India has appointed diplomat T S Tirumurti, currently serving as Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, as its Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
A 1985-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, Tirumurti succeeds Syed Akbaruddin who is credited with effectively presenting India’s position on a range of crucial issues at the global body’s headquarters in New York for the last several years.
Permanent Missions to the United Nations
The Permanent Mission is the diplomatic mission that every member state deputes to the United Nations, and is headed by a Permanent Representative, who is also referred to as the “UN ambassador”.
According to Article 1 (7) of the Vienna Convention on the Representation of States in their Relations with International Organizations of a Universal Character, a “Permanent Mission” is a: “… mission of permanent character, representing the State, sent by a State member of an international organization to the Organization”.
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The UN General Assembly resolution 257(III) of 3 December 1948 addresses the term as follows:
“Considering that the presence of such permanent missions serves to assist in the realization of the purposes and principles of the United Nations and, in particular, to keep the necessary liaison between the Member States and the Secretariat in periods between sessions of the different organs of the United Nations…”
UN Permanent Representatives are assigned to the UN headquarters in New York City, and can also be appointed to other UN offices in Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi.
The Indian Permanent Mission at the UN
According to the website of the Permanent Mission of India in New York, there are currently eight Indians in senior leadership positions at the United Nations at the levels of Under Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General.
The first Indian delegates at the United Nations included statesman Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar, and freedom fighters Hansa Mehta, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, and Lakshmi Menon. Mehta and Pandit were among the 15 women members of the Indian Constituent Assembly.
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India was among the select members of the United Nations that signed the United Nations Declaration at Washington on January 1, 1942. India also participated in the historic UN Conference of International Organization at San Francisco from April 25 to June 26, 1945.
The Mission in New York is housed in a 27-story building designed by the noted architect Charles Correa in 1993, and is decorated with MF Hussain paintings.