U. Joy Ogwu was appointed ambassador to the United Nations on May 7, 2008.
Prior to her appointment, Ogwu had been Nigeria’s Foreign Minister from 2006 to 2007; only the second woman to ever hold that position. Before that, she had been the first woman to become Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. In 2006, she also served as Chairman of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, of which she had been a member since 2003.
In 2005, Ogwu served as a member of the National Political Reform Conference. The appointment came after she served in 2004 on her country’s Political Reforms Agenda Committee, charged with preparing the framework for a National Dialogue.
As a presidential delegate and Special Adviser to Nigerian delegations to the United Nations General Assembly since 1988, she has contributed to formulating Government policy in such areas as the construction of a Nigerian-South American relationship, and implementation of a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) funded programme for teaching human rights in Nigerian schools. She participated in the 1990 United Nations Special Session on Apartheid and the 1994 Multinational United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA). She was also an adviser on the Nigerian delegation to the Fourth United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.
Having written and lectured extensively on south-south relations and Latin America’s foreign relations, Ogwu is considered a foremost voice for women’s development and human rights. She has held a visiting fellowship at the University of London’s Institute of Latin American Studies and her extensively published work has been translated into Portuguese, Spanish, French and Croatian.
Ogwu is the recipient of the 2002 Diplomatic Excellence Award presented by the Society of International Law and Diplomacy. In 2004, she was conferred an Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic by her country. She serves on the boards of such bodies as the TIGER Institute in Poland and the Centre for Law and Business in Lagos.
She earned Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from Rutgers University in the United States, and received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in political science from the University of Lagos in Nigeria.
She was born on August 23,1946, is married and has children and grandchildren.
Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations.
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