M A I N   N E W S

Tharoor says he won’t be an Indian agent, if elected
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 20
Mr Shashi Tharoor, India’s nominee for the next United Nations Secretary General, tonight rubbished speculations of his becoming an Indian “agent” in case he was to get elected to the UN top job.

Mr Tharoor spoke eloquently at a reception hosted in his honour by the Ministry of External Affairs which turned out into an impromptu news conference. His answer to a question about his reaction to Janata Party President Subramaniam Swamy’s reported statement that he would not be of any use to India because he would go out of his way to prove his objectivity is a case in point. Mr Tharoor’s exhaustive reply to this question was: “I will be an Indian Secretary General (if elected) and not India’s Secretary General. I will be Secretary General for all 191 member countries.”

He chose to further elaborate on this answer and said: “They (the Indian leadership) would want me to be a Secretary General worthy of India and not a Secretary General who is an agent of India.”

An Iranian journalist sought to know from Mr Tharoor how he, in the event of his election, would deal with the American unilateralism and blatant favouritism of Israel and how he would reform the UN into a more effective body. He replied that reforms were indeed of fundamental importance and then, significantly, remarked: “UN is a mirror of the world. UN can’t transcend the world of which it is a reflection.”

In response to a question from this correspondent on his vision of UN reforms, Mr Tharoor said the UN had to deal with the problems of today, some of which he identified as climate change, terrorism, human rights and drug trafficking.

“No country, however, rich or tough, can solve these problems on its own,” he added.

Mr Tharoor stressed on UN reforms, saying the reforms were essential. He underlined the need for reasserting the primacy of the UN in global decision-making. He made it clear that he wanted to do this by having a much more nimble, flexible, modern and reformed UN that would cooperate with all P-5 nations.

He said anyone “unacceptable” to any of the permanent members could not make it to the top UN job. He also said if a Secretary General clashed or antagonised a permanent member, it would affect his work.

On his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last evening, Mr Tharoor said he discussed with the Prime Minister the way forward and the steps that needed to be taken to advance India’s credentials.

“The idea is to present as broad a spectrum as possible and to leave Delhi as India’s national offering to the world.”

Asked if his candidacy for the top job at the UN would impact India’s bid for permanent membership of the Security Council, Mr Tharoor said there was no connection between the two issues.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |