By David Olalekan.
Ambassador Tijani Muhammad-Bande, has been elected as President of the 74th UN General Assembly.
Before his election, the renowned ambassador was Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
As the sole candidate for the position, he was elected yesterday at the 87th plenary meeting of the Assembly in New York, the United States.
Muhammad-Bande is the second Nigerian to occupy the office. He will take over from the 73rd president of the United Nations General Assembly, Maria Espinosa of Ecuador in September.
President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Ambassador Bande as Nigeria’s representative to the United Nations on March 31, 2018.
Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres has hailed the emergence of Tijani Bande as President of the 74th UN General Assembly, assuring him of his continued support.
In a statement shortly after the election, the UN Secretary General said:
“It is my pleasure to congratulate Prof. Tijani Mohammad-Bande as President of the 74th session of UNGA.
“Prof Bande, you bring many important and remarkable qualifications to the job. From your years as Permanent Representative of Nigeria, you know the UN well.
“From your wide ranging academic pursuit, you as an expert in political science and public administration and as a Nigeria and an Africa, 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”, the statement said.