By Ramesh Jaura, DG and Editor-in-Chief
BERLIN (IDN) — The Non-profit global media agency International Press Syndicate, with IDN-InDepthNews as its flagship, is pleased to announce that beginning 1 October former Sri Lankan Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez has agreed to support us as “Multilateral Diplomacy Advisor”, with an additional honour of charge as “Editorial Coordinator” for South Asia and Middle East. Mr. Azeez left Sri Lanka’s Foreign Service on 31 August 2021.
Ambassador Azeez chaired in 2014 the Group of 77 (G-77) in Vienna in its 50th anniversary, followed by his election as the President of the General Conference of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In 2017, he contributed to the renegotiation of Sri Lanka’s access to the EU GSP + benefit after the country had lost it in 2010.
According to informed sources, it involved a complex process which required active follow-up on international conventions; nuanced, sensitive, but extensive negotiations; and confidence and consensus building which he and his team piloted successfully at the experts’ level.
In Geneva, Ambassador Azeez chaired several multilateral conferences, which led to consensus outcomes on some of the most intractable issues, which included, inter alia, UN Human Rights Council’s Social Forum and UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Committee (2018), and WHO’s Global Coordination Mechanism on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and the Conference of States Parties to the International Convention on Cluster Munitions (2019).
Ambassador Azeez’s innovative perspectives and insights on varied global and regional challenges; his clarity of thought; his accessibility, outreach and public diplomacy; and strategic leadership and consensus-building abilities are among assets that are too invaluable to be laid to rest after his retirement from Sri Lanka’s Foreign Service.
It is especially so at a time when the media and the world at large need creative thinkers, who can help others see the blind spots in the evolving international and regional geo-strategic landscape. Our decision to offer the position of Multilateral Diplomacy Advisor with an additional honour of charge as Editorial Coordinator rests on this recognition and assessment made.
Ambassador Azeez will have the freedom to comment on any subject he many choose to; guide our institution in its work and performance and assist other media institutions/think tanks which seek inter-agency support, with critical inputs, strategic mapping and capacity-buiding; lead thematic colloquium and interactive dialogues on issues of global and regional concern; advise on multilateral issues, public diplomacy, and global policy. We have a number of governmental and non-profit partners who will be delighted to have his advice on a wide range of multilateral issues. [IDN-InDepthNews – 15 September 2019]
Photo: Ambassador Azeez chairing the UNCTAD Trade and Development Commission in Geneva, 12-14 November 2018. Credit: UNCTAD.
IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate.