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Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar | Advisor for Diplomatic Affairs - UNADAP

The Board of UNADAP (United Nations Associations for Development and Peace), is honoured to appoint His Excellency, Amb. Ashok Sajjanhar, as the Advisor for Diplomatic Affairs. His Excellency would bring along his rich and varied foreign service and diplomatic experience to advise UNADAP. The appointment was graced by Dr. Dominic Dixon, Executive Director of UNADAP.


Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar, assumed charge as Secretary, National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH) on 17th April 2013. Ambassador Sajjanhar, a Postgraduate in Physics from Delhi University and a career diplomat, has served as Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia. He has also held several significant positions in Indian Embassies in Washington, Moscow, Brussels, Geneva, Bangkok, Teheran and Dhaka.

Ambassador Sajjanhar joined the Indian Foreign Service in July 1978 and retired as Ambassador of India to Sweden and Latvia in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India in July 2012. Prior to joining the Indian Foreign Service, he worked as Staff Officer and Manager in Bank of India for 3 years.

Ambassador Sajjanhar negotiated for India in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and made vital and critical contributions to outcomes in several areas. He was invited to participate as Resource Person and Speaker in several Conferences on the Multilateral Trading System and Doha Round in Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Papua New Guinea, Seoul, Geneva, etc.

A keen proponent of Indian culture, he was the Director of Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre in Moscow where he was instrumental in ushering in a new paradigm in cultural diplomacy. Ambassador Sajjanhar held the position of Director, Indian Foreign Service Institute, New Delhi from 1992 to 1994.

Ambassador Sajjanhar was Deputy Chief of Mission as well as Deputy Permanent Representative of India to UN-ESCAP during his assignment in Bangkok from 2000 to 2003. He was an active negotiator in the India-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) as well as India-Asean FTA discussions.

The US-India Nuclear Deal was signed by PM Dr. Manmohan Singh and President Bush during Ambassador Sajjanhar term in Washington in 2005.

Ambassador Sajjanhar was Deputy Chief of Mission to European Union, Belgium and Luxemburg from 2005 to 2007. The EU-India Strategic Partnership as well as negotiations for EU-India Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement were launched during his tenure in Brussels.

Ambassador Sajjanhar was decorated by the Government of Kazakhstan with the Kazakh President’s Medal for “his invaluable contribution and in providing unprecedented impetus” to bilateral ties between the two countries. He was decorated with the National Award by the Government of Latvia for strengthening and expanding bilateral ties and friendship. Both these awards were conferred upon Ambassador Sajjanhar after his retirement from the Government Service.

Currently Ambassador Sajjanhar is a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Chandigarh and Member, Governing Board of Sanskriti Educational Foundation. Ambassador Sajjanhar is fluent in English, Hindi and Russian and has working knowledge of French and Persian. His other interests include reading, music and Indian culture.

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