Perth : Kamalesh Sharma, a former Indian diplomat, has been reappointed for another four-year term as secretary general of the Commonwealth.
Sharma's name was proposed by India at the concluding session of the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM), and his candidature was seconded by Pakistan. The leaders then took a consensual decision to reappoint him.
Sharma was first appointed to the post by the CHOGM in Kampala, Uganda, in November 2007.
Sharma, who previously served as India's High Commissioner to Britain, said he was "deeply appreciative" of the decision by the heads of the Commonwealth.
"I am deeply appreciative of the confidence reposed by the leaders of the Commonwealth for giving me a further term in office," Sharma said soon after Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard made the announcement at the concluding press conference of CHOGM 2011.
At the press conference, Sharma, a veteran diplomat who has turned 70, was asked that, considering the focus on youth at CHOGM 2011, whether the secretary general should have been younger.
His quick response: "In life it does not matter how old you are, but how young you think."
Sharma has been associated with the Commonwealth for long. Since 2004 he has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation.
An alumnus of New Delhi's prestigious St Stephen's College and King's College, Cambridge, Sharma has held many important positions both in India and abroad.
He was India's permanent representative to the United Nations at New York and Geneva, and the UN secretary general's first special representative to independent East Timor.
He was also proactively involved with the UNCTAD during the Uruguay round of multilateral trade negotiations and with South-South and North-South relations. (IANS)