Retired diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri, who was today inducted into the Union Council of Ministers, has a distinguished four-decade career in diplomacy spanning the multilateral arena behind him. The 65-year-old, who took oath as a Minister of State, has served as India’s Ambassador to the UN in New York and Geneva, and with his decades of diplomatic experience, his presence in the Council would be a rarity. Puri has had an over 40-year innings in diplomacy covering the multilateral arena, including as India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations both in Geneva (2002-2005) and in New York (2009-2013). He is one of the few Indians to preside over the United Nations Security Council and the only one to have chaired its Counter-terrorism Committee.
Puri, a 1974-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, most recently served as Vice President at the International Peace Institute and as the Secretary General of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism in New York. He was also India’s envoy to Brazil and the United Kingdom. An alumnus of the Hindu College in Delhi University who also taught briefly at the St Stephen’s College, he is the author of the book ‘Perilous Interventions: The Security Council & The Politics of Chaos’, published last year.
During his college days, Puri was a student leader who was also active in the JP movement. Earlier this year, he was appointed the chairman of the Research and Information System for Developing Country (RIS), a city-based autonomous think-tank that works under the Ministry of External Affairs. RIS is an organisation that specialises in policy research on international economic issues and development cooperation, besides focussing on promoting South-South Cooperation and assisting developing countries in multilateral negotiations in various fora.