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On April 4, 2016, the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) was honoured to host a reception at the Intercontinental Hotel to formally welcome the Honourable Minister Amina J Mohammed, Minister of Environment, Nigeria to Geneva as the new Chair of WSSCC. The event was co-hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Nations Office in Geneva, and included almost forty Permanent Representatives and diplomats from United Nations Missions in Geneva. Countries represented included the United Arab Emirates, India, Canada, the United States, Malawi, Pakistan, and many others.
The event was a wonderful celebration of Minister Mohammed’s career and achievements, and a variety of speakers paid tribute to the Minister’s stellar career achievements, her role in brokering the Sustainable Development Goals, and now enhancing Nigeria’s development, in her role as Nigerian Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development.
Introducing the Minister, Mr. Peters Omologbe Emuze, Minister and Chargé d’affaires, cited Mohammed’s role as the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning, noting that she had worked systematically to ensure Member States’ successful adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015.
In her remarks, Minister Mohammed said that WSSCC truly embodies the transformative spirit of the SDGs and sustainable development. When highlighting the strengths of WSSCC, Mohammed said that “it’s unique because it brings together people’s voices and the UN with its integrity at country level to do great things that will help inform others in the sector. WSSCC carries the ambition and will make us proud of the things that we need to do, those of us in the development field.”
Welcoming Minister Mohammed to the new role, Chris Williams, Executive Director of WSSCC, said, “She sees the connections. She sees the importance of sanitation and hygiene as an investment for women’s empowerment, for health, for education, for empowerment, for community organizing, for local governments. All of these things come together.”
In her role as Chair of WSSCC, Ms. Mohammed plans to draw on her experience and network of contacts in politics, business, academia and within the UN system, to raise awareness about the need for concerted action. Under her leadership, WSSCC intends to continue its current growth, notably in the Global Sanitation Fund, a programme of WSSCC, which supports sanitation work in many of the world's poorest countries.