New Delhi: The government on Monday announced the appointment of Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry, as India’s new ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva. Bagchi, a senior diplomat of the 1995 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), will take over from Indra Mani Pandey, who is due to return to Delhi soon.
Bagchi has been the face and voice of the External Affairs Ministry since March 2020, handling several key issues and developments, such as the eastern Ladakh border standoff with China, India’s COVID-19 response and vaccine diplomacy, India’s G20 chairmanship and engagement with Quad partners. He has also been instrumental in coordinating India’s humanitarian assistance to various countries affected by natural disasters and conflicts.
In Geneva, Bagchi will represent India at various UN bodies and agencies, such as the Human Rights Council, the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, the International Labour Organization, and the Conference on Disarmament. He will also interact with other countries and civil society groups on various matters of mutual interest and concern.
Bagchi has a rich and varied diplomatic experience, having served as India’s ambassador to Croatia and deputy high commissioner to Sri Lanka. He has also been a director in the Prime Minister’s Office and a counselor at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN in New York. He is fluent in Hindi, English, Bengali and French.
The government is also considering the names of four other senior diplomats for other important postings. They are Nagaraj Naidu Kakanur, joint secretary (G20), K. Nandini Singla, high commissioner to Mauritius, Vikram Doraiswami, ambassador to Bangladesh and Riva Ganguly Das, secretary (east) in the External Affairs Ministry.