China and Pakistan who voted against the US-backed candidate. According to a statement issued by the office of the CAG, “Shri Shashi Kant Sharma took keen interest for this position for the institution of the CAG of India and personally canvassed the Ambassadors and High Commissioners in his two meetings in New York and also met most of the diplomats in New Delhi and briefed them about the Indian Auditors who are highly regarded in International Community for their trained skills and professional competence.”
The move did serve a few purposes. First, it was a diplomatic victory of some sort. After all, in the election held at UN Headquarters in New York last Friday, India defeated Philippines with a huge margin, and garnered support of China and Pakistan as well. Out of the 186 votes cast, India got 124 votes against 62 for Philippines. India will replace China beginning July 1, 2014.
Secondly, along with other two members of the board, Sharma and his Indian auditors will be responsible for audit of UN bodies such as UN Peacekeeping Operations, UN Development Programme (UNDP), UNICEF, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), UN Women and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Currently, Sharma is the external auditor of the World Food Programme (WFP), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Earlier, CAG of India became the external auditor of UN agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), International Maritime Organization (IMO), Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) etc.
The institution of CAG under Vinod Rai might have created massive controversies and political turbulence back home, it did register a name for itself internationally. Among its peers, Indian CAG commands more respect for its competence and independence. But why did US, which has been a key player in UN, prefer someone other than the Indian CAG? Will Indian auditors spot accounting fault-lines in UN peacekeeping operations led by US and Western nations?