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Nigeria’s UN envoy elected as President of UNGA 74th Session

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) was elected as President of 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

Key Highlights

  • Muhammad-Bande, was nominated by Nigeria and endorsed by African group, at the election.
  • The 193-member UNGA then elected him by acclamation with also supporting his candidature. During an informal interactive dialogue with the Nigerian envoy in May 2019, India described Bande as a great friend and a well-known son of Africa.
  • His election was in accordance with the rules of UNGA, that 74th session of General Assembly should be elected from among African States.
  • He will succeed Maria Fernanda Espinosa as President of next General Assembly session that will commence in September 2019.
  • His appointment comes at the time when world body gets ready to celebrate 75th anniversary of its establishment in 2020.
  • Address and Commitment: While addressing the 193-member General Assembly he reaffirmed that during his term he will try and hasten long-delayed reform process of 15-nation UN organ, UN Security Council (UNSC) which made little progress after Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) a decade ago.
  • He also assured that major properties of his presidency will be implementation of existing mandates and 2030 Agenda with particular focus on peace and security, poverty eradication, zero hunger, quality education, climate action and inclusion

Way Forward

Under his presidentship, UNGA 74th session will see several high-level meetings including- high-level Political Forum, high-level events on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), Financing for Development, Secretary-General’s Climate Summit, and commemoration of Beijing+25 (25 year since Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 1995 was adopted).

Mrutyunjay Mohapatra appointed Director General of IMD

Renowned scientist, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra is appointed as Director-General the India Meteorological Department (IMD). His appointment order was issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

About Mrutyunjay Mohapatra

  • The 54-year-old cyclone warning specialist is Scientist ‘G’ (grade) in IMD. Prior to joining IMD, he worked at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory in Chandipur.
  • He is appointed as chief of IMD and will assume charge of the post on or after 1 August 2019 for a period of five years.
  • He leads the Cyclone Warning Division (CWD) of the IMD and is well known as ‘Cyclone Man‘ for his cyclone forecasts. In past six years, CWD has given accurate forecasts on cyclones such as Phailin (2013), Hudhud (2014) and Titli (2018) which hit the eastern coast.
  • Focus Areas: He seeks to strengthen the IMD’s infrastructure and improve dissemination of weather-related information with focus on sector-related forecast and giving impact-based prediction in all areas. By sector-related forecasts, IMD intends to give predictions on specific areas like information for transport systems (like trains). At present IMD gives impact-based predictions only for cyclones.

About India Meteorological Department

  • It is an agency of Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • It is responsible for meteorological observations, seismology and weather and climate related forecasts for the country.
  • It is mandated to warn against severe weather phenomenon like cold and heat-waves, dust storms, cyclones, heavy rain and snow and others.