The elected United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, who will replace Ban Ki-moon coming 2017, has appointed the environment minister of Nigeria to be his deputy secretary-general. According to reports, the incoming Secretary-general of the United Nations has additionally named two additional women to occupy high positions in the United Nations. This comes as a good news to many youth (especially women) who anticipated the next UN Secretary-general position to be occupied by a woman. This move by Antonio Guterres is a great gesture towards gender equality and also ensuring gender balance within the United Nations as the current statistics shows women occupy only about 20 per cent of the under-secretary-general positions.
Amina Mohammed has been a key player in Nigeria’s development since she assumed office as the country’s environment minister. She was seen the fulfillment of many projects within the country and has improved the integration of civil society groups in the decision making and implementation of several environment related projects in Nigeria. Following the announcement of Amina Mohammed as the deputy Secretary-general of the United Nations, some environmental activists in Nigeria have been concerned about Mohammed’s relationship with the ministry of environment once she leaves to serve as the UN. It is known that she gave many platform and opportunities to young environmental advocates and activists. Previously, Amina Mohammed has served as special advisor to Ban Ki-moon where she contributed substantially towards the effort to set the sustainable development goals for the United Nation.
In addition to Nigeria’s Amina Mohammed are Brazil’s Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti and South Korea’s Kyung-wha Kang who have both been appointed by Antonio Guterres as chief of staff and special advisor on policy respectively.