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On its 75th anniversary, this session will focus around the UN in India and India in the UN – it’s evolution, contribution and how it is positioned in the ecosystem. The panel will also discuss India’s place in the world and address issues of Security Council membership, realignment and the neighbourhood.
The role of the UN has been changing over the years and there is an increased interest in direct engagement with people and civil society – how is this likely to play out in the future? Multilateral engagement has been under threat over the past few years with its attendant ramifications for the UN. How will this change under a President Biden dispensation?
The three panelists have a long engagement with the UN and their musings about the past, current situation and the future will provide listeners’ fresh perspectives about the UN and India.
Ms. Renata Dessallien has served the United Nations for 30 years in Africa and Asia in many capacities, including 15 years as a UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative. Before taking up her assignment as UN Resident Coordinator in India, she was a senior fellow at the Oslo Governance Centre at UNDP in Norway. Prior to that she was UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Bhutan, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar between 2002 and 2017. She also served in various capacities with the UN in Mali, Laos and in New York, making important contributions in the field of good governance and poverty reduction. She holds a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University, a Master of Arts from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Ottawa.
Ambassador Vijay Nambiar is a distinguished diplomat, who served the United Nations for more than a decade in various senior level positions. His UN career includes: Special Advisor to Mr. Kofi Annan and Mr. Ban Ki Moon, Chef de Cabinet of UN and Under-Secretary-General, UN.
Prior to joining the United Nations, Mr Nambiar served as Deputy National Security Adviser to the Government of India and Head of the National Security Council Secretariat. Earlier he served as India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador of India in Pakistan, China, Malaysia, Afghanistan and Algeria.
Salil Shetty served Amnesty International as the organization’s eighth Secretary General from 2010-2018.
A long-term activist on poverty and justice, Salil Shetty led the movement’s worldwide work to end human rights violations and spearheaded a significant move of Amnesty International’s work to the global south.
Before joining Amnesty International, he was Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign from 2003 to 2010, credited with significantly increasing awareness of and accountability for the Millennium Development Goals across the world.
From 1998 to 2003, Salil Shetty was Chief Executive of ActionAid, a leading international development NGO.
Salil Shetty studied at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and at the London School of Economics.