Manmohan lauds Kamlesh Sharmas election as Commonwealth Secretary General

November 24th, 2007 - 5:41 pm ICT by admin  

By Naveen Kapoor
Kampala, Nov 24 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, who is currently attending a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kampala, Uganda, today expressed happiness and satisfaction over Kamlesh Sharma becoming the next Secretary General of the Commonwealth.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the CHOGM, Dr Singh said: ” His long record of public service in the international community has been capped by this recognition of his capacity and his inclusive vision of the commonwealth.”
After his victory in the election was announced, Sharma said, “he will be guided by the outcomes and not the process, so that the Commonwealth should not be a boutique organisation. It has to be a mainstream organisation “.
Sharma also emphasised that the Commonwealth “will keep on creating capacity and keep on examining practical systems.”
He also expressed the need to address the problems of smaller states with vigour
Sharma also thanked the Government of India for nominating him for the post, and trusting his motivation and experience.
Sharma is the High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom and Indias representative on the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth since 2004.
He was educated in St. Stephens College, Delhi. He studied English Literature at Kings College, Cambridge. He has been a member of the Indian Foreign Service from 1965 to 2001, and has wide-ranging diplomatic experience culminating in five ambassadorial assignments.
He has also served as Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in Geneva, where he was spokesman for developing countries in United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) during the Uruguay Round (1988-1990).
Sharma later became Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations.
During his tenure in New York, Sharma chaired the Working Group on Financing for Development, the success of which led to the Monterrey Consensus between the North and South.
He was also closely involved in the formulation of the Millennium Development Goals.
Throughout his career, he has shown a strong commitment to all facets of equitable global relationships, enlightened governance, gender equity and engagement with issues of global regimes involving trade, technology and finance.
He was instrumental in focussing consideration within the UN on the issue of youth unemployment and in the continuing initiative known as YES (Youth Employment Summits).
Sharma strongly advocates the need to strengthen human solidarity and the conviction that collective challenges of the 21st century require collective engagement and solutions, as well as on the theme of the challenges and opportunities created by the era of globalisation and rapid change.
He has held senior appointments in the Government of India. He was head of the economic diplomacy and multilateral diplomacy divisions of the External Affairs Ministry, and served as chief of policy planning.
He also developed and thrice administered the Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation Programme, which primarily supports human resource and skills development in fellow developing countries.
On assignment to the Treasury, Sharma was responsible for the hydrocarbon sector of the Indian economy and the administration of development assistance from Europe.
Sharma was the first Special Representative of UN Secretary General to independent East Timor from 2002 to 2004 with the rank of Under Secretary General.
In his capacity as Indias Governor in the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation, Sharma has taken very keen interest in the activities and advocacy of the Commonwealth, significantly enhancing Indias active engagement with it.
He has guided Indias increased contributions to the CFTC, Commonwealth Connects, the youth programme and the Commonwealth Small States Office in New York.
He represented India at the meetings of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group in February and November 2005 and led Indias delegation at the pre-CHOGM Foreign Ministers Meeting in Malta.
Ambassador Sharma edited Imagining Tomorrow Rethinking the Global Challenge, and Milles Fleurs-Poetry from around the World, both released on the occasion of the Millennium Summit in New York.
Sharma has honorary doctorates from De Montfort and Middlesex universities in the UK. He was a Director of the Peace Academy, New York. He is recipient of the medal of the US Foreign Policy Association of the US, is a Fellow of Harvard University, and is a Governor of Ditchley Foundation.
Sharma is married and has two children. His interests include literature, cosmology, spiritual traditions, cricket, Indian classical music, opera and jazz. (ANI)

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