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Ban Ki-moon appoints Indian diplomat as head of UNITAR

PTI 08 Jun 2015, 23:54:05 PM IST

United Nations: A senior Indian diplomat has been appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as the head of a UN agency that serves as the training arm of the United Nations system.

Nikhil Seth will be the Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), succeeding Sally Fegan-Wyles of Ireland.

Seth, who holds a Master degree in Economics from Delhi University, is currently the Director of the Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

He also served as the Head of the Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rioრ) and has supported the follow-up processes including the work on the post 2015 development agenda and the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States.

He brings to the position over 35 years of service as an international and national civil servant and a wealth of experience in leading, supporting and managing complex portfolios and inter-governmental processes, including United Nations summits and conferences in the economic, social and environmental fields, a statement issued by Ban's spokesperson said here today.

UNITAR is a training arm of the United Nations System, serving some 25,000 beneficiaries annually by conducting more than 400 capacity development and research activities around the world.

The Mission of UNITAR is to develop capacities of individuals, organisations and institutions to enhance global decision-making and to support country-level action for shaping a better future, according to information on the UN website.

As an autonomous body within the United Nations System, UNITAR is governed by a Board of Trustees and is headed by an Executive Director.

The Institute is supported by voluntary contributions from governments, intergovernmental organizations, foundations, and other non-governmental sources.

During his career with the United Nations which began in 1993, Seth held positions as Director of the Office for Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Support and Coordination (2006-2011), Secretary of ECOSOC and Second Committee of the General Assembly (2004-2006) as well as Special Assistant and Chief of Office to the Under-Secretary- General for Economic and Social Affairs (1993-2001).

Prior to joining the United Nations, Seth served, since 1980, in the Indian diplomatic service, notably as a delegate in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York (1990-1993) and earlier diplomatic assignments in Geneva and the Democratic Republic of Congo.