United Nations, Jan 8: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday appointed a veteran Indian diplomat and UN official, Atul Khare, as the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, making him one of the two highest-ranking Indians at the UN.
Khare will join Vijay Nambiar, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Myanmar, on the world body's Senior Management Group.
He succeeds Ameerah Haq of Bangladesh as head of the UN Department of Field Support, which backs up the extensive network of peacekeeping and political field missions.
India's UN Mission welcomed his appointment and said it "has full confidence that Dr. Khare will discharge the important responsibilities entrusted to him with complete distinction."
In earlier UN assignments, Khare was chosen to head the Change Management Team tasked with finding ways to reform the organization's operations and improve efficiency. He has been the assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations and the Secretary-General's special representative for Timor-Leste.
A medical doctor by training, Khare graduated from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences before joining the Indian Foreign Service in 1984. He also has a master's degree in management from the University of Southern Queensland.
During his Indian diplomatic career, Khare obtained experience in many troubled spots in Africa where the UN has extensive involvement. As the Charge d'affaires of the Indian embassy in Senegal he was concurrently accredited to Mali, Mauritania, Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde.
He also served as the Deputy High Commissioner in Mauritius, a Counsellor at India's UN Mission, the director of the External Affairs Ministry's UN Division, and the Director of the Nehru Centre in London. He also did a stint as the Chef de Cabinet of the Foreign Secretary .