Monday, February 14, 2011

Indian minister reads wrong UN speech

In a public gaffe, India's External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna inadvertently read out the speech of his Portuguese counterpart at a UN Security Council meeting, but quickly corrected it after India's chief diplomat at the UN pointed it out to him.

Krishna read out Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado's speech for full three minutes at a debate on security and development Friday before India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri pointed it out. The initial part of the Portuguese minister's speech related to general issues about the UN, development and security.

YouTube link.

Finally, it took a reference to Portuguese-speaking countries to alert Puri, a former ambassador to Brazil, that something was amiss. 'On a more personal note, allow me to express my profound satisfaction regarding the happy coincidence of having two members of the Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), Brazil and Portugal, together here today,' Krishna had said, reading verbatim from the initial portion of the Portuguese minster's speech.

Krishna, said officials, could have said this as Brazil holds the current presidency of the Security Council. The external affairs ministry, however, downplayed the faux pas, saying the 'the initial parts of all formal addresses contain salutation and courteous references.'

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