She assumes charge as India currently serves a two-year term as non-permanent member of the 15-nation UN Security Council.
India’s tenure at the Council will end in December this year when the country will also preside as President of the powerful UN organ for the month. Kamboj had also previosuly served as Counsellor at India’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York from 2002-2005.
“Just in, as PR- designate to the @UN. Wonderful today to meet all my Ambassador friends in the Security Council. It is my deepest honour to serve my country in this new position. #India,” Kamboj tweeted on Monday.
Former UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director at UN Women Lakshmi Puri, among the highest ranking Indian diplomats in the UN system, described Kamboj’s appointment as “landmark” and a “new milestone” for women’s leadership at the UN.
“Setting a new milestone for India in women’s leadership @UN! Heartiest congrats to @RuchiraKamboj for becoming 1st woman PR of @IndiaUNNewYork. Landmark #HerStory moment after Smt Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit’s #UNGA Presidency. Inspiring @indiandiplomats & aspiring ones as a beacon!,” Puri said in a tweet.
Puri was making a reference to Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, a veteran Indian diplomat and the sister of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the first woman to be elected President of the UN General Assembly as early as 1953. The 193-member General Assembly has had only four female presidents in its nearly 76-year history.
Kamboj was the all-India women’s topper of the 1987 Civil Services batch and the topper of the foreign service batch of that year. She began her diplomatic journey in Paris, where she was posted as the Third Secretary in the Indian Embassy in France from 1989-1991.
From Paris, she returned to Delhi where she worked as under-secretary in the Europe West Division of the Ministry of External Affairs from 1991-96. From 1996-1999, she served in Mauritius as First Secretary (Economic and Commercial) and Head of Chancery at the Indian High Commission in Port Louis.
Kamboj served as the high commissioner of India to South Africa, with concurrent accreditation to the Kingdom of Lesotho from July, 2017 to March, 2019. She assumed charge as Indian envoy to Bhutan on 17 May, 2019.
Kamboj joins the group of women Ambassadors at the Council including US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield, UK Permanent Representative (PR) Ambassador Barbara Woodward, Norway’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York Mona Juul, UAE’s Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh.
Ireland’s PR Ambassador Geraldine Nason is heading to Washington as her country’s envoy.