Shashi Tharoor gets Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award
May 9, 2007 - 2:07:24 PM

Washington, May 9 - Former UN under secretary general Shashi Tharoor has been conferred with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award, the highest honour that the Indian government bestows on outstanding overseas Indians.

Though the Indian government had given him the award in 2004, he was unable to accept it at the time because of UN rules that prohibited accepting decorations by foreign governments.

The award was given away by Indian Ambassador to the United States Ronen Sen at his official residence here Tuesday.

Accepting the award, the writer said; 'For me this evening is very special for all sorts of reasons.'

He added that he had the distinction of being able to represent India in the race to succeed Kofi Annan as the secretary general of the United Nations.

'It didn't work out... but we were able to stand up to certain values and principles in the international system for which India has always stood' Tharoor said.

'I wear this badge with pride and honour.'

Tharoor had been working for the UN since 1978, serving with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Singapore. In October 1989, he was senior official at the UN headquarters in New York where, until late 1996, he was responsible for peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia.

From January 1997 to July 1998, he was executive assistant to Annan. In 2002, he was confirmed as the under secretary general for communications and public information.

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