for the key post in UN
In a significant victory, India has been elected to the United Nations' Joint Inspection Unit (JIU), defeating China in a direct fight for the lone seat from the Asia-Pacific region and returning to this powerful external oversight body after a gap of 35 years.
India's permanent representative to the UN offices in Geneva, A. Gopinathan (of Achamkulangara Warriam, Thrissur) defeated Zhang Yan, China's Ambassador in New Delhi, to assume a place on the JIU for a five-year term starting on January 1, 2013.
India won with a clear majority of 106 votes out of the 183 cast, while China got 77 votes. India has served only once on the JIU 35 years ago from 1968 to 1977.The JIU election was the first time ever that India was locked in a 'direct contest' with China in the UN General Assembly.
Gopinathan was India's Deputy Permanent Representative in New York from January 2002 to September 2005. He has also served as Joint Secretary (UN) from August 1997 to December 2001 at the Ministry of External Affairs.
In a pamphlet distributed extensively as part of its global campaign for the election, India touted Gopinathan's credentials saying, "Having devoted almost half of his diplomatic career to UN-related work, ambassador Gopinathan's extensive knowledge and wide experience across the UN system will enable him to make important and effective contributions to the work of the Joint Inspection Unit and help bring about improvements in the UN system in the areas of oversight and governance, an objective shared by all UN member states."
Wife: Pushpa Gopinathan of Edakunni Warriam