Indian-origin Anita Bhatia was appointed as the Deputy Executive Director in the global body's agency focused on women empowerment and gender equality. Anita, a veteran in strategic partnership, was appointed for the position by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on May 30. A Bachelor's degree holder in history from the University of Calcutta, Anita Bhatia did her Master's in political science from Yale University and has a law degree from Georgetown University. While this is a special achievement for India, there have been other Indians who have made us proud at the United Nations. From Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit to Anita Bhatia, there have been a lot of Indians who made India proud by holding important and significant positions at the United Nations.
Here’s a look at the famous five:
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit: Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, sister of first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, was the first female president of the United Nations General Assembly. She headed the eighth session of UN General Assembly in 1953. Again in the year 1978, Vijaya Lakshmi served as India’s representative to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
Lakshmi Puri: Before Anita Bhatia, another Indian Lakshmi Puri served as the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women. She was named Assistant Secretary-General for Intergovernmental Support and Strategic Partnerships at the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Lakshmi was appointed to this position by then-United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in March 2011. In addition, Lakshmi Puri has also worked as the Acting Head of UN Women from March to August 2013.
Aniruddha Rajput: Aniruddha Rajput was one of the 34 individuals elected by the UN General Assembly as members of the International Law Commission in 2016. The then-33-year-old, Aniruddha also gained the highest number of votes in the Asia-Pacific group to be a part of the Commission.
Justice Dalveer Bhandari: Justice Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected as a judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) overnight in 2017. Justice Bhandari, who first sworn in as a member of the International Court of Justice in June 2012, has also held a position of a judge at the Supreme Court of India.
Atul Khare: An Indian Foreign Service officer of the 1984 batch, Atul Khare is the current Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations Department of Field Support. He was appointed by current UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.