Former Minister for External Affairs
Professor Ibrahim A. Gambari. Prior to joining the United Nations Secretariat as Under-Secretary-General in December 1999, Professor Ibrahim Gambari holds the record of being the longest serving Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations (January 1990 to October 1999). He was appointed Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in October 1983, a position he held until his appointment as the Minister of External Affairs of Nigeria. As Nigeria’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Professor Gambari has been a senior member of the Nigerian Delegation to ten consecutive sessions of the General Assembly (44th to 54th); he also served as President of the Security Council on two occasions (May 1994 and October 1995). He has chaired the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid, which successfully saw the demise of that long-standing social injustice and the establishment of democratic rule in South Africa. He has led several United Nations Missions, including the Special Committee Against Apartheid Mission to South Africa and the Security Council Missions to South Africa, Burundi, Rwanda and Mozambique. Professor Gambari chaired the UN Special Committee on Peace-Keeping Operations from 1990-1999. He served as member, Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR) from 1993 to 1999 and also President, Executive Board of UNICEF (January to December, 1999).
Professor Gambari has held professorial appointments at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, at Georgetown University, and Ahmadu Bello University amongst others; he is also the pioneer Chancellor of Kwara State University. Professor Gambari holds a B.Sc. form the London School of Economics, M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. He is the founder of the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, a non-governmental “think-tank” being established in Abuja, Nigeria, devoted to critical analyses of and solutions to the problems of conflict prevention, management and resolution, democratization and sustainable development in Africa.