By Cecilia Ologunagba
New York, June 29, 2021
The Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Ambassador (Prof.) Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, has hailed the re-appointment of António Guterres as UN Secretary-General, saying he has shown serious commitment to important global issues.
Muhammad-Bande told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that Guterres had demonstrated excellent leadership qualities in his first term in office, especially his support to Africa and the global community.
NAN reports that Guterres was re-appointed recently for a second term as the UN chief, pledging continued help to the world towards charting a course out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He has been a friend of the continent (Africa) in issues relating to Africa, and peace and security and issues of poverty eradication,” the Nigerian Ambassador said.
The Nigerian envoy, who was elected President of the UN General Assembly, 74th Session from 2019 to 2020, said Guterres would be more outstanding in the second term considering his leadership qualities.
Muhammad-Bande commended the UN scribe, especially for his leadership in coming up with a framework for equitable vaccine provision to protect the world’s vulnerable from COVID-19.
“I think the whole framework of COVAX, the whole idea that vaccine should be an international public good is something that started with the leadership of the UN and the Secretary-General himself.
“Guterres has been extremely outstanding in the way he carried out his job, even in the most difficult circumstances and things are looking better. I’m sure his second tenure will be more outstanding,” he said.
The Nigerian ambassador said it was a good decision that all the UN member states and the UN organs supported and endorsed his re-appointment.
“So, he is one person who has shown leadership relating to how vaccines should be available to everyone,” the envoy said.
Guterres, whose first five-year term began on Jan. 1, 2017 and ends on Dec. 31, was the sole candidate from the UN’s 193 member states for the top job.
He was nominated by his homeland, Portugal, and appointed by acclamation of the General Assembly, following prior endorsement by the UN Security Council for a second term that runs from Jan. 1, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2026.