India nominated author and UN diplomat Shashi Tharoor on Thursday to succeed UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan when his term ends this year.

Under the principle of regional rotation, the next secretary-general of theUN should be from Asia.

Tharoor is the UN's undersecretary general for the department of public information, a department whichhe hasled since 2001. He began his career at theUnited Nationsin 1978.

'I have devoted most of my adult life to the United Nations, in which I believe deeply and passionately, and I am honoured to be given an opportunity to lead it.' -UN diplomat Shashi Tharoor

He is also the author of eight books and has won several journalism and literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers' Prize.

In January 1998, Tharoor was named by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as a "Global Leader of Tomorrow."

Reacting to the news in New York, Tharoor said his chance of winning the post was "as good and as bad as anyone else's."

"I have devoted most of my adult life to the United Nations, in which I believe deeply and passionately, and I am honoured to be given an opportunity to lead it," he told Reuters.

But some observers say his close ties to Annan may hurt his chances. Annan has been criticized by some nations, including by the United States, for not doing enough to make changes in the organization.

Tharoor was born in London and educated in India and the United States.

Other Asians in the running include South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and Sri Lankan diplomat Jayantha Dhanapala.

The Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assemblyfrom arecommendationby the Security Council. But the appointment can be vetoed by any of thefive permanent membersof the Secuurity Council: the U.S., the U.K.,Russia, China, and France.