United Nations: India has been elected to a key committee that controls the purse strings of the United Nations, which has an annual budget of nearly USD 22 billion.
Namgya Khampa, serving in the Indian mission to the UN, was elected to the 16-member Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) for a three-year term.
"I`m feeling elated...it was a very good campaign...tough campaign and we came up on top," said Khampa, a First Secretary who had earlier served in Indian missions in China,
Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
ACABQ performs several functions including the examination of the budget submitted by the UN Secretary-General to the General Assembly and advising the Assembly on administrative and budgetary matters referred to it.
Besides India, candidates from China, Japan and Pakistan all stood for the elections for the Asian region.
India got the highest number of 164 votes out of a total of 570, which according to Hardeep Singh Puri, India`s envoy to the UN, is the highest number of votes received by a candidate.
"We all worked very hard on this," he said, adding, "This is one of the most coveted bodies of the UN because its members have ultimate responsibility for financial scrutiny
(of the UN budget)."
China got 130 votes, Japan 147 and Pakistan received 114 out of a total of 555 votes cast, which left Pakistan out of the committee. Japan is the second largest monetary
contributor to the UN after the United States.
India diplomats are excited about the win, which comes on the heels of the country`s election to UN Security Council as a non-permanent member on October 12 with 187 votes, which Puri described as a "ringing endorsement."
Since then, India made it clear that it would be pushing to get a permanent Security Council seat as it serves its two year term beginning in January 2011.