The Commonwealth has appointed former Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand as Chairman of the Commonwealth Foundation.
Commonwealth Secretary General Kamlesh Sharma announced the appointment in London on January 29, stating that Sir Anand would serve the initial term of two years as an ambassador for the Foundation, promoting its vision and values.
“He will represent the Foundation at intergovernmental meetings and events and preside over its Board of Governors meetings,” Mr Sharma said.
Foundation Director Vijay Krishnarayan said that the organisation was honoured to welcome Sir Anand as the new Chair.
“His background and experience will be assets to the Foundation and help advance its agenda of citizen participation and inclusion in governance systems,” he said.
Prime Minister John Key said that Sir Anand richly deserved the new assignment.
“As a former Governor-General with an impressive record of public service, Sir Anand is well qualified to be the Chairman of the Commonwealth Foundation. He is the first New Zealander to hold this position,” he said.
“He has had a long association with the Commonwealth, through delivering training for Ombudsmen, membership of the Commonwealth Trust, and contributions to the Commonwealth Law Bulletin,” Mr Key added.
He said that New Zealand is an active member of the Commonwealth and a strong supporter of its values.
“Like other Commonwealth countries, we share a commitment to democracy, the rule of law and human rights. As a development organisation, the Foundation works to improve the lives of people across the Commonwealth.”
Sir Anand said that he looked forward to leading the Foundation’s role of encouraging the efforts of civil society organisations and professional groupings.
Speaking to Indian Newslink, he described the assignment as ‘an interesting new chapter connected with the leading of an organisation committed to the development of education and professional associations and the advancement of civil society.’
Recognition of plurality of culture, faith, religion and capability perches as the core value of the Foundation, which functions as an intergovernmental agency, akin to its counterparts (the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth of Learning), all based in the British capital.
Transparency, Accountability, Integrity are among the finest attributes of Sir Anand, who believes that these values equate Good Governance in governments, public and private sector organisations, homes and even individuals.
It was in homage to his inspiring leadership, admirable but inimitable qualities that we launched the annual Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture series in 2011, just weeks before he completed his distinguished service as the Governor General.
Details of this year’s Lecture, due to be held on July 29, are elsewhere in this issue.
Sir Anand Satyanand with Indian Newslink Managing Director Ravin Lal (left) and the then Indian High Commissioner Kadakath Pathrose Ernest at a dinner reception held at our offices on October 13, 2006, shortly after he assumed the office of Governor-General. (Picture by Narendra Bedekar)