The Dynamics of Preventive Diplomacy

R S Kalha

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The Dynamics of Preventive Diplomacy is a unique study of one of the more enduring concepts that came to the fore with the end of the cold war. At the heart of the matter is the concern of the international community that symptoms of impending conflict situations must be diagnosed early and treated promptly, much like any disease, so that the world is spared the horrors of unending conflict.

While the sentiments of the international community are unexceptional, yet translating them into action is still very controversial. Great powers are not yet prepared to forgo their privileges. As Mr. Kalha has shown in the case studies undertaken of Libya, Iraq, Iran, Syria and North Korea, it is still old-fashioned power politics that holds sway. Present-day conflicts are in the main not inter-state conflicts, but intra-state.

Mr. Kalha has analysed not only the current thinking within the international community, but suggested certain guidelines that need to be codified. The logic of preventive diplomacy is impeccable, its time has come, but what is crucial is a will for implementation by the international community.

R S Kalha Ranjit Singh Kalha, born in Lahore (now Pakistan) on February 25, 1942, did his Masters in 1964 in History from Punjab University, Chandigarh. He was awarded a Gold Medal for standing first in the University.

Mr. Kalha was selected for the Indian Foreign Service in 1965 and subsequently studied at the University of Hong Kong where he attained fluency in the Chinese language.

He has held the important posts of Joint Secretary for Americas and for East Asia dealing with China, Japan, etc. He led the Indian side for the India-China Boundary Sub-Group Negotiations for the period 1985-88.

Mr. Kalha served as India’s Ambassador to Indonesia (1988-92) and Iraq (1992-94) and became Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs from 1998-2002.

The Canadian House of Commons honoured Mr. Kalha with a citation on June 14, 2001. The President of India appointed Mr. Kalha as a Member, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in 2003 on his superannuation. He presently holds the Chair of Excellence at USI. Mr. Kalha is the author of two well-known books on Iraq and on the India-China Boundary Question.

 

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