On Monday, September 16, 2019, Nigerian political scientist and diplomat, Tijjani Muhammad Bande, was inaugurated as the President of the United Nations General Assembly.
In a ceremony held inside the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations headquarters in New York, Ecuadorian diplomat, Maria Espinosa who was president of the 73rd UN General Assembly, handed over to the Nigerian, who will lead the 74th session of the assembly for the next year. The handover ceremony marked the end of the 73rd session, and the 74th session official began on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 with the African who is also Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, fully in charge of proceedings.
Tijjani Muhammad Bande was elected president of the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on June 4, 2019 during the 87th plenary meeting of the Assembly. Bande’s candidacy went unchallenged as he was elected with acclamation. He is the second Nigerian to hold the position after Joseph Garba, a retired military officer and diplomat who led the UN organ between 1989 and 1990. During his speech after the elections in June, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, congratulated and charged the Nigerian diplomat to make use of his familiarity with the African terrain to solve some of the problems confronting the region.
Professor Bande, you bring many important and admirable qualifications to the job. From your years as Permanent Representative of Nigeria, you know the United Nations well.
From your wide-ranging academic pursuits, you are an expert in political science and public administration. And as a Nigerian and an African, you have invaluable insights into the continent’s challenges — such as the Sahel and Lake Chad basin — and more broadly into the challenges our world faces across the three pillars of our work: peace, sustainable development and human rights.Antonio Guterres
Bande’s leadership will, in close corporation with the Office of the UN Secretary General, the Security Council, and the Economic and Social Council, work towards bridging the gaps and promoting collective moves in addressing global issues that deserve attention.
Tijjani Muhammad Bande
Born on December 7, 1957, in Zagga, a town in present day Kebbi State of North-Western Nigeria, Tijjani Muhammad earned his first degree in Political Science from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1979. He would go on to further his studies abroad, completing a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Boston University in 1981. Bande also possess a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto, Canada. Bande started his professional career at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, as Graduate Assistant in 1980, rising to the rank of Professor in 1998 in the same institution.
Professor Bande also served as the Director-General of Le Centre Africain de Formation et de Recherche Administratives pour le Dèveloppement (CAFRAD), in Tangier, Morocco between 2000-2004, and went on to become the Vice Chancellor of Usmanu Danfodiyo University in 2004, a position he held for five years. 61-year-old Bande held the position of Director-General of Nigeria’s National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies from 2010-2016, and was also Nigeria’s permanent representative to the UN prior to his election as the 74th President of the UNGA.
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