Road to Turtle Bay: The Multilateral Parliamentarian

The last candidate that we will be profiling in our series is both a Sri Lankan Ambassador and a Member of the European Parliament, Niranjan Deva-Aditya.

Deva was born in Sri Lanka and is active in Sri Lankan politics and business. His grandfather was a Sri Lankan Senator and businessman. Deva himself has been active in the peace process in Sri Lanka, and in promoting Sri Lanka abroad.  For that service and others, he was awarded in 2006 the Vishwa Keertha Sri Lanka Abhimani by the Buddhist clergy of Sri Lanka.

Deva also has business links throughout Asia, as a Director of DCSL, a large Sri Lankan-based conglomerate with over 140,000 employees worldwide.

He is Budget Coordinator in the European Parliament with responsibility for some $11 billion in development funds. This brings him in close contact with leaders throughout the developing world. In this capacity, he is one of the leaders of the  joint ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly, which is meeting this week in Vienna. Yesterday, he, along with a Mauritian MP, published a report on energy policy for the developing world, a long-term interest of his.

Within Europe, he is seen as a bridge between Europe and Asia. He is Chairman of the Europe-India Chamber of Commerce, founder and Vice-President of the European Parliament India Group, Chairman of the EU-Afghanistan Parliamentary Liaison Group, and Chairman of the European Parliament Indonesia Group.

He is also not unknown at the UN. In April 2005 Deva led the European Parliament's delegation to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, and delivered a paper on the future of the United Nations at the US Council on Foreign Relations. In July 2005 he led the Parliament's delegation to the UN High-level Conference on global aid funding. In September 2005 he was Co-Chairman (with Michel Rocard, former Prime Minister of France) of the Parliaments' Delegation to the World Summit at the UN General Assembly. 

Is Deva a viable candidate? Shashi Tharoor mentioned him in a recent discussion about the next UNSG, when Shashi himself was on a tour for his own candidacy. We believe that the leading candidates are unacceptable for fundamental reasons and that new ones will continue to emerge. Deva has been quite active and his name will likely appear in discussions once the current crop is knocked out. That's how Kofi got elected.

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