The Governor-General, Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand, is to speak at a major international conference in New Delhi in January next year that recognises the contribution of the Indian Diaspora.
The annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conference, organised by India’s Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, will be formally opened by the Prime Minister of India, Hon Dr Manmohan Singh, on 8 January 2011 when the Governor-General will address the conference as Chief Guest.
The Conference closes the following day, with a valedictory address by the President of India, HE Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil, who will also confer Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards. Previous recipients of these awards have included former Dunedin Mayor Dame Sukhinder Turner and South Auckland Judge Ajit Swaran Singh.
Sir Anand said he was honoured to contribute to the conference. “Being invited is a further recognition of New Zealand and the contribution that New Zealanders of Indian origin have made to the local economy and society.”
The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has been held since 2003 and coincides with the return to India from South Africa of Mahatma Gandhi on 9 January 1915. The Indian Diaspora is estimated at 25 million people, making it one of the largest expatriate communities in the world.
The trip by Sir Anand and Lady Susan is a private visit and they will be meeting their own travel costs, while the Indian Government will be meeting their accommodation costs.
While the Governor-General is overseas from 5 to 11 January, the Chief Justice, Rt Hon Dame Sian Elias, will be Administrator of the Government.
For more information, contact Public Affairs Manager, Antony Paltridge, on (04) 382 0827 or (021) 470 583.
The Indian Government's announcement can be viewed here: http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=68610