Curriculum Vitae of Mr. Swashpawan Singh

Former Ambassador & Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Geneva

Born on 29th December 1948, married, one son.

Academic Qualifications: B.A. (Hons) English, St. Stephen’s College (1968), MA English Literature, Delhi University (1972), Certificate Course in Diplomacy, Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford University (1982) M.Phil in Defence Studies, Chennai University (1989) as part of the National Defence College course.

Professional Experience: Worked for three years in the private sector in the DCM Group (1969-1972); taught English Literature at St. Stephen’s College (1972-1974), and joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1974. As a Member of the Indian Foreign Service, over the course of three decades, held a wide range of appointments in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi and in the Indian Embassies in Kabul, Washington DC, Cairo, and as Consul General in Houston. Served as Director in the Office of the Minister of External Affairs (1990-92), as Joint Secretary on deputation to the Ministry of Defence (1998-2000), and as Joint Secretary, Gulf and HAJ Division (2000-2002). Was appointed Ambassador of India to Kuwait (January 2002 - October 2005), and thereafter as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Organisations in Geneva (December 2005 to December 2008). As Ambassador in Kuwait, was part of the team that negotiated the release of the Indian hostages held in Iraq. Wide experience in bilateral and multilateral negotiations.

Multilateral Experience: Was leader and member of several delegations in Conferences/Meetings held in the World Health Organisation, International Labour Organisation, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, International Trade Centre, World Intellectual Property Organisation, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Inter-Parliamentary Union, International Committee on the Red Cross, International Telecommunication Union and in the area of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. Was appointed Personal Representative of the Prime Minister and led the Indian delegation in the meetings of the Group of 15 in Geneva and in Havana, Cuba (Sept 2007); and to the Council of Representatives of the South Centre in Geneva.

Human Rights: Was leader of the Indian delegation to the 62nd Session of the Commission of Human Rights (March/April 2006) and was member of the Ministerial Delegation at the First Session of the Human Rights Council (June 2006); leader of the Indian delegation to the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Sessions of the Human Rights Council between September 2006 and December 2008. In addition, was leader of the Indian delegation for five Special Sessions of the Human Rights Council held between July 2006 and October 2007. Led the Indian delegation for consideration of the Report by the Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination in February 2007 and at the First Organizational session of the Preparatory Committee of the Durban Review Conference (August 2007).

Was directly involved in and led India’s effort in the creation of the Human Rights Council during its institutional building phase, beginning from June 2006 to March 2008. India played an important role in creating the consensus that led to the final package as a result of the institution building effort. Contributed directly to ensuring an enhanced and more widely recognized role for National Human Rights Institutions within the Human Rights Council. Took on the role of leading informal coalitions of Non Group actors in helping them evolve a consensus through bridge building. In recognition of India’s special role, was invited to contribute to a Book sponsored by the Swiss Federation entitled “First 365 Days of the United Nations Human Rights Council” and was invited to write on “The Role of Non-Groups”. Participated in a workshop in New Delhi ( July 2007) organized by the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, in association with the Indian National Human Rights Commission, on “Use of Indicators In Promoting and Monitoring Implementation of Human Rights” and presented a paper on “Implementing Human Rights – The Way Forward”.