A senior Indian official has been appointed as the deputy executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), under which the landmark Paris agreement was negotiated and adopted. Ovais Sarmad, 57, was appointed to the post at the assistant secretary-general level by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said Stephane Djuarric, the spokesperson for Guterres. The appointment has been made after consultation with the Conference of Parties through its Bureau.
Sarmad will succeed Richard Kinley of Canada. His appointment comes at a crucial time when most of the countries have ratified the Paris Climate Agreement and the US President, Donald Trump, has threatened to scrap the pact.
Sarmad holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Hyderabad’s Osmania University, and professional certification in management accountancy from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in London. Sarmad currently serves as chief of staff to the director general of the International Organisation for Migration.
“He brings to the position nearly 27 years of experience with IOM, where he worked in several policy and management areas to strengthen the organisation’s operational effectiveness in close consultation with IOM member-states. “He was instrumental in the establishment of the organisation’s Ethics and Conduct Office and was a key team member negotiating the agreement which brought the IOM into the United Nations System,” said Djuarric.
Sarmad joined IOM in 1990, in Geneva, where he served notably as chief of budget, director of resource management, director of the Global Administrative Centre and chief of Mission to the Philippines.