Kampala, Nov 24: The 53-nation Commonwealth of mainly former British colonies today appointed an Indian diplomat, Kamlesh Sharma, as its next secretary-general.
Sharma, the Indian High Commissioner in London, will take over on April 1 from New Zealand's Don McKinnon, who has done the job for two terms, or eight years.
''It is a tough job I have taken over but I do so with confidence and enthusiasm ... the Commonwealth is a great global good,'' Mr Sharma said when his appointment was announced by McKinnon during a summit of the group in Uganda.
The Commonwealth's members represent 1.8 billion people, or more than a quarter of the world's population.
Sharma beat Maltese Foreign Minister Michael Frendo to the job.