Govt. appoints Tirumurti as envoy to UN

Govt. appoints Tirumurti as envoy to UN

He will take over from Syed Akbaruddin who is retiring

The government has appointed T.S. Tirumurti as the next Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations. He will take over from Syed Akbaruddin, one of the country’s most prominent diplomat, who is retiring. His appointment to the UN will come at an important time when India will be in the UN Security Council for a two-year term in 2021-22.

The announcement came amidst a slew of other appointments announced for envoys to Austria, Qatar and Bahrain, while more Ambassadorial positions to the United Kingdom, Finland, Switzerland, Italy, Singapore, EU/Belgium and The Philippines are expected shortly. This is the third major batch of appointments made since January this year, when the new Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla took over, and appointments to the U.S., France, Nepal and Sri Lanka were made. The decision on taking over in the postings could be delayed according to the lockdown and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A 1985 batch officer, Mr. Tirumurti has served as High Commissioner to Malaysia, Deputy Chief of Mission in Indonesia, as well as the first Indian Representative to Palestine, based in Ramallah from 1996-1998. During several stints at the Ministry of External Affairs headquarters in Delhi, he was the Joint Secretary for neighbouring countries, and then handled the United Nations (Economic and Social) portfolio. Since 2018, he has been Secretary for Economic Relations, handling India’s multilateral and bilateral commercial ties.

Other appointments

In the other appointments announced on Wednesday, India’s Ambassador to the Philippines Jaideep Mazumdar will be posted to Austria, while three joint secretaries will be posted to Slovenia, Qatar and Bahrain.

Sources said once agreements are completed, the former official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar will take over as Ambassador to Finland, while the Ambassador to Morocco Shambhu Kumaran will move to the Philippines, Ambassador to Qatar, P. Kumaran would move to Singapore, and Ambassador in Uzbekistan Santosh Jha will move to Brussels and manage India’s relationship with the European Union. The current envoy to Brussels, Gaitri Issar Kumar is expected to move to London and take over as India’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

In addition, the Ambassador to Sweden, Monika Mohta, is expected to move to Switzerland, and current Ambassador Sibi George would move to Kuwait. The Additional Secretary for Disarmament in the MEA, Indra Mani Pandey, will move to Geneva, and serve as the representative for UN agencies based there as well, while the Additional Secretary for the Indo-Pacific, Neena Malhotra, is expected to move as India’s Ambassador to Italy.

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