Ambassador promotes international education during his visit to IPU New Zealand

On Wednesday, 1 May 2019, Ambassador Nair of Fiji attended IPU New Zealand’s 2019 Commencement Ceremony as a special guest, owing to his long and distinguished career in international relations and diplomacy. Ambassador Nair has worked for the Australian Diplomatic Service and the Fijian Diplomatic Service, so he has a keen interest in international relations and higher education. In fact, he was the first person to introduce a university programme in international relations at a university in Fiji. In 2006, he developed a diplomacy skills training course for Pacific Island public servants, before running the post-graduate international relations programmes for the National Centre for International and Regional Affairs (CIRA) through the University of Fiji between 2009 and 2012.

Ambassador Nair’s focus is on building capacity in developing countries, which is why he has established tertiary programmes and conducted training seminars in the Pacific region. Having first-hand experience of international education, he recognises the need for students to gain experience in a globalised world before returning to their home country with a broader world view, problem-solving skills, and the ability to promote innovation and initiate change. “International education expands opportunities for employment both in the local context of your home country and also internationally. [After studying overseas], I found the local graduates much more insular in thinking than those with an international education. I felt I could contribute more to my employers and to my country and people by my diverse background,” says Ambassador Nair.

He also found that his international education enabled him to find jobs around the world, since he had become culturally adaptive and therefore more competitive in the international job market. According to Ambassador Nair, “An international education gave me self-confidence and a better understanding of the concepts of fairness, equity, justice, transparency, accountability, equal opportunity and human rights.” Consequently, Ambassador Nair’s recent interest has been in good governance practices, resulting in his active participation in governance reforms and democracy in the Pacific.

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