Amb. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, has emerged as the President of the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Prof Bande, who will take over office in September as the second Nigerian to hold the office after Joseph Garba.
Following his emergence, United Nation Secretary General, António Guterres has pledged support for Bande assuring the President-elect of his support to actualize his vision. Guterres gave the assurance in his statement shortly after the election of Mohammad-Bande at the 87th plenary meeting of UNGA in New York. “It is my pleasure to congratulate Prof. Tijani Mohammad Bande as President of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. “Prof Bande, you bring many important and remarkable qualifications to the job.
From your years as permanent representative of Nigeria, you know the United Nations well. “And from your wide-ranging academic pursuit, you are an expert in political science and public administration. “And as a Nigerian and an African, you have invaluable insight into the continent’s challenges such as the Sahel and the Lake Chad basin, and more broadly to the challenges our world faces across the six pillars of our work - peace, sustainable development and human rights. “We wish you well in your preparation for this role in the months ahead. “Mr President-elect, we all look forward to working with you and you can count on my support, as we strive to reach our shared goals and uphold universal values.’’
Outgoing UNGA President, Ms Maria Espinosa, also congratulated Mohammad-Bande, describing him as the man for the job. “Amb. Tijani’s career and experience both as a scholar and a diplomat should serve him and the General Assembly well in a session that promises to be pivotal. She noted that Bande is well seasoned to provide the strong and creative leadership the assembly requires.
In his acceptance speech, Muhammad-Bande thanked the Federal Government of Nigeria for nominating him for the position, and the African Group in the Assembly for endorsing his candidacy. He pledged to provide a vibrant and purposeful leadership anchored on accountability and transparency. “As I announced in my mission statement and during the interactive dialogue on May 13, the implementation of existing mandates and the 2030 agenda with particular focus peace and security, poverty eradication, zero hunger, quality education, climate action and inclusion will constitute the major priority of my presidency.
“I am committed to promote 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. The president-elect, reiterate that as President of the 74th session of the General Assembly, openness, inclusivity and transparency will guide all actions of the office of the President of the General Assembly.’’