Somaliland: Amina Mohamed Kenyan-Somalilander Guns for WTO Job


Amb Amina Jawahir MohamedBy: Yusuf M Hasan

Somalilandsun – If successful a Kenyan born Somalilander might become the first woman to be elected to the position of Director General for the World Trade Organization-WTO.

After her nomination by the Kenyan Ambassador Amina Mohamed has officially launched her bid for the position of director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) where she hopes to replace Mr Pascal Lamy the fifth Director-General of the WTO whose appointment took effect on 1 September 2005 for a four-year term and reappointed In April 2009 for a second four-year term, starting on 1 September 2009.

As director general, I will work to ensure consolidation and preservation of the current acquis (the accumulated legislation, legal acts, and court decisions) of the rules-based Multilateral Trading System. We must protect it from constant assault and contagion of protectionism,” says Ms Mohamed.

Currently, Amb. Mohamed serves the United Nations Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon as United Nations’ Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Director General for the United Nations Environment Programme based in Nairobi Kenya. She has over the years earned a reputation as distinguished diplomat, lawyer, manager and policymaker working across a broad spectrum of issues facing the global community from International Trade and disarmament issues to the exciting field of sustainable development and environmental policy.

The post of director general is a prestige job with considerable influence And Ms Mohamed has to beat eight other nominees to clinch it, namely Ghanaian Mr Alan John Kwadwo, Ms Anabel Gonzalez from Costa Rica, Ms Mari Pangestu from Indonesia, Tim Groser (New Zealand), Ahmad Thougan (Jordan), Herminio Blanco (Mexico), Tacho Bark (South Korea) and the Brazilian Robert Calvalho.

Amina attends to president Kibaki of Kenya at UNEP hqs“They are uniquely and eminently qualified. Many of them are dear friends of mine, friendships made in the period when I was ambassador in Geneva,” said Ms Mohamed.

WTO is the forum that governments use to negotiate trade agreements, settle trade disputes and open trade platforms between the member countries and Under its rules, the new director general must be identified by the end of May, or at least three months before the end of Mr Lamy’s term.

The selection process, like that for the heads of other major international organisations, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, draws global excitement and requires cajoling member states for votes.

While nominating her for the post of WTO Director General the Government of the Republic of Kenya said being an accomplished diplomat and distinguished negotiator, Amb. Amina Mohamed is uniquely placed to bring to the WTO a wealth of experience from over 26 years of public service in Kenya and at the international level.

Born on 5 October 1961, Ms Mohamed graduated with a LLM in International Law from Kiev State University, and has also undertaken post graduate studies at University of Oxford and the Kenya School of Law. She is fluent in English, Russian, and Swahili and has a working knowledge of French.

She is a committed International civil servant who has had a distinguished career both in Kenya and internationally. She has risen through the ranks in Kenya’s diplomatic service to the level of Ambassador/Permanent Representative. During her tenure in Geneva from 2000-2006 she registered many achievements. For instance she was the first woman to chair the General Council of the World Trade Organization as well as the first African and first woman to Chair the Council for the International Organization for Migration. She undoubtedly brought to her position as ambassador some excellent analytical and interpersonal skills which she developed during the course of her career in the multilateral arena. Her admirable negotiation skills served her well and she effectively articulated global issues pertaining to the WTO. Above all, she was a tireless team player which was evident during lengthy drafting sessions and while dealing with sensitive International Agreements.

A number of committed votes attribute their support to Amb Mohamed being a motivated and result-oriented Leader, her Expertise in Public Sector management and Institutional Reform and prowess in Legal Practise.

“The government of Kenya is convinced that Ambassador Amina is the candidate best suited to steer the Doha round to its logical conclusion,” asserted Sam Ongeri, the Foreign Affairs minister

Video of Amb Mohamed press conference on her candidature



NAME : Amb. Amina Chawahir Mohammed


DATE OF BIRTH : 5th October 1961


CONTACT ADDRESS: United Nation Office-Nairobi (UNON) TELEPHONE: +254 702 116 192



2011 to date: United Nation’s Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director, UNEP.

2008-2011: Kenya’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs

2010-2011: President of the United Nations Conference on Transnational Crime, Vienna

2006-2007: Director for Europe and Commonwealth Affairs as well as Director for Diaspora Affairs

 Chairman of the Task Force Sub-Committee on Strengthening and restructuring of the Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Affairs.

2000-2006: Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations and other International Organizations based in Geneva.

 Chairman, Coordinator and Spokesperson for the African Group in the WTO, Human Right Commission.

 President of the Conference on Disarmament in 2002

 Chairperson for the International Organization for Migration in 2002

 Chairperson for the Trade Policy Review body in 2003

 Chairperson for the Dispute Settlement Body in 2004

 Chairperson for the General Council of the WTO in 2005.

2001–2005: Member of the Executive Boards and Committees of the WHO, UNHCR, WIPO, ILO, UNCTAD and UNAIDS

1990-2000: Kenya’s Legal Advisor in various Missions abroad, including the 6th Committee of the United Nations.

1986-1990: Legal Advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs- Nairobi

Honours & Awards

 National Award of Chief of Burning Spear (CBS).

 Cavaliere dell’Ordine Della Stella Della Solidarieta Italiana

 Life Member, the Kenya Red Cross Society

 Member – The Life and Peace Institute International Advisory Council, Sweden

 Member – The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Arctic

 Member- The Strathmore Law School Advisory Board, Kenya


 LLM University of Kiev and Kenya School of Law

 Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations, Oxford University

 UNITAR Fellow

To support the candidature of Ambassador Amina C. Mohamed