Secretary General Antonio Guterres has extended the term of Atul Khare, the highest ranking Indian civil servant at the U.N., as the Under- Secretary General for Field Support till April 2018.
Khare plays a key role in tamping down the sexual abuse and exploitation scandal in U.N. peace-keeping operations.
“The Secretary General has decided that the mandate of senior officials working in the Peace and Security pillar should be maintained for another one year,” his spokesperson Farhan Haq said Feb. 15.
This also related to Guterres setting up a team to review the working of the UN in order to carry out his promise of reforming the U.N.
“This important work will require both expertise and experience from principals and all staff members,” Guterres said while announcing the review.
Khare will also serve on the U.N.’s Senior Management Group, the high-level body chaired by the Secretary-General that deals with policy and planning matters across the U.N.
A medical doctor by training, Khare joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1984 and has since served in several UN positions, many relating to peacekeeping.
Appointed in 2015 by former Secretary-General as the head of the Department of Field Services, Khare has the crucial role of overseeing the agency that provides logistical, administrative and human resources support to the UN peacekeeping and political missions around the world.
Amid the scandal of sexual abuse and exploitation by UN peace-keepers, he emerged as the point person for dealing with it by enforcing a zero tolerance policy.
Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous, under whose leadership the UN peacekeeping suffered a blow to its image and reputation because of the sex scandals, is leaving the the world body when his term ends in March.
Vijay Nambiar of India, who was Ban’s Special Adviser on Myanmar and served on the Senior Management Group left the UN when Ban’s term ended in December. Earlier, he was Ban’s chef de cabinet.