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[Biographical Note] Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro

Press Release 08-025-E 2008.05.20

Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro of Tanzania took office as Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations on 1 February 2007. She is the third Deputy Secretary-General to be appointed since the post was established in 1997.

Career Highlights

Dr. Migiro served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from 2006-2007 — the first woman in the United Republic of Tanzania to hold that position since its independence in 1961. Before that, she was Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children for five years.

As Foreign Minister, Dr. Migiro spearheaded Tanzania’s engagement in the pursuit of peace, security and development in the Great Lakes Region. She served as Chair of the Council of Ministers’ meetings of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region, a process that culminated into a Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region.

Dr. Migiro was also Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation and President of the UN Security Council during its open debate on peace, security and development in the Great Lakes Region. As Chair of the SADC Organ, Dr. Migiro coordinated SADC assistance to the democratic process, including elections, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as well as support for national elections in Zambia and Madagascar . At the time of her appointment, she was chairing an important SADC Ministerial Troika Meeting ahead of the national elections in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Prior to Government service, Dr. Migiro pursued a career in academia. She was a member of the Faculty of Law at the University of Dar -es-Salaam, where she rose to the rank of Senior Lecturer. She headed the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law from 1992 to 1994, and the Department of Civil and Criminal Law from 1994 to 1997. Her work was published widely in local and international journals.

Dr. Migiro served as a member of Tanzania ‘s Law Reform Commission in 1997 and as a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 2000.

Education

Dr. Migiro obtained a Master of Laws from the University of Dar-es-Salaam in 1984 and a Doctorate in law from the University of Konstanz in Germany in 1992.

Personal

Dr. Migiro was born in Songea , Tanzania , on 9 July 1956. She is married to Professor Cleophas Migiro and has two daughters. In addition to English, she speaks Kiswahili, basic French and German.


The Post

The post of Deputy Secretary-General was established by the General Assembly at the end of 1997 as part of the reform of the United Nations, to help manage Secretariat operations and to ensure coherence of activities and programmes. The purpose was also to elevate the Organization’s profile and leadership in the economic and social spheres.

The General Assembly, decided to establish the post of Deputy Secretary-General as an integral part of the Office of the Secretary-General. The details were set out in Addendum 1 to the report of the Secretary-General and in the statement made by the Secretary-General on 4 November 1997 to the open-ended informal consultations of the General Assembly on United Nations reform. The item was entitled: measures and proposals, without prejudice to the mandate of the Secretary-General as provided by the Charter of the United Nations and, in accordance with the existing system of decision-making. Responsibilities delegated by the Secretary-General, to the Deputy Secretary-General included the following:

(a) To assist the Secretary-General in managing the operations of the Secretariat;

(b) To act for the Secretary-General at United Nations Headquarters in the absence of the Secretary- General and in other cases as may be decided by the Secretary-General;

(c) To support the Secretary-General in ensuring inter-sectoral and inter-institutional coherence of activities and programmes and to support the Secretary-General in elevating the profile and leadership of the United Nations in the economic and social spheres, including further efforts to strengthen the United Nations as a leading centre for development policy and development assistance;

(d) To represent the Secretary-General at conferences, official functions and ceremonial and other occasions as may be decided by the Secretary-General;

(e) To undertake such assignments as may be determined by the Secretary-General;
Louise Frechette was the first Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. A national of Canada, she assumed her duties on 2 March 1998, after having been appointed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. She remained at her post until 31 March 2006.

On 3 March 2006, Mark Malloch Brown was appointed as Deputy Secretary-General. He assumed his new functions on 1 April following the departure of his predecessor Louise Frechette. He remained in his post until the end of December 2006.