Balancing Act at the United Nations

No side either admits it or takes credit for it, but fortuitously enough, India and Pakistan often have achieved parity in terms of bureaucratic power at the United Nations in New York.

When Boutros Boutros Ghali was the Secretary General of the United Nations, some Pakistanis at the UN repeatedly voiced concern that he was too strongly influenced by then Under Secretary-General Chinmaya Garekhan, formerly India´s Permanent Representative to the UN. Similarly, years earlier, the Pakistanis were miffed that another Under Secretary-General, Virendra Dayal, had the ear of his boss, Javier Perez de Cuellar. For their part, Indian diplomats have often complained that no Indian heads a UN agency – a complaint made more competitive by the fact that one such head, Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), is Pakistani and has been in the position for 11 years.

Loading content, please wait...
Himal Southasian