UN deputy chief commends Nigerian UN officials


UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed has commended Nigerians working at the UN, saying they have been good ambassadors of Nigeria and the global intergovernmental organisation in which they work.

Mohammed made the statement in an interview with a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at a reception in honour of Nigerians working at the UN at Nigeria House in New York.

Those honoured are Mrs Ahunna Eziakonwa, UN Development Programme’s Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa and Ms Fatima Kyari-Mohammed, the Permanent Observer of African Union Mission to the UN.

Others are Brig.-Gen. Solomon Udonwa, Permanent Mission’s out-going Defence Adviser and his successor, Brig.-Gen. Ismaila Isa, as well as ACP. Abdulkadir Hamzat, Police Adviser and Warrant Officer Ademola Eyinade, Chief Clerk of the Defence Section.

Mohammed said: “They (Nigerians) are doing really well. We have many in the agencies and we have many in the secretariat and everyone is adding value to the work.

“They’ve been recognised. They bring their experience to the job and you know as Nigerians, we are never afraid to speak or to lead.

“So we are impressed with them from UNDP to the secretariat, we welcome the new people today.

“Ahunna has been known to be an excellent RC in Uganda, moved to Ethiopia, now she’s heading up the Directorate for Africa, so we are very proud of her.”

The UN deputy chief also commended Kyari-Mohammed for the work she had been doing in collaboration with the African Member States and the UN to push for the Africa’s agenda.

“But let’s not forget Fatima Mohammed because as the AU Representative here, the work that she has to do with the UN is exceptional in trying to bring the frameworks that we have together – silencing the guns, making sure we achieve Agenda 2063.

“So really, all-in-all, I’m very impressed,” the UN deputy scribe said.

Eziakonwa, who was UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Ethiopia since 2015, also served as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Uganda and Lesotho.

The UNDP official thanked Nigeria and Nigerians at large for the support and recognition, pledging to make Nigeria proud in her capacity as the UNDP chief for the Africa region.

Eziakonwa said: “It’s a big responsibility and I feel like I need to make this country proud and that is a huge burden because Nigerian has given me everything that I have.

“This is a country where I was born and educated. So I feel a certain responsibility to also make Nigeria proud through my successful term in this position”.

Speaking with NAN, Kyari-Mohammed said she felt privileged, honoured and humbled to be recognised by the reception, especially by members of the community where she came from.

“As a representative of the African Union, I represent the continent. I have a responsibility to ensure that our common African positions are well articulated, they are understood.

“We make sure that we provide the platform for people to be able to engage with us, to support our member states, each and everyone of them.

“Of course, first and foremost, I am a proud Nigerian. I love my country and I have to be able to represent it the best way I possibly can.

“So as a first step, even as a representative of the African Union, the first thing you are thinking about is to ensure that the pride of your country is projected.

“But also to ensure that the common issues that we have as a country as members of the same continent are projected in such a way that people understand it because we are misunderstood as a continent.”

She regretted that quite often, when one hears about the continent, it is usually about negative things.

According to her, however, Africa has so many achievements and it is Africa’s responsibility to ensure that those achievements are projected in the best possible light


– Oct. 4, 2018 @ 9:55 GMT |



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