India’s Gita Sabharwal appointed UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand
Gita Sabharwal was earlier serving as the UN’s Peacebuilding and Development Adviser in Sri Lanka.
India’s Gita Sabharwal has been appointed by the United Nations as its Resident Coordinator in Thailand. She was appointed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres with the host Government’s approval on January 29, 2020.
The UN Resident Coordinators are the highest-ranking representatives of the UN’s country-level development system. The Resident Coordinators are designated representatives of the UN Secretary-General and they report directly to him.
The resident coordinators have the responsibility of leading UN country teams and coordinate support for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Who is Gita Sabharwal?
• Gita Sabharwal has done her masters in development management from the UK’s University of Wales and has authored several policy papers on South and South-East Asia.
• She was previously serving the United Nations as the Peacebuilding and Development Adviser in Sri Lanka for almost 7 years.
• Before serving at the United Nations, Sabharwal was the Deputy Country Representative of the Asia Foundation for the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organisation committed to improving the lives of people across Asia.
• She has also served as the Social Development Adviser for UK’s Department for International Development in India and Vietnam.
• Sabharwal has over 25 years of experience in peacebuilding, development, governance and social policy across five Asian countries including the Maldives.
• She has been involved in developing and managing programmes across sectors such as poverty reduction, civil society, social protection, gender equality, decentralisatoon and public enterprise reform.
Main role: The UN Resident Coordinator (RC), the highest-ranking UN representative at the country level, is responsible for leading the UN teams and coordinating UN support for the smooth implementation of the 2030 agenda. The resident coordinators are chosen based on their experience and expertise from a variety of backgrounds.
Objective: The UN resident coordinators are responsible for coordinating and facilitating UN support to help countries achieve their respective Sustainable Development Goals at the national and local level, leaving no one behind. They are designated representatives of the UN Secretary-General to enable development at the country level. They are required to coordinate with various UN Sustainable Development Group agencies for funds and implementation of development programmes.