UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director Ms. Kanni Wignaraja to visit India to lead discussions with the government, private sector, development partners, and communities

June 10, 2022
UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, UNDP, Ms. Kanni Wignaraja,

UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, UNDP, Ms. Kanni Wignaraja

UNDP India

New Delhi, 10 June 2022: United Nations (UN) Assistant Secretary-General and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ms. Kanni Wignaraja, will be on her first official visit to India beginning 12 June.


During the week-long mission to the country, 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 Mr. Shyam Saran, Former Foreign Secretary, Dr. Anantha Nageswaran, Chief Economic Advisor, Government of India, and Mr. AK Shiva Kumar, Development Economist, as panelists. 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 the sustainable development goals in India. 

Ms. Wignaraja will also be visiting projects supported by UNDP's country programme that cover 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. 




Note to Editors

About Ms. Kanni Wignaraja

 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. 


About UNDP 

 UNDP works across 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty while protecting the planet. We help countries develop strong policies, skills, partnerships, and institutions to sustain their progress. 

 About UNDP in India 

 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.


For more information, please contact: 

Charu Sethi

Head, Communications and Partnerships, UNDP India



Ankita Bhalla

Communications Officer, UNDP India