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My track record brightens UN prospects: Tharoor

India's first ever nominee for the top post acknowledged that getting elected to head the United Nations was a tough task.

india Updated: Jun 20, 2006 15:36 IST

Acknowledging that getting elected to head the United Nations was a tough task, Shashi Tharoor, India's first ever nominee for the top post, said on Tuesday his track record as Under-Secretary General in the UN gave him a reasonable chance of succeeding.

"I have worked in a number of fields like re-settlement of refugees and management of conflict issues the world over. All these put together, I think I have a better understanding and vision within the UN.

Also, I have demonstrated for the last two decades that I can cooperate with a number of people and understand their problems. I can comfortably say that I find reasonable prospects for success" in being elected as the next head of the world body, Tharoor said during an interaction with journalists.

Tharoor disclosed that the Indian government had been considering his name for the coveted post since the last UN General Assembly session.

"It is not out of the blue that my name surfaced," he said.

Dismissing doubts expressed by some quarters about his prospects of winning, he said, "We would not have been in the race if we did not believe that there were reasonable prospects for success."

At the same time, he said, "I am not running after this great job nor do I have the ambition to occupy a particular job. I have a reasonably good job at present."

Tharoor said he had discussed with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whom he met last night, the "way forward" in the election to the top post at the UN which falls vacant after the tenure of the present Secretary General, Kofi Annan, expires on December 31.

"I had a very pleasant meeting with the Prime Minister. I thanked him for his support and nominating me for the Secretary General's post. We discussed the way forward and the steps that need to be taken to advance our credentials.

The idea is to present as broad a spectrum as possible and to leave Delhi as India's national offering to the world," he added.

Asked whether India could enlist US support and about apprehensions on China's veto, Tharoor said it was significant for any candidate to enlist the support of a considerable majority of the 15-member Security Council and not attract veto of any permanent member.

"You can't achieve results unless you get cooperation on a whole range of issues from all members of the Security Council."

He, however, said, "It is not my job to articulate any country's position. The main challenge is to get our credentials out." It would depend upon the countries themselves to declare their policies.

He said no race was a "guarantee" but one had to put one's "best foot forward". The Security Council and the General Assembly would have to decide.

The UN Under-Secretary General, who arrived here on Sunday on a three-day visit, his first to India after being officially nominated India's candidate for the Secretary General's post, met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and National Security Advisor MK Narayanan on Monday.

He also met CPI (M) leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechuri and BJP leaders LK Advani and Jaswant Singh.

An internationally renowned author, Tharoor said all political leaders whom he had met, had extended full support to his candidature for the UN post.

To a question whether he would have to resign in the event of his not making it to the UN executive post, Tharoor said, "I am sure I will be elected. In the unlikely event, it may be difficult for the victor to offer a job for him who contested against him."

What would be India's benefit?

To this, he said the job of a Secretary General is not to identify with one nation or antagonise some others. "I would be the leader of an organisation serving for the interest of all.