Former Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran to deliver Owen Harries lecture at Lowy Institute

shyam Saran

Shyam Saran, former Indian foreign secretary, and now joining as 2015 Telstra Distinguished International Fellow of the Lowy Institute, will be delivering Owen Harries lecture on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 in Sydney.

Saran    is a career diplomat who has served in Beijing, Tokyo and Geneva. He has advised the Indian Prime Minister on foreign policy and defence issues, served as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Indo-US civil nuclear issues, and as Special Envoy and Chief Negotiator on Climate Change. Ambassador Saran until recently served as Chairman of India’s National Security Advisory Board under the National Security Council. He is Chairman of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries and a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, both in Delhi.

Subsequent to his retirement, he was appointed Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Indo-US civil nuclear issues and later as Special Envoy and Chief Negotiator on Climate Change.  During his last two assignments, Ambassador Saran served as Prime Minister’s personal representative or ‘Sherpa’ at the Gleneagles and St. Petersburg G8+G5 summits and was present at the Toyako and and L’Aquila Summits as an advisor on Climate Change issues. He also attended the Pittsburg G-20 summit as a member of the Indian delegation.

Currently, Ambassador Saran is Chairman of the National Security Advisory Board under the National Security Council. He serves as Chairman, Research and Information System for Developing Countries, an autonomous think tank specialising in studies on economic and trade related issues. He is also Senior Fellow with the Centre for Policy Research, a prestigious think tank which covers a wide range of political, social and economic issues, including foreign policy related issues. He speaks and writes regularly on a variety of subjects.

Ambassador Saran is Co-Chair on the Indian side on the India-Asean Eminent Persons’ Group. He is currently serving as an Independent Director on the Boards of Wipro, ONGC (Videsh) and Indian Oil respectively. He is a member, Board of Trustees of World Wildlife Fund (India). He has recently been appointed as Chancellor of the Garhwal Central University.

In January 2011, Ambassador Saran was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India for his contribution to Civil Service.

In his speech, Ambassador Saran will look at the relentless dismantling of the post-Second World War global order created and dominated by the US and its Western allies, and India’s place in the new order. Saran says India “”¦has a sense of itself as a civilisational entity, with an area, population, resources and capabilities which assure it a global profile.”

He warns that ”˜With China building artificial islands and bases in the South China Sea and asserting claims over virtually the entire ocean space, it would only be prudent to have a strong and credible counter force available” but that “India continues to advocate”¦an inclusive security architecture in the region”.

“Ambassador Saran is a distinguished career diplomat whose extensive career has been integral to India’s rise in the world. A former Indian Foreign Secretary with postings to Beijing, Tokyo, Myanmar, Indonesia, Ambassador Saran has served as the Prime Minister’s personal representative at G20, G8 and climate change summits,” said Lowy Institute Executive Director Dr Michael Fullilove.

“As the Prime Minister’s personal envoy, he was integral to shaping the historic US-India civil nuclear agreement signed in 2006 ”˜I’m pleased to welcome Ambassador Saran to Sydney as the Lowy Institute’s third Distinguished International Fellow.   I’ve no doubt he will make an important contribution to Australian public debate about the role of India in a changing world.”

The Lowy Institute is delighted to continue to partner with its corporate member Telstra as sponsor of the Telstra Distinguished International Fellowship.

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