Nigerian diplomat named Special Adviser on Zambian elections

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Commonwealth Secretary-General Ms. Patricia Scotland has appointed Nigeria’s seasoned diplomat and former UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, as her Special Adviser on Political Dialogue to support the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) ahead of the country’s general elections and referendum, scheduled for 11 August 2016.

A statement from the Commonwealth Secretariat in London stated that the appointment was made in consultation with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).

It said that Professor Gambari would support the ECZ in its efforts to enhance trust and promote a conducive and peaceful environment for the forthcoming Zambian elections.

The statement quoted secretary-general as saying: “The Commonwealth is committed to supporting peaceful, inclusive and credible democratic culture and processes. Professor Gambari will consult widely and work with the ECZ and other stakeholders to deepen the Commonwealth contribution towards these goals in Zambia, a country with a history of peaceful and well conducted elections.”

Professor Gambari, an international scholar, was Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and a former senior UN diplomat.

As a UN Under Secretary-General he represented the UN in various positions of responsibility around the world. He worked with Heads of State and Government, policy makers, political party leaders and regional institutions in Africa, including the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

He is currently the founder and chairperson of the Savannah Centre in Abuja, Nigeria, a think-tank for research, training and public policy debate on the nexus between diplomatic conflict resolution, democracy and development in Africa. Professor Gambari is also a co-chair of Washington DC-based think-tank, The Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance.

The commission focuses on conflict affected countries, governance, justice, cyber economy, and other global challenges.