Highlighting plans for deepening diplomatic ties with the developing world, the new foreign secretary said, “Our friends in Africa and Latin America, will continue to be a priority.”
Fight against terrorism, new initiatives and opening up of new missions overseas are among the top priorities for Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the new foreign secretary who took over office on Wednesday. Highlighting plans for deepening diplomatic ties with the developing world, the new foreign secretary said, “Our friends in Africa and Latin America, will continue to be a priority.” Deepening of economic and development ties, inaugurating new initiatives as well as new missions across the globe are on his to-do list.
According to the foreign secretary who was until recently India’s ambassador to the US, “The main objective of the Indian Foreign Service and the Ministry of External Affairs is to advance our national interests across the world and serve the people of India at home and abroad.”
In his earlier posting as the Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Shringla played a very significant role in the groundwork for the India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement of 2015.
Besides global warming, other issues that will get the attention of the Foreign Secretary’s office include not only emerging technologies but also the cyber domain.
He also said “Rules-based multilateral order, connectivity with neighbours; building synergies with major powers; seeking a shared, undifferentiated and unambiguous approach to terrorism is among the issues that will be addressed.”
More about Foreign Secretary
He is a multi-linguist and alumni of Delhi’s prestigious St Stephen’s College.
The new FS can speak French, Vietnamese & Nepalese.
He is from 1984 batch Indian Foreign Service.
He has served in Thailand from 2014 to 2016, before going as a High Commissioner to Bangladesh for two years.
From there he left as an ambassador to the US.
In a diplomatic career spanning over 35 years, the new FS has also served at UNESCO in France, UN in New York besides Vietnam, Israel and South Africa.
At the Headquarters he has been the Joint Secretary for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Maldives (BSMM).
Also headed the UN political and SAARC divisions.
And has also been the director of the northern division in MEA and handled Nepal and Bhutan.
He has been deputy secretary of the western division, dealing with Europe.
Challenges before him
He comes in at a time when there are tensions brewing in the neighbouring Pakistan, and China’s growing presence in the region.