Kamalesh Sharma reappointed as Commonwealth Secy Gen

Perth: Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma, a veteran Indian diplomat, was today reappointed to the coveted post for a four-year term beginning April 2012. Leaders attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting here agreed to reappoint 70-year-old Sharma.

Sharma was first elected to the position of Secretary General during the biennial summit of the 54-nation grouping in Kampala, Uganda, in 2007. He took over from Sir Don McKinnon of New Zealand on April 1, 2008. His second term would begin in April next year.

Sharma previously served as India`s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, where he was closely involved in Commonwealth activities. In that capacity, since 2004 he has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation.

From 2002 to 2004, Sharma served as the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to Timor Leste, with the rank of Under Secretary-General. He was responsible for helping to build up a newly independent Timor Leste by strengthening internal security and public administration, including justice, financial administration, policing and protection of human rights.

From 1988 to 1990, he was India`s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, where he acted as the spokesperson for developing countries in the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) during the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade talks.

During his tenure as Ambassador and the Indian Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, from 1997 to 2002, Sharma chaired the Working Group on Financing for Development, which led to the Monterrey Consensus.