Recently, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), elected the retired External Affairs Ministry Secretary (East) by acclamation to the 18-member committee of experts that monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESR).
At the end of this year, Ms Saran will begin her four-year term on January 1, after another former Indian diplomat, Chandrashekar Dasgupta, completes his third term on the CESCR.
India Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin Tweeted after Ms. Saran got elected:
CESCR members serve in their personal capacities as experts and do not represent their countries even though they may have been nominated by their own nation.
In October India was elected to the UN Human Rights Council, where the representation is by countries and not individuals.
It received 188 votes in the 193-member General Assembly, the highest number polled by any of the contestants.
In April CESCR was held when the rotating elections for the nine members to start their terms. South Korea Heisoo Shin was re-elected bu the Asia Pacific region did not have a nominee for the second seat leading to the postponemet of the elections for it.
As per the diplomatic Sources, while any country from the Asian Pacific group was free to put up a candidate for that seat, none did deferring to India.
Ms. Saran nominated by India in November, who had retired from the foreign service in September, and her nomination was circulated to UN members by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on November 23, paving the way for Wednesday delayed an election.
Ms. Saran election will add a woman to the CESCR, which has been criticized for having only five women on the 18-member panel.
It has been said “ States should be very concerned by this gender imbalance on a UN human rights treaty body, particularly given the Committee’s mandate to monitor implementation of States obligations to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights”
In 1985 CESCR was set by the ECOSOC to monitor on its behalf the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which has been ratified by 169 countries.