Hardeep Puri is India’s new envoy to UN

April 17th, 2009 - 12:10 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) The government Thursday announced the appointment of Hardeep Singh Puri, secretary in the external affairs ministry, as India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
“He is expected to take up his assignment shortly,” the external affairs ministry said here.

Puri will succeed Nirupam Sen, whose term ended March 31. Sen has already been appointed special senior advisor to the president of the United Nations General Assembly.

A 1974-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, Puri served as India’s ambassador to Brazil before moving to New Delhi as secretary (economic affairs) in the external affairs ministry.

He is known for his wide-ranging experience with multilateral institutions and has served as India’s Permanent Representative to the UN institutions in Geneva.

Puri’s appointment comes after the government decided on two key diplomatic postings: Meera Shankar was named New Delhi’s envoy to Washington and Sharat Sabharwal was chosen as India’s high commissioner to Islamabad.

The spotlight has now shifted to the race for the top diplomatic job with Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon’s term expiring in July.

Nalin Surie, secretary (West) in the external affairs ministry, and Nirupama Rao, India’s ambassador to China, are seen as top contenders for the post of foreign secretary.

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