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Tijjani Muhammad-Bande: 7 things you need to know about Nigerian diplomatic appointed as new President of United Nations General Assembly

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  • Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Nigeria’s current UN Permanent Representative, emerges President of the 74th UN General Assembly.
  • The Nigerian diplomat will succeed Ecuador’s Maria Fernanda Espinosa in September 2019.
  • The 61 years old diplomat will be the third Nigerian to hold the office.

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Nigeria’s current UN Permanent Representative, has emerged as President of the 74th UN General Assembly.

Muhammad-Bande was elected to head the world body by acclamation on Tuesday in the General Assembly Hall in New York and will succeed Ecuador’s Maria Fernanda Espinosa, a statement from the UN body reads.

The 61 years old diplomat will be the third Nigerian to hold the office after the retired military officer and diplomat, Joseph Garba, and former permanent representative to the UN, Professor Joy Ogwu.

Peace and security, poverty eradication, zero hunger, quality education, climate action, and inclusion will constitute a major priority of my presidency”, said the Nigerian ambassador.

When he takes the reins at the opening of the 74th session in September, he committed “to promoting partnerships that are needed from all stakeholders to achieve our objectives, and ultimately ensure that we do our best to ensure peace and prosperity, particularly, for the most vulnerable”.

Business Insider SSA by Pulse looks at seven things about Mohammed-Bande:

  • Academic background

Professor Tijjani Muhammad-Bande is an outstanding scholar and diploma who received a B.Sc (Political Science) from Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria (1979); MA (Political Science), Boston University, USA (1981); and Ph.D (Political Science), University of Toronto, Canada (1987).

  • From a lecturer to Vice Chancellor

He started at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria, rising from Graduate Assistant in 1980 to full Professor in 1998, and ultimately to Vice-Chancellor, in 2004, a position he held for five years.

  • Director General of intergovernmental Centre for governance reform

Between 2000 and 2004, he served as the Director-General of Le Centre Africain de Formation et de Recherche Administratives pour le Dèveloppement (CAFRAD), in Tangier, Morocco. Established by African Governments in 1964, CAFRAD is the continent’s premier intergovernmental Centre for governance reform.

  • DG Nigeria’s National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies

From 2010 to 2016, Professor Muhammad-Bande held the position of Director-General of Nigeria’s National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, the country’s most reputable policy institution for training leaders from the public and private sectors, including high echelon officials of Nigeria’s Armed Forces. In that capacity, he inspired a marked improvement in the quality of the Institute’s programming and activities, and one of his signature initiatives in that regard was the establishment of the Political Parties Policy and Leadership Development Centre, the first of its kind in Africa.

  • Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations

As Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, he worked with colleagues from all regions of the world to achieve common objectives.

  • Vice-President of the General Assembly

He served as the Vice-President of the General Assembly during the 71st session and remains active in several fora, 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).