Farewell remarks by Warren Hoge, Senior Adviser for External Relations, International Peace Institute

May 15,2016

                                                             Hardeep hosts 777 Club for the last time at IPI.

                                                                      Farewell remarks by Warren Hoge

That was superb.

Now keep your glasses full or if they are empty, fill them up because we want to recognize another star performer.


That, of course, is our friend and cherished colleague Hardeep Singh Puri.


This is the last 777 Club evening that Hardeep will be hosting, and in the two weeks to come, he will be taking other curtain calls here at IPI as his almost three years with us draws to a close.


Hardeep arrived here in June of 2013 with plans to secure some time and some space to complete work on a book.


He was fresh from a smashing 39-year- career as a globe-trotting diplomat capped by a star turn as his country’s Permanent Representative to the UN at a time when India held a seat on the Security Council.


That book, by the way, is to be published in the fall and may give us occasion to put him back on the IPI stage again.


But soon after he arrived here, our president Terje Rod Larsen came up with the idea of an ambitious two-year project to conduct a full bottom to top examination of the multilateral system with the idea of producing a definitive report this spring on how to make that system fit for purpose as a new Secretary –General gets chosen.


Now as you know, the UN community agonizes long and hard over the choice of a Secretary-General, but we had no such problem in deciding who should be the Secretary-General of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism.


Hardeep has been the SG for the commission from the start and he has infused it with his vast knowledge of the UN both here and in Geneva, his unrivaled institutional memory of events and places in his storied diplomatic career and his insistence on the most demanding standards of intellectual inquiry.


Maybe most important for those of us who are his co-workers in this undertaking has been his irrepressible energy and good cheer – with the occasional plunge, of course, into red-faced exasperation.


He has been a joy for all of us at IPI to work with, and let sum that up with an emblem from a country that both he and I adore – Brazil.


He was India’s ambassador there, and I was the New York Times’s correspondent there.


There is a character in Brazilian carnival life who Hardeep reminds me of. He’s called the puxador de samba.


Like Hardeep, he’s the guy who goes first and leads the samba band in procession.


Like Hardeep, he instills in all the marcher's energy and imagination and verve.


And like Hardeep, he’s the loudest guy in the room.

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