Hyderabad: India’s former permanent representative at the United Nations, Syed Akbaruddin on Saturday said countries like China and India stand very differently at the UN, in terms of their perspective and approach.
Akbaruddin was speaking during an online interaction with the Vice Chancellor and other faculty members of the University of Hyderabad, his alma mater.
About his experience working at the United Nations, he said: “The ones who have been a part of the United Nations very well know that UN is not an enchanted place. Countries like China and India stand very differently in the UN, in terms of their perspective and approach. China is always quiet and speaks only for itself whereas India always wants to speak for everyone.”
The Alumni Association of University of Hyderabad had organised an online interactive session with a distinguished alumnus in presence of Vice Chancellor Prof. Appa Rao Podile and Professor P. Prakash Babu, Dean, School of Medical Sciences, and also the General Secretary of the Alumni Association. Faculty and students from the schools participated in this programme.
Responding to a question by Professor Pramod K, Nayar, Department of English, Akbaruddin talked about the current situation of foreign policy in India. “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.”
As Professor Vinod Pavarala, Department of Communication, asked the former diplomat about the difference between trained civil servants and political appointees becoming ambassadors, 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 has the potential of bringing a lot to the table.”
The 1985 batch IFS officer, who retired recently, shared his memories of being a part of the university as a student of Political Science.
“My passion for learning and understanding International Relations ignited here in HCU (Hyderabad Central University). 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 a clearer world view in understanding your roots,” he said, as per a university statement.
Akbaruddin, who served as India’s permanent representative at the UN from January 2016 to April 2020, also had advice for the young minds. “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.”