Context: India has recently appointed diplomat T S Tirumurti, currently serving as Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, as its Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

About Permanent Missions to the United Nations

  • It is the diplomatic mission that every member state deputes to the United Nations.
  • These diplomatic missions are headed by a Permanent Representative, who is also referred to as the “UN ambassador”.
  • According to Article 1 (7) of the Vienna Convention:
    • The Permanent Mission is a mission of permanent character, representing the State, sent by a State member of an international organization to the Organization.
  • According to The UN General Assembly resolution 257(III) of 3 December 1948 :
    • The presence of such permanent missions serves to assist in the realization of the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
    • It also helps to keep the necessary liaison between the Member States and the Secretariat in periods between sessions of the different organs of the United Nation.
  • Details about UN Permanent Representatives:
    • They are assigned to the UN headquarters in New York City.
    • They can also be appointed to other UN offices in Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi.

India’s Permanent Mission at the UN

  • Current position:
    • There are currently eight Indians in senior leadership positions at the United Nations at the levels of Under Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General.
  • Historical aspects:
    • The first Indian delegates at the United Nations included statesman Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar, and freedom fighters Hansa Mehta, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, and Lakshmi Menon. 
      • Hansa Mehta and Vijayalakshmi Pandit were among the 15 women members of the Indian Constituent Assembly.
    • India was among the select members of the United Nations that signed the United Nations Declaration at Washington on January 1, 1942. 
    • India had also participated in the historic UN Conference of International Organization at San Francisco from April 25 to June 26, 1945.
  • About the architecture:
    • The Permanent Mission of India in New York is housed in a 27-story red granite-clad building, with the main tower in shimmering redwood-colored metal panels and blue windows.

Late M.F. Husain's paintings add to the charm of the structure.