, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 26 – Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs Permanent Secretary Amina Chawahir Mohamed is now the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Ms Mohammed who has been serving in the justice ministry since 2008 will also be the Assistant Secretary General of the UN.
According to UNEP’s website, she will be engaged in offering political and substantive input to the UN projects key among others the Conference on Sustainable Development scheduled in Brazil next June.
Speaking when she met her new staff on Monday she said she was looking forward to the challenge of the body’s evolving reform agenda and work programme,
“The challenges but also the opportunities of sustainable development in the 21st century will in many ways define how nations cooperate and countries thrive over the coming decades.”
“UNEP’s unique role in analysing, catalysing and implementing forward-looking transitions such as the Green Economy will be central to that success. I am delighted to be re-engaging on international issues and joining UNEP at what promises to be an exciting and defining moment in the organisation’s 39-year history,” she added.
Ms Mohamed said she was also looking forward to working with the UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner as she appreciated the positive gesture of tapping expertise from a developing country.
“I also look forward to working with Mr Steiner and bringing the perspective of an international diplomat and lawyer from a developing country to his and the organization’s work. Kenya is proud to host UNEP and I hope to also bring a greater understanding of UNEP’s special role in the lives of the people of Kenya, East Africa and indeed across the globe,” she said.
Mr Steiner viewed Ms Mohammed as an outstanding candidate to fill the shoes of Angela Cropper who previously occupied the position at UNEP.
“Ms Mohamed brings a wealth of experience to this position at the national and international level as a distinguished diplomat, lawyer, manager and policymaker working across the sustainable development and environment policy agendas. I look forward to working closely with her in leading UNEP over the coming years,” he asserted.
According to the statement on the website Ms Mohamed’s appointment was announced in May by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Ms Mohammed served as the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Kenya to the UN in Geneva from 2000 to 2006.
She is one of the outstanding women recognised in Kenya after being the first woman to chair the General Council of the World Trade Organisation, and the first African and first woman to be elected Chair of the Council for the International Organisation for Migration.
Ms Mohammed will also be remembered for her vital role in the making and the implementation of political, legal and constitutional reforms during her tenure at the justice ministry.
Born in October 1961, Ms Mohamed graduated with a Masters degree in International Law from Kiev State University, and has also undertaken post graduate studies at University of Oxford and the Kenya School of Law.