India's ex-UN envoy named secy-general of think tank panel

India's former Ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri has been appointed Secretary General of a commission, launched by a global think tank, that is aimed at identifying policy proposals to enhance the multilateral system's ability to respond to evolving global challenges.

New York: India's former Ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri has been appointed Secretary General of a commission, launched by a global think tank, that is aimed at identifying policy proposals to enhance the multilateral system's ability to respond to evolving global challenges.

The Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM), launched by International Peace Institute (IPI), will be chaired by former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and co-chaired by Foreign Minister of Norway Borge Brende and Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird.

IPI will serve as the secretariat under the leadership of its Senior Adviser Puri, who would be the Secretary General of the commission, according to a statement.

The commission would be a comprehensive two-year programme, with the objective of identifying policy proposals to enhance the multilateral system's ability to respond to existing and evolving global challenges.

The work of the commission would be funded by the governments of Canada and Norway.

Giving the rationale for establishing the ICM, the think tank said with the evolving global challenges, there is a need to review the multilateral system so that it deals better with the dynamic geo-political situation.

The United Nations was formed nearly seven decades ago and since then, there has been a dramatic evolution in the nature of threats to international peace and security as well as a proliferation of new challenges, the statement said.

"There is now an urgent need to independently review the current multilateral system and to make it fit for purpose," it said.

The commission would have a three-tier structure comprising an advisory council of eminent persons who would meet at least once a year to provide advice and serve as a sounding board for the commission, a ministerial-level board expected to meet every six months with each minister serving in his or her personal capacity and an ambassadorial-level board expected to meet every six months.

Each ambassador will serve in his or her personal capacity.

The work of the commission would be conducted under the supervision of the Chair and the co-chairs and supported by the IPI as Secretariat.

The three-tier structure would be supported by a working group made up of working level participants from governments.

Under the direction of the Secretary General, and in close cooperation with the chair and co-chairs, IPI would take the lead in drafting the final report of the commission.

The first meeting of the Ministerial Group was held yesterday.

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