New Delhi, India (CU)_ Ruchira Kamboj became India’s first female Permanent Representative to the United Nations when she presented her credentials to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. In a Twitter statement, she expressed pride in taking charge. She tweeted, “Today, I have presented my credentials to the Secretary General of the United Nations @antonioguterres as Permanent Representative/Ambassador to the @UN. A privilege to be the first Indian woman to be given the honor to hold this position. To the girls out there,we all can make it!”
Kamboj will assume her position on the Security Council, of which India is an elected member, in the midst of peak international tensions following the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. As the Indian representative, she will have to cope with the immense pressure the nation faces from all sides due to its independent stance on Ukraine, neither supporting nor criticizing Russia firmly, and having to often restate the position in speeches and votes at the United Nations. In December, Kamboj will chair the Security Council.
As a member of the G4 committee, which comprises India, Brazil, Germany, and Japan, that collaborates on enlarging the Security Council’s permanent membership, she has specialized knowledge on Security Council reforms, which are a priority for India. Kamboj brings a plethora of experience with multilateral institutions to the United Nations, including positions as Counselor at India’s mission in New York, Permanent Representative to UNESCO in Paris, and Deputy Head of the Office of the Commonwealth Secretary-General in London.
She was a member of the 1987 batch of the Indian Foreign Service and served as the ambassador to Bhutan prior to her current position. Previously, she also served as both the High Commissioner and Chief of Protocol in South Africa. She replaces the retiring T.S. Tirumurti in the foreign service. Following a list of 21 Indian representatives to the UN, she is the first woman to serve as India’s permanent representative to the United Nations, although Jawaharlal Nehru’s sister Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit served twice as the General Assembly’s main delegate.