Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appointed Rakesh Sood, India’s former Ambassador to Nepal, Afghanistan and France and the country’s first Ambassador in charge of Disarmament in Geneva, as his new Special Envoy for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.
Ambassador Sood who retired from the Indian Foreign Service in March this year is a recognised expert in his field and will be able to make a valuable contribution to the country’s foreign policy on security, non-proliferation and disarmament issues.
Ambassador Sood served in New Delhi for nine years as Joint Secretary DISA (Disarmament and International Security Affairs), a division that he set up and headed from 1992 to 2000. In that post he oversaw the negotiations concerning the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the deliberations on the Fissile Materials Cutoff Treaty (FMCT). He also participated in bilateral dialogues on nuclear and other non-proliferation questions with the world’s major powers.
In 1998 when India carried out a series of nuclear tests to become a declared nuclear power, Mr. Sood accompanied then National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra to various world capitals to explain India’s stand on its newly developed nuclear capability.
In the late 90s he also participated in the talks on security, non-proliferation, disarmament and related issues between Mr. Jaswant Singh, then Minister of External Affairs and Strobe Talbott, President Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State. The talks finally resulted in a waiver that allowed India to have access to civil nuclear technology despite the fact that the country is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Ambassador Sood’s appointment goes into effect immediately.