Tanzanian Foreign Minister named new UN Deputy Secretary-General

Asha-Rose Migiro

5 January 2007 – Tanzanian Foreign Minister Asha-Rose Migiro today became the third person – and second woman – in history appointed United Nations Deputy Secretary-General when she accepted the post offered to her by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“Through her distinguished service in diverse areas, she has displayed outstanding management skills with wide experience and expertise in socio-economic affairs and development issues,” Secretary-General Ban said of Ms. Migiro, who was selected from a short list of candidates including men and women.

Mr. Ban, who took office on 1 January with revitalization of the UN as a top priority, today stated that he intends to “delegate much of the management and administrative work” to Ms. Migiro “under a clear line of authority to ensure that the Secretariat will function in a more effective and efficient manner.”

She has worked in the past with Secretary-General Ban when they both served as Foreign Ministers of their respective countries. He called her “a highly respected leader who has championed the cause of developing countries over the years.”

Salim Ahmed Salim, the African Union (AU) Special Envoy on the Darfur conflict who is in New York for meetings with the Secretary-General, welcomed the appointment of Ms. Migiro, a fellow Tanzanian. Hailing her “skills and commitment,” Mr. Salim asserted, “I know she can do the job and I wish her well.”

Dr. Migiro, who in her new capacity will be the highest ranking woman at the UN and the second-highest among all officials, also served as Minister of Community Development, Gender and Children's Affairs until she was asked to head the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in January 2006.

She entered the Government of Tanzania after leaving her position as Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the University of Dar-es-Salaam.

Ms. Migiro, 50, replaces Mark Malloch Brown who took office in April 2006.

Meanwhile, in another action pertaining to the creation of his cabinet, the Secretary-General today asked all assistant and under-secretaries-general, with a number of exceptions, to voluntarily tender their resignations. The aim, said his spokesperson, Michele Montas, is to “allow the Secretary-General the flexibility he needs in forming his new team.”

She added that after reviewing the offers of resignation, he may decide to retain some senior officials.

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