Amid focus on WHO, India appoints new envoy to United Nations bodies in Geneva

New Delhi, IndiaWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: Jul 01, 2020, 08:07 PM IST
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File photo. Photograph:(Zee News Network)

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The previous envoy to these UN bodies in Geneva was Rajiv K Chander who completed his three-year team

lndra Mani Pandey has been appointed as the next Indian envoy to UN bodies and other international organisations in Geneva. A sensitive post, he will represent India in more than 25 important organisations of UN in Geneva including World Health Organisation and the United Nations Human Rights Council.

He will have an important task at hand given calls are growing for reforms at the World Health Organisation due to its failure to deal with the COVID pandemic. India was appointed as the chair of the executive committed of the WHO this year at the World Health Assembly earlier this year. New Delhi was among more than 60 countries to back a resolution that called for finding the source of COVID crisis.

Pandey will also represent India at International Labour Organisation, Universal Postal Union, one of the oldest arms of UN that even predates UN, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), World Intellectual Property Organisation, International Parliamentary Union, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Pandey, an Arabic speaker has served in Cairo, Syria in initial days and was later the first Secretary in Islamabad, Kabul and in Geneva at the Mission to Conference on Disarmament. He has also served as India's consul general in Guangzhou, Deputy chief of mission in Paris DCM Paris, Ambassador to Muscat. His last posting was as AS in the D & ISA Division.

The previous envoy to these UN bodies in Geneva was Rajiv K Chander who completed his three-year team. Under his leadership, India was able to successfully thwart Pakistan's attempt to rake Kashmir at Human Rights Council after the abrogation of Article 370 that removed special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019. Pakistani FM had himself reached to UNHRC calling for a special session, something that did not get much of a support.