Former Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez joins IDN Editorial Board | Daily News

Former Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez joins IDN Editorial Board

The Non-profit global media agency International Press Syndicate, with IDN-InDepthNews as its flagship, has invited two renowned international relations practitioners and diplomats to join it to support its global mission and outreach activities. Former Sri Lankan career Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez and the former Secretary General of the Organization of ACP States Ambassador Dr. P.I. Gomes have accepted IDN’s invitation to join it.

Ambassador Azeez, who joins IDN October 1, 2021, will support us as “Multilateral Diplomacy Advisor” and Dr. Gomes “Advisor for the African, Caribbean and Pacific States”. Azeez will have an additional charge as “Editorial Coordinator” for South Asia and Middle East.

Ambassador Azeez chaired in 2014 the Group of 77 (G-77) in Vienna on its 50th anniversary, followed by his election as the President of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He also took on leadership roles within the UNIDO and the CTBTO and chaired as well the Multilateral Diplomatic Committee in Vienna. In 2017, he contributed to the renegotiation of Sri Lanka’s access to the EU GSP + benefit.

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).

The International Press Syndicate which had followed Ambassador Azeez’s professional path closely since 2011 has taken the view that his innovative perspectives and insights on varied global and regional challenges; this 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 public 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 charge as Editorial Coordinator rests on this recognition and assessment made.

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