Nigerian-born Apostolic Nuncio Appointed Holy See Permanent Observer to UN in Geneva

Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu, appointed as the representative of the Holy See to the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Geneva. Credit: Antilles Episcopal Conference - AEC/Facebook

Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu, a member of the Clergy of Nigeria’s Aba Diocese, as the representative of the Holy See to the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Geneva.

Archbishop Nwachukwu is also expected to serve at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Holy See Representative at the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The appointment of Archbishop Nwachukwu as the Holy See Permanent Observer to the UN was announced December 17, and published by the Holy See Press Office.

The Nigerian-born Archbishop is representing the Holy Father in various Caribbean Island nations, including Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Bahamas, Suriname, and Belize, among others.  

As a representative of the Holy See to UN office and Specialized Agencies in Geneva, Archbishop Nwachukwu succeeds Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič who was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Canada.


According to a statement from the Office of the Antilles Episcopal Conference Secretariat, Archbishop Nwachukwu “will still remain in charge of the Mission here in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and Antilles, until he departs for the new mission, most likely at the beginning of March 2022.”

“He (Archbishop Nwachukwu) is sincerely grateful for your support during his mission in this Region and requests that you please accompany him with your prayers and friendship as he prepares to embrace the new responsibilities,” the December 17 statement indicates. 

Born in May 1960 in Umuokoro, Eziama-Ntigha, in Isia-Ala Ngwa North Local Government Area of Aba State, Archbishop Nwachukwu was ordained a Priest of the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia in June 1984; he was incardinated in Aba Diocese in April 1990.

After his priestly ordination, he worked as a teacher and later as Vice-rector of the Immaculate Conception Seminary, Umuahia, as well as Parochial Vicar and Administrator of St Anne’s Parish, Ibeku (1984-1986).

Archbishop Nwachukwu also served as the Diocesan vocations Director, as well as Chaplain of the Federal College of Agriculture and the Umuahia Campus of Alvan Ikoku College of Education, both in Umudike-Umuahia.

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He was enrolled in the diplomatic service of the Holy See on 1 July 1994, and was later deployed in Apostolic Nuntiatures including Ghana and Paraguay.

The alumnus of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome where he completed his doctoral studies in Canon Law in 1996.

His first appointment as Apostolic Nuncio was to Nicaragua in November 2012.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.