Atul Khare named head of UN Department of Field Support

United Nations: Senior Indian diplomat Atul Khare has been named by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as the head of the UN department that provides dedicated support to peacekeeping missions around the world, making him one of the highest ranking Indian officials in the world body.

Khare, 55 will succeed Bangladesh’s Ameerah Haq as the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Department of Field Support (DFS). A statement issued by Ban’s spokesperson here yesterday said that Khare “brings to the position strategic management and innovative reform expertise in both headquarters and field perspective.” The senior diplomat, who has won awards during his career, said he looks forward to contributing to the UN Chief’s efforts of promoting peace and stability.

“I hope to fulfil the trust reposed in me by the UN Secretary-General and contribute to his efforts to make the world peaceful and a better place for all,” Khare told PTI in an email response. The Permanent Mission of India to the UN welcomed the announcement, expressing confidence that Khare will discharge the important responsibilities entrusted to him with complete distinction. The other high-ranking Indian diplomat in the UN is Vijay Nambiar, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Myanmar, a role he has held since 2010.

Nambiar has also served as Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary-General at the rank of Under-Secretary-General from 2007-2012. Currently providing charitable medical advice in India, Khare has had a long senior career with the United Nations, most recently as Assistant Secretary-General leading the Change Management Team (2011-2012) and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations and Deputy Head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York (2010-2011).

He was previously Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste and Head of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) at the level of  Under-Secretary-General (2006-2009), working earlier as Chief of Staff and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General with the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET).

He has received the Grand Cross of the Order of Infant Don Henrique of Portugal and Medal of the Order of Timor-Leste. Former Director of The Nehru Centre and Minister (Culture) in the High Commission of India in London, Khare joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1984 and has served in Indian Missions in Paris, Dakar, Port Louis and London.

He has also served in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations here from 1997 to 2001. It was Khare who had simultaneously translated from Hindi to English then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s speech at the UN General Assembly in 1998. Khare holds bachelor’s degrees in medicine and surgery from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, as well as master’s degrees in business administration and leadership from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia.

India is a leading troop contributing country for UN peacekeeping operations, having contributed more than 180,000 troops and having participated in 44 of the 69 missions mandated so far. India’s commitment to peacekeeping testifies to its strong and active participation in the efforts of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security. India has also welcomed the establishment of the High Level Panel on Peacekeeping Operations and looks forward to closely working with it, the Indian mission said.

The Department of Field Support provides support in the areas of finance, logistics, Information, communication and technology (ICT), human resources and general administration to help missions promote peace and security.

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