Unlike China, India speaks for others at UN: Syed Akbaruddin

Syed Akbaruddin  

Countries like China and India stand very differently in the United Nations (UN) in terms of their perspective and approach, and China is always quiet and speaks only for itself whereas India always wants to speak for everyone, said Syed Akbaruddin, India’s permanent representative to the United Nations from January 2016 to April 2020.

Mr. Akbaruddin was sharing his thoughts at an online interactive session with alumnus of the University of Hyderabad, organised by the Alumni Association of University of Hyderabad (UoH).

Responding to a question from Pramod K Nayar, Department of English, Mr. Akbaruddin said “Foreign policy is something we should not take for granted. It is not a private body but a collective government enterprise. We need to give more time and space to the government to act on the foreign policy that has been taking an upward trajectory, however, we as a country always fancy something better than what we own,” he said.

To another question from Vinod Pavarala, a professor from Department of Communication on the difference between trained civil servants becoming an ambassador and political appointees becoming an ambassador, he said: If there is better talent available outside the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), we should not shy away because India’s diversity is such that a closed club cannot represent the whole of it. The talent we have today is more diversified and have the potential of bringing a lot to the table.

Mr. Akbaruddin, who is an alumnus of the UoH, shared his memories as a student of political science. “My passion for learning and understanding International Relations ignited here in the HCU. For someone like me who always wanted to study about State issues, my professors made me realise that one doesn’t need to feel alienated from their roots when they learn more about international relations. In fact, a better understanding of international relations gives you more clearer world view in understanding your roots.”

The 1985 Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer advised youngsters saying, “One should always be confident about their values because your values cannot be crushed under any circumstances. Your intrinsic values always prevail, even when you face difficult situations.” UoH Vice-Chancellor Prof. Appa Rao Podile, Prof. P Prakash Babu, Dean, School of Medical Sciences, and also the general secretary of the alumni association, faculty and students participated in this programme.

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