Nigeria’s Representative at the United Nation UN, Prof Tijjani Mohammed Bande, has been elected the President of the 74th UN General Assembly in an election which took place yesterday.
A native of Zagga in Kebbi State, Muhammed-Bande has had an outstanding career as a scholar and diplomat.
He holds M.A in Political Science from Boston University, USA, in 1981 and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto, Canada in 1987. Between January 2000 and February 2004, he was the Director-General of the Centre African de Formation et de Recherche Administrative pour le Development (CAFRAD) in Tangier, Morocco.
He is to take over from the current President, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, who steps down on September 17th.
In his remarks, Secretary-General António Guterres congratulated Mr. Muhammad-Bande and noted some of the “many important and admirable qualifications” he brings to the office.
Guterres cited the president-elect’s tenure as Nigeria’s UN Ambassador; his expertise in political science and public administration; and the “invaluable insights” he has into Africa’s challenges and world affairs in general, particularly regarding the Organization’s peace and security work, sustainable development and human rights.
The UN chief said that “as we gear up to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations”, he hopes to use the occasion “to reaffirm the value of international cooperation and the vision of the Charter”.
Mr. Guterres also commended the current Assembly President, María Fernanda Espinosa for her “outstanding work”, saying “I am most grateful for her support for United Nations reform and her overall stewardship of this body”.
The Secretary-General concluded by offering the president-elect his support “as we strive to reach our shared goals and uphold universal values”.