanding career as a scholar and diplomat, bagged a B.Sc in Political Science from Ahmadu Bello University in 1979; MA and Ph.D in same discipline from Boston University, United States and University of Toronto, Canada in 1981 and 1987.

Set to resume office in September this year, Muhammad-Bande started out as a lecturer in Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, rising from Graduate Assistant in 1980 to full professor in 1998, and ultimately as vice chancellor in 2004, a position he held for five years.

The diplomat served as Director-General of Le Centre Africain de Formation et de Recherche Administratives pour le Dèveloppement (CAFRAD) in Tangier, Morocco between 2000 and 2004. He later held the position of Director-General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Nigeria’s most reputable institution for training of leaders from the public and private sectors, including the top echelons of the Armed Forces, from 2010 to 2016.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, in his congratulatory message stated: “It is my pleasure to congratulate Professor Tijjani Mohammad-Bande as President of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. From your years as Permanent Representative of Nigeria, you know the United Nations well.”

The scribe added: “As a Nigerian and an African, you have invaluable insights into the continent’s challenges – such as the Sahel and Lake Chad basin – and more broadly into the challenges our world faces across the three pillars of our work, peace, sustainable development and human rights.”

Guterres held that the Nigerian don would be in office, as the global body commemorates its 75th anniversary.
September, according to him, would see a crucially important series of meetings, including the Climate Action Summit and the Sustainable Development Goals Summit, and the high-level gatherings on universal health coverage, Small Island developing states and financing for sustainable development.


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