Sun, 12 Jun 2022 11:25 AM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Kanni Wignaraja, United Nations (UN) Assistant Secretary-General and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will be on her first official visit to India starting June 12. During the week-long visit, Ms Wignaraja will be meeting senior government officials to discuss UNDP's work and support for the country's development priorities.
She will lead a policy dialogue with Shyam Saran, Former Foreign Secretary, Dr Anantha Nageswaran, Chief Economic Advisor, Government of India, and AK Shiv Kumar, Development Economist, as panellists. The event will bring together experts to discuss the pathway for inclusive, green, and equitable recovery post-COVID-19. Her programme also includes meetings with business leaders and development partners to discuss shared values for realizing sustainable development goals in India.
Ms Wignaraja will also be visiting projects supported by UNDP's country programme that cover the environment, inclusive growth, and health. This will include biodiversity conservation sites and seeing Co-WIN - one of the world's largest vaccination programmes in operation. UNDP's partnership with India spans 70 years. UNDP has supported the Government of India in all areas of human development, including systems strengthening, inclusive growth, sustainable livelihoods, climate action, and resilience.
Kanni Wignaraja began her role as UNDP's Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific on 18 November 2019. Before, Ms Wignaraja served as the Acting Assistant Administrator and Director of UNDP's Bureau of Management Services and as Special Adviser to the UNDP Administrator, roles that she performed throughout 2019 after working as the Director of the UN Development Operations Coordination Office from 2014 to 2018.
Wignaraja has over thirty years of experience with the UN's mission and UNDP's role in the sustainable development agenda. She has a deep knowledge of the Asia-Pacific region and the global, regional, and country-level workings of UNDP across policy, programme, management, and operations.
Prior to joining the UN, Kanni worked with the Ford Foundation in New York. Kanni has contributed to numerous papers, articles, and conferences in areas of public policy, institutional reform, capacity development, human rights, and leadership. Wignaraja holds a master's degree in Public Administration (Development Economics) from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Bryn Mawr College.
UNDP has worked in India since 1951 in almost all areas of human development, from systems strengthening to inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods and sustainable energy, environment, and resilience. UNDP's programmes continue to integrate a global vision for catalytic change with India's national priorities. Today, with over 30 projects on the ground in almost every state, it works to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by transforming traditional models to do development differently.